Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Busy Fingers and Boiled Bones

What to do on a day off? I find it hard at times to relax at home. There always seems to be a job, and I don’t see it getting any easier as I potentially have things like motherhood ahead of me. Sometimes it can be tricky to continue caring for yourself as you pass into and through adulthood.

Yesterday I decided to boil some chicken bones. I had been planning this for awhile, the boiling of bones. I planned it when I roasted a chicken that my friend Lesley gave me, by stripping all the remaining flesh off the carcass and giving the bones to the freezer to hold steady for awhile. Hold steady until I was ready. Yesterday was the day.

Stock is a simple creation, so why do we so often resort to the shortcuts that supposedly simplify? Why do we buy it wrapped in shiny paper and condensed in little parched cubes? The powder dissolves in hot water. To me this always feels wrong and unnatural. Boiling bones, I discovered, produces the most evocative smell. It helped me recover from the cold I didn’t know I had. The stock graced my house.

And what did I do with that stock? I spread it out too thinly. I gave the whole pot of chicken-bone nectar to an even larger pot of minestrone and then I added water. The flavour stretched until I had to beg my palate to find it. Could this be…. a metaphor?

When we strike upon a thing golden in our lives, we should always try and keep some for ourselves.