there are moments and compositions of moments that gather daily to create my day. strong moments where i have all of the right words. brief moments where humanity is evident. quiet moments when my thoughts betray my mouth. louder moments yet that reveal too much in brazen honesty. shame and wickedness. shamelessness and integrity. dramatic undertakings and crusades of the heart, coupled with an understanding that gravity is only as heavy as we make it. daily i concede to the orchestrated and carefully woven texture that composes all of the hours. and here i like to mention that i’m paying attention, always paying attention.
i recently fell into a fortune of apples, simultaneously sweet and tart, amber and golden beacons of a colder season. they’re my favorite fruit, no contest. with a full heart i’ve recently baked them into every idea and mind frame possible. and with an even fuller heart i’ve converted them to help with en ever-lauded passing of time (soup). soup and stock are both the answers to this increasingly brisk weather we’re enduring. they’re an endless slate, lent freely to creativity in the kitchen – and nothing short of gold to have on hand. apples do not sell themselves short to this particular application.
here’s a song, and here’s to hoping your holidays are generously underway with all manners of warmth and elation that this time of year has the ability to offer. if something is amiss then may we seek to balance it out with acts of generosity and pureness of heart. intention is what we have to live by. and moments. and apples. stay tuned, later this week i plan to share something you can do with this.
- 6 medium apples, seeded and quartered
- 1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped (fronds reserved)
- 4 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces (leafy greens reserved if available)
- 4 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 large unpeeled onions, quartered
- 3 - ½ inch thick segments of ginger, smashed
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 small bunch thyme
- 2 tsp peppercorn
- 2 cups unfiltered apple cider (preferably unsweetened)
- 1 gallon water
- preheat oven to 400 degrees. toss the apple, fennel, celery, and carrot on a large sheet pan with the olive oil. season lightly with salt and pepper. on a separate, smaller sheet pan splay the onions and ginger out. roast all vegetables in oven, tossing occasionally, until browned - about 45 minutes.
- remove all of the vegetables from the oven and add to a large stock pot. add a cup of water to the large sheet pan and scrape any caramelized bits up - add this to the stock pot. add reserved fennel fronds and celery leaves. add fennel seed, parsley, thyme, peppercorns, apple cider, and water. bring the stock to a gradual and gentle simmer, over medium heat, and cook, partially covered for 3-4 hours.
- strain vegetables from stock and allow to cool. preserve in refrigerator or freezer.