Beef Stock

The house smelled really good yesterday. I took about 10 pounds of beef bones out of the freezer to make stock. I used the instructions for making bone broth (yes, I know, we used to call it stock) which calls for a first step of blanching the bones. I recognized this process—although I don't call it blanching—because it is the same thing my mother taught me to do with chickens when making chicken soup. You cover the chicken with cold water, bring it to "an aggressive simmer," and skim off all the icky stuff that floats to the top. It makes for much clearer stock. 

When the bones were done blanching, I arranged them in my roasting pan and put them in a 450 degree oven for about an hour. The dogs were just beside themselves, and this is why:

These look like the beef bones we pay $10 apiece for at the farm store. The dogs get them on major holidays, like Christmas and when I need to keep them quiet and entertained for a couple of hours. Perhaps I should start a new business roasting dog bones to sell. These cost me much less than $10 apiece, although they aren't going to the dogs just yet. They were put in the big roaster and covered with water. I left them to simmer ("aggressively") overnight. By the end of today, I should have some really nice beef stock. The dogs may get the bones after that. 

I also cooked down a ham bone, too. I didn't make red beans and rice last week because I didn't have any kidney beans—but now I do!—so I am going to make some for dinner tonight. I have hospital list again today and it will be a nice, easy meal. Of course, there will also be a salad. 


I did no weeding last night because it rained. It's supposed to be showery all day today, too, although then we are setting up for a lovely week of sunshine and temps in the upper 70s and low 80s. Ali stopped by after dinner, so I gave her two of the three grocery bags I made for her. I ran out of yellow canvas (hers are navy blue bottoms and yellow tops) but managed to snag another remnant of yellow at Jo-Anns the other day. I'll finish the third one this week. I worked on the ones for DD#2's boyfriend last night. They just need to be turned inside out, pressed, and topstitched and they will be done. The Big Guy (that is just how I keep referring to the industrial Necchi now) and I are ready to work on something else.

[The guy who does the South Main Auto videos on YouTube refers to his air hammer as "Big Nasty," which I think is really funny. They are very entertaining videos. The other night, I learned how to replace a worn-out wheel bearing on a Toyota Prius. I am sure that information will come in handy one of these days.]

I belong to the Necchi Industrial sewing machine group on Facebook. It's a wealth of information, although pinning down the models and dates of manufacture of some of these machines is really tricky. There just aren't as many Necchi industrials—especially here in the US—as there are Singers. And the older Necchis, like mine, seem to be even less common. A young guy joined the group yesterday after inheriting his grandfather's Necchi industrial treadle. His grandfather used it to make shoes in Italy. The machine is similar to mine, but with a rounder profile. It must be older because it has the art deco lettering on it. 

I am so grateful to my friend Tera for helping me to get my machine from Salt Lake to Kalispell. (We have been trying to get together for a play date but so far, no luck.) It was absolute serendipity that I was able to find that machine so close. Interestingly, though, three other ones just like it are also on this side of the country: Peter—my sewing machine collecting friend in Seattle—has one that he bought in Coos Bay, Oregon; a guy named Tom in Wyoming has one and was a great help in getting mine operational; and a woman named Connie (I think in California) also has one. I think it's fascinating how certain machines end up in certain areas. Cleveland has a glut of White machines because the factory was headquartered there. Peter and I met because I found a Meister (obviously a German brand) sewing machine here in Whitefish and sold it to him. We since have located another three or four of them here and in Spokane and they just aren't common machines. Was there a dealer here? Things to ponder. 

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