The Best Medicine

My family is sick. Halloween candy has done it’s work on my normally healthy loved ones, and illness has raised it’s ugly head. I am so very thankful I am prepared for this very thing with a medicine better than anything the doctor can prescribe; homemade stock, rich in gelatin, minerals, and vitamins. Tonight’s menu is very brothy venison and vegetable soup, heavy on the garlic and onions!

No one knows exactly why homemade stocks and broths are so good for you, but we do have general ideas from scientific studies. True, well-made stocks are made from meaty bones, vegetables, and water and cooked so long that the bones almost “melt” they get so soft. The marrow from the cut bones gets into the broth, and calcium and magnesium are drawn out of the bones. The gelatin from cartilage helps bind vitamins from the vegetables and makes them easier for the human body to absorb. All-in-all, it’s the best medicine you can have on hand, and a great immune system booster as well. When your body is healthy it’s a lot easier to fight off illness, not to mention the great taste of soups made with your broth!

Here are general directions for preparing your own stock and preserving it.

First, gather a few ingredients and a large stainless steel or enameled stock-pot or crock-pot. The basic ingredients are listed below, but can be changed with preference.

  • 1-5lbs. meaty bones from practically anything
  • 2 large onions, peeled and sliced in wedges
  • 3-4 large carrots cut in 1″-long chunks
  • 2-3 stalks celery cut in 1″ chunks (leafy parts preferred)
  • 2-4 teaspoons whole peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • A handful sized bunch of fresh parsley or cilantro

Combine all in a large stock-pot and cover with cold water. Heat over medium-high heat to boiling, skimming off foam from the top. Cover and reduce to a simmer and cook for 18-48 hours, adding water if needed. Remove the large pieces, then strain the rest through a cotton diaper or cheesecloth. Cool 8 hours in fridge, then skim off fat for cooking with.

After removing the fat, decide how you want to preserve your broth. It will only last a week or two in the fridge, so you will want to freeze it or use a pressure canner to keep the extra. If you are freezing it, you can heat it to liquid state and pour into glass canning/freezer jars )leaving expansion space), cap, mark with contents and date, and move to the freezer.

The other option is to use a pressure canner. Read the directions for your pressure canner and prepare accordingly. Wash and sterilize your jars and heat your lids. Heat your broth to boiling, then ladle into glass mason jars leaving a 1″ head-space, wipe the rims, and add lids and rings. Place in your canner and process as directed, usually 25 minutes for quarts and 20 for pints. Remove and cool on a doubled layer dry towel for 24 hours. Label with contents and date, then store on a dark, cool shelf.

To use your stock, use about 1/2 of the needed liquid, then add water in an equal amount. Season as desired.

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About nigerianmeadows

I am a homeschooling mother of 2 autistic children and cook gluten-free, I homestead on 2.5 acre and raise goats and chickens for dairy and eggs, I garden, cook, quilt, and take photographs. I build, paint, scrub, and dance on tables. I am the ultimate WOMAN!!! Oh, yeah, and I like my husband a whole lot (he is the one that makes all this possible, and he loves me like no other!)
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2 Responses to The Best Medicine

  1. Tina Parman says:

    Hello,
    Do you sell your goat milk? I live only an hour from you and have not bee able to find fresh milk. I have several food allergies(wheat and corn) and goats milk is easy to digest than cows milk. I have bough some at Trader Joes but I really want it straight from the source. Also do you do homeschool field trips at your farm? We also homeschool.
    Thanks
    Tina

    • Hello Tina! Thanks for joining us 🙂
      In answer to your question about the milk, we are quite small and need the milk for our family, though we do sell goats. In fact, we just had babies from really great milkers, and they will be for sale in 8 weeks, though it would be a year before you could get milk. We will also have an adult for sale later this summer, and can breed her before sale if desired. I know the Arrowhead Farms sells milk from their alpines, though it’s not as rich and creamy as the milk from the nigerian dwarfs, it is good. The woman who runs that farm is Leslie and they are in the Selma NC area.

      While we love visitors, we do not have insurance for having groups out, so I am afraid we cannot accommodate a field trip. I am considering a program where an individual, family, or group can “adopt” a goat by internet and get newsletters and goat products. If your group would be interested in that just let me know and I will email you privately and we could set something up.

      As a side note, if you want raw milk, in NC it is illegal to sell raw milk for human consumption, so any you get will be labeled for pet and cosmetic use only. You can buy “shares” in a goat which would be a solution if you don’t want to keep the goat but know someone else who would be willing to.

      I hope this helps a little. Sorry I couldn’t be the solution. Also, you might check the Weston A. Price Foundation. They have a list of suppliers of raw milk, both cow and goats. I’m assuming here that that’s what you meant by going to the source as very few small farmers are doing pasteurization. Here is the link if you want to check it out.

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