Last month I held the first of my new series of homesteading workshops here in my home in Portland, Oregon. Co-hosting along with me was Christiann and together we’d made a really fun and interesting day filled with tasty soups, stocks, broths, and breads. We went over the means of making a good soup, including the maillard reaction (when food turns gold while cooking due to the caramelization of the sugars within), thickening agents (flour, potatoes, eggs), layering flavors (adding sensitive bright flavors like fresh herbs towards the end of a long cooking time), cooking times (the advantages and disadvantages of each), animal parts, and so on. Christiann and I had spent the day prior cooking up a bunch of different stocks for the attendees to take home, and also for the test-test portion of the workshop. We laid out 8 bowls and a row of spoons, and together we tasted and compared the flavors of 6 hour versus 12 hour pork neck broth made with pork bones from Champoeg Creamery, 12 hour pork foot broth, 3 hour whole chicken stock made with chickens from Marion Acres, 3 hour chicken wing stock, avgolemono soup (chicken stock, lemon juice, and egg), roasted vegetable stock, and raw vegetable stock. The crowd favorites were the 12-hour pork neck broth and the avgole mono soup, and it was really interesting to taste the effect that the cooking time had on the stock side-by-side, and how different parts of the animal affected the flavor and richness of the stock (the chicken wing stock was much thicker and more flavorful than the whole chicken stock, due to all the cartridge from the joints in the wings).
We also had a DIY stock portion, where attendees teamed up and got to pluck produce from a table full of raw ingredients and make their own stocks, which simmered over our lunch break. For lunch, Christiann had made a giant braided loaf of bread and a bunch of twisted buns, which we had along with a traditional Japanese tonkatsu ramen made with the 12 hour pork neck stock, autumn chili made from a roasted vegetable stock, and delicious Vermont Creamery cheeses. After lunch we did a group taste test of everyone’s stocks and it was really surprising how different everyone’s stocks turned out considering they were pulling from the same general pool of ingredients. Using carrots in the stock made it noticeably sweeter, and a hefty dose of peppercorns left one stock with a wonderfully intense peppery bite after the end of each sip, whereas the stock with a good amount of mushrooms had a wonderful umami flavor to it. We ended the day by discussing the nutritional benefits of bone both (basically they’re chock full of amino acids, which are the building blocks of all your cells) and talking about our favorite soups.
Everyone got sent home with soup socks and herb sachets from the Food 52 Shop, poultry seasoning from Marion Acres two linen tea towels and recipe cards from Heirloomed Collection, a Hatchery box, a pint of homemade bone broth, and a pint of homemade vegetable stock. We got to meet so many wonderful people and had such a great time staying warm inside eating a bunch of delicious stocks and stews while the winter wind whipped around outside. Thank you again to all of our attendees for coming, and a huge thanks to all of our sponsors below. We’re having another Scratch Session next month on April 2nd and we’ll be diving into mastering fermentation at home (think sourdough bread, kombucha, sauerkraut, and kefir), and in May we’ll be making spring floral wreaths over mother’s day weekend with Selva Floral and learning about edible flowers. You can sign up at the link below, we’d love to have you join us!