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August 22, 2011

I don’t often take inspiration from Rachel Ray. It’s not personal, except the part where her joker-grin and rapid gesticulation makes me want to scream. Food-wise, though, I just find her a little bland.  

Whatever, in a shopping frenzy at the local Food Lion (did I mention I’m a public school teacher?) I picked up her Everyday magazine because of the promise of a month of make ahead meals. With the school year starting up and a one-way 45 minute commute, the idea of having things prepared to eat sounds very appealing.

The article was mostly a joke. She just said make a lot of shredded chicken, make a lot of sauce, roast a bunch of vegetables, freeze it all and BAM you have foundations for a bunch of meals. It’s not rocket science, but it did inspire me to  make a lot of shredded chicken, roast a bunch of vegetables and make some sauce.

But that is not a miracle! What is a miracle is what happens when you take the bones from the chicken you roasted to shred, throw in a few bay leaves, an onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, and some thyme, throw them in a crock pot and cover with water. I left the crock pot on after I went to bed and around 3am the smell woke me up. It smelled so good that I woke up. And there it was: beautiful, golden stock. Stock for soup, for rice pilaf, for any number of sauces, gravies, and casseroles. Stock of ages!

Think about the poor cave man or whoever that was left with the bones from the woolly mammoth from whichthe rest of the tribe or polis picked all of the meat. They said, “oh well, I guess we’ll just have bone soup and DIE.” But it turns out that bone soup is the base for all sorts of goodness. Delicious goodness.

It might seem trite–people have been doing this since that cave man or whatever–but sometimes when it’s easy and tasty it’s feels like magic. Like you put these things together and the result is something entirely different but incredible in its own right.

On a personal note, I start work this week and expect to completely lose my mind. We shall seeeeeeeeeeeee.

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