Thursday, 5 March 2009

Bits ‘n’ Pieces – chicken stock, egg shells and seeds

My breaks today have been spent sorting out.

Chicken Stock P3050172-1

The other day we treated ourselves to a wonderful, organic, free-range chicken from a local estate. It was fabulous, so succulent! Today’s primary job has been simple: to make stock with the leftovers.

I’ve been left with a car without a current tax disc (as mine has gone on a jaunt to York) so I’ve been rather restricted to the house for the last few days and unable to get any extra ingredients.

Therefore, working on the principle that you only really need: a chicken carcass, some water (about 2 litres) and some veg (preferably so-called ‘white’ veg), I embarked on my stock-making during one of today’s breaks. To the pot with the water and chicken I added:

  • Two rather past-it parsnips
  • A floppy carrot
  • Some left-over leek tops
  • A red onion (no white ones left)
  • A couple of bay leaves
  • A good grind of coarsely-ground black pepper.

Next, I spent most of the two-hour cooking time making sure that the cat didn’t attack the protruding bits of carcass…

Result: just over 0.5 litre of yummy stock. I feel I should have a bit more, but with a hob with almost non-existent temperature control (barely simmer or raging boil) I can’t be too disappointed.

Egg ShellsP3050177

Next, I seem to have had a large collection of egg shells building up. They were duly put in the oven to be baked (100 degrees for an hour or so), crushed and stored.

I plan to use them as an anti-slug repellent for my lettuces. It’s a tip I saw somewhere, and I can’t remember where, but ‘thank you’ to whoever suggested it!

…and seeds

Lastly, while I was washing-up I was mentally planning an email to send to the seed company who I placed an order with over a week ago. There was something in their confirmation email which said “All goods will be despatched to arrive in good time for planting”. This year or next? The word impatient comes to mind again…

…but then a knock on the door revealed the postman, not an unusual occurrence, but he was clutching two small packages! I’m yet to open them but they bear the name of the seed supplier on them! You can guess what tomorrow’s breaks will be spent doing.


  1. Is that 100 Celsius? And what does the baking do? I've never heard of that on this side of the pond. :)

  2. Sounds like an altogether productive day - when you have yummy homemade stock to show for your efforts, you know you've done something right.

  3. Laura - yes it's 100 Celsius. As for the baking, I'm not 100% sure. I think it just kills any bacteria, but more practically it means that you don't get sticky fingers when you crush the shells!

    Oysterculture - not a bad day, even got a fair bit of writing done!

    Thanks for the comments.


I'd love to know any comments you might have.