"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

down the learning curve . . .

2nd time around. . .

2nd time around. . .

You know how frustrating it is and full of obstacles the first time you go somewhere and don’t know how to get there? Or trying out new equipment that doesn’t turn ON even though it seems like it should be a piece of cake by just pushing a button? Well, if you’ve been reading my posts about making bone broth, you’ll be able to see in this post that it’s all downhill the learning curve from here! YAY!

First of all, I got to take my first precious cargo of bone broth out of the freezer this morning and to my relief, the fat had all risen to the top and congealed into a waxy pod that was easily removed by sliding a knife around the container. Next, I was glad to see that underneath it, the broth was gelatinous just the way it’s supposed to be in order to be healthy. Finally, I warmed some up and drank it in the nice cup that C. gave me a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t as bland as I had feared and the taste was satisfying. I plan to have it when the spirit moves me throughout the day with a light supper tonight. That’s less than 500 calories which meets the quota to count as a mini-fasting day.

Then, I got the idea of doing fasting with the bone broth more often than twice a week. How about semi-fasting most days at breakfast and lunch, then eating a light high-protein supper with a salad or small serving of vegetables? Sound good? It did to me.

So I took out 3 lbs. of marrow bones and beef ribs from the learning-curve-1freezer this morning and put them into a big pan to roast for an hour and ten minutes at 425 degrees. Afterwards, I’ll cut up the carrots, celery, onion and start up the Instant Pot to 75 minutes.

When it’s done, I’ll have three more containers of rich bone broth to cool and put into the freezer. One difference I noticed is that yesterday, I manually vented the steam early since I was anxious to look at the broth. Today, I let it “cool down” on its own and the heating part went on for another hour. Lo and behold when I opened it up, strained the broth and poured it into the containers, it was much darker than the batch yesterday. Richer looking. I don’t know if the extra gestating time had to do with that but I’ll know more when I compare the taste too. In any case, I’m going to follow the slower regimen that I did today – and see how the next beef broth batch comes out. I also harvested all the cooked marrow and beef bits although I don’t have any idea what to do with it besides chucking it into the freezer and figuring it out later.

Then, I’ll be able to experiment with a) how hungry I feel; b) whether my body wants solid food or not; and c) how to balance the two out as the days go on the remainder of the week. If it feels manageable, I think I’ll try out the semi-fasting with bone broth for two meals awhile and see whether it makes an impact by Thanksgiving (about 11 weeks from now.) (This morning, I ate a few tamari almonds to slake any boredom that might hit with just the bone broth.)

It’s so interesting (to me at least) to observe and learn something new like this with new equipment to boot. The true “reveal” will occur when I see what this does to make me feel healthier and to lose some weight. Fingers crossed and results to come!


serving bone broth . . .

For anyone who might be thinking of trying this at home, I thought it might be helpful to see what the broth looks like when it is stored and served.

bone-broth-servingsThis photo shows containers holding approximately 3 cups of broth in each one. The one in the middle is fresh from the freezer where you can see a congealed layer of fat on the top. It comes out easily after running a knife around the edge and looks a little like wax.

The container on the right shows the gelatinous broth before it is thawed completely. And the cup on the left contains warm broth.

By the way, it tastes good. Enough flavor to make it satisfying to drink. It’s also not too bland. I’m waiting to see whether I go through all three containers today or not.

Probably will. Worth it too.

additional bone broth notes . . .

bone broth . . .

bone broth . . .

Okay, so I just opened up the Instant Pot and peered into the soup to see if it was cooked sufficiently. The beef was falling off the bone so I am now able to confirm that 75 minutes pressure cooked is long enough. There was a layer of fat on top when I took this photo.

I then began to rummage around the stock to see how the bones fared. And it suddenly struck me that bone marrow – such an English delicacy that antique marrow spoons were made to enjoy it – was still left in the bones! So I fished them all out and decided to harvest the beef and the marrow before discarding the bones. Unlike some broths made on the stove – like chicken – the beef was tender and not tough, and also still had some taste. I’m going to think about what to do with the harvested marrow and beef later on – and will freeze them for now.bone-broth-2

After the broth cools enough for me to pour it through a sieve, I’ll then divide it into quart soup containers and put them in the freezer – the fat should rise to the top to be skimmed off before heating it up and drinking it on my first mini-fast day. Cheers!

Postscript: Just realized that with all the hoopla and marketing for this “21-day diet that will change your life by mini-fasting 2X a week on homemade bone broth” that it’s ONLY SIX TIMES that one is drinking bone broth instead of eating during those three weeks!

So depending upon how much each serving you drink, 6 X a day, you’ll probably be making bone broth 3-4 times altogether. After the 21 day diet, I do plan to continue with more beef bones/ribs that I have in the freezer. Just wanted to give readers some sense of scale of this whole thing.

The biggest lesson learned of all that I experienced with all this activity is that the Instant Pot is an absolutely great cooking machine, once I figured out how to turn it ON using the manual button rather than pre-programmed ones!

It’s made of high quality material with a substantial stainless cooking pot. It’s quiet, it’s safe to use and it works FAST relatively speaking. I’m planning to try it out to make a veal ragu to serve with pappardelle noodles for a piano party we’re having in mid-October. And maybe Irish oatmeal in the mornings that usually takes half an hour on the stove when the weather gets colder.

writing a ‘last letter’ . . .

Here’s a link to an article about “Writing a Last Letter (while you’re still healthy.)”