Here we are fast approaching the last of February, a month that has given us many bright, beautiful, sunny days. Not warm yet, by any means, but that good ol' sunshine makes the still cold temperatures much more tolerable.
Even though true spring time may be firmly in sight for some of you, we've still got the heavy snows of March coming up in our area of northern Minnesota.
We actually get the majority of inches of our snowfall in the month of March. But it's a different kind of snow, one that falls and then melts to a certain degree with increasingly warmer temperatures. We still have to plow and shovel but often it can be done wearing a sweatshirt rather than four layers under a down work jacket.
I started to make some beef gravy to have on hand in the freezer a day or so ago only to discover I was plumb out of beef bone broth. So this morning I've got two of my medium-sized stock pots full of browned, organic, grass-fed beef soup bones. Sure does create a delightful aroma wafting through the house.
When the meat is tender, I'll cut it off the bones and wrap it in packages to have in the freezer for beef hash, soups and stews, etc. Then the bones go back into the pots with the water-turning-into-broth to simmer for the next couple of days. Recommended time for simmering is 10 to 12 hours, probably the longer the better.
The resulting broth is brown, flavorful and quite gelatinous, chock-full of nutrition and all kinds of good stuff. Lots of amino acids, plus it's said to protect joints and help fight osteoarthritis while reducing inflammation in the body. The broth heals the gut and helps to speed our body's healing process. It may even give us better skin, hair and nails while aiding in our much needed restorative sleep and could encourage weight loss. Who can't love all that?
This morning I also spent some quality time in the basement with our remaining onions and garlic. It's necessary to sort through them periodically and toss any that have soft spots . . . or worse.
We still have plenty of garlic. The bigger bulbs in the front are Siberian and the smaller ones in the back are Blanak. I planted this coming year's crop from the biggest of each variety last fall.
I'm hoping the onions will last at least until some scallions are ready in the garden this spring. We had two full milk crates of both the yellow (Stuttgarter Riesen) and the red (Red Comred). The remaining yellows fill about half of one crate and the reds fill about 3/4 of another.
Both the onions and garlic keep well for us in the dry basement at about 52 degrees Fahrenheit.
Next today is a haircut/beard trim for a shaggy Papa Pea and then I'll sit at the kitchen table and start planning where everything will be planted in this year's garden.
Yikes, it's 2 o'clock and I have no idea what to make for our second meal of the day at 4:30. Better decide that pronto!
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