24 January 2012

If it works with Champagne...A trip to the grocery store...and a trip to the hardware store

A post in reverse order.

1.  This evening for dinner I made beef stew (although technically I did make it, my lovely wife saved it -you'll have to ask her about that).  Anyway...I began the day by making beef stock to go bolster the stew.  The one thing I hate about making stock is separating the fat.  You may say well why don't you just go out and buy a fat separator.  I have, 3 of them!  One of the kids put a marble in the OXO one, the model from pampered chef is worthless, absolutely worthless, and the glass one I ordered from Amazon was absolutely amazing but it was made out of such thin and fragile glass that one drop ended its existence.  So I prefer to make stock a day ahead, strain it, then sit in the frig to cool; this way the fat hardens at the top so all you have to do is skim it off.  Note: by doing this you also have a wonderful base for a roux.  But today I didn't have time to stick the stock in the frig to cool and I didn't have a fat separator worth anything.  So I pondered how could I chill the stock quick enough (20 minutes)?  I thought, well sticking a bottle of champagne in a bucket of ice water works why shouldn't it work with stock?  So I placed my stock in a bowl of ice water and stuck it into the freezer.  In 20 minutes (drum roll) hardened fat.

(I was so excited by my find that I forgot to take a picture until I had skimmed 2/3rds of the fat off).

2.  Earlier this week I went to the grocery store and spent an unusual amount of time wandering the aisles, perusing to my heart's content.  I love going to the grocery store.  I also love looking at the new products, this one by Kellog's really got me going.

3.  Finally, a trip to the hardware store.  The kids have been bugging me to no end to take them to the hardware store lately - it's my own fault I suggested it a while back.  They wanted to stock up on duct tape, brass fasteners, nails, bolts, flashlights, locks, you name it.  So this Saturday I took them.  We were there for an hour!  They were in heaven.  They wanted to buy a scythe, a double bladed axe, sections of pvc pipe, latches, hinges, miscellany nails, bolts, screws & key blanks, batteries, lanterns, drill bits, some no. 4 rebar, links of chain, etc.  It was all I could do to keep up with them.  Finally they settled on their purchases.  One by one they waited in line then placed their items on the counter, waited for the clerk/knowledgeable person to ring up their totals, and then dumped their piles of coinage onto the counter to count (we were there another 15 minutes).  Oh man what a treat it was for them, it was better than taking them to the sporting goods store and I didn't think anything was better than that!  Imagine if they would have had a bowl of Krave beforehand?

No comments: