photo 1Who doesn’t love a cup of hot, savory, broth when it’s -3 degrees during winter in Chicago?! I know I do! Which is why I jumped at the opportunity to take Melea Alexander’s class: Holy Scrap! How (and Why) to Make Delicious & Nourishing Broths from Trimmings and Leftovers. I learned so much that I wasn’t expecting!

Broths & stocks are nutrient rich and easy to digest, which make them especially good for the very young, old, ill or immune compromised. With a richness in minerals and collagen, stocks support GI and joint health, and can even help seal a leaky gut. Making stocks and broths allows you to use your own vegetable scraps & leftover bones, as well as using arts of the animals which are considered ‘refuse’, like chicken feet or beef tendons, which become nourishing and sustaining when simmered slowly. Melea suggested having 3 bags of scraps, which you can store in your freezer until you’re ready to use them. One for bones (chickens, ducks, geese, quail, wild game, beef, lamb, pork), one for veggies (Carrot & potato peels, fennel tops, onion/shallot/garlic skins, ginger peels, celery tops) and one for fish bones & shellfish exoskeletons (oilier fish make a stronger broth than freshwater fish or delicate ocean fish), which makes it easy to start depending on the flavor profile you’re going for.

We tasted a rich mushroom vegan broth and a full-flavored chicken stock, made with chicken feet – now I definitely need to have more chicken feet in my life! Melea also had spices, seasonings, and herbs that we could add to the broths, as well as quail eggs, which added another layer of creamy deliciousness to the broth.

This class also embodied what Dabble is all about…connecting community through learning.Screen shot 2014-11-19 at 11.50.07 AM
The class was put on as a collaborative effort by The Dill Pickle, a community owned, locally focused, natural and organic food co-op, & Five Point Holistic Health, a worker cooperative specializing in East Asian Medicine including acupuncture, herbal medicine, and dietary therapy, both located in Logan Square. The class was also hosted at The Logan Share, a bright, happenin’, fun neighborhood co-working space in Logan Square. In the cooperative spirit of fostering community, education, sustainability, self-reliance, and accessibility – The Dill Pickle and Five Point Holisitic Health created an ongoing educational series, called Homestead Logan Square. The goal of this workshop series is to empower you to take ownership of your urban landscape with topics ranging from fermentation to urban gardening to canning and more.

Quick Facts:

Come to this class with your…sister, brother, roommate, aunt, partner, knitting circle, neighbor, anyone who can save scraps & turn on a crock pot.

Use this class to…warm up inside when the Polar Vortex is happening outside!

You’d be surprised…that if you let mushrooms dry out in the sun, they soak up Vitamin D, which you then absorb when you eat them!

Highlight of the class: Tasting the broths & the fat rendered off the chicken stock, which I then added back into my stock for double rich deliciousness!

Appropriate hashtag: #NoScrapLeftBehind

Lingo: Stocks and broths both start off the same way: various kitchen scraps of vegetable, meat, and bone are slowly simmered to extract as much flavor as possible. For stock, it stops there — this is an unseasoned liquid that doesn’t taste all too great on its own, but makes a fantastic neutral base for soups, sauces, and other kitchen creations. Broths, on the other hand, get some seasoning. A more technical definition for broth would actually be “seasoned stock“.

What to do in the area: Restaurants: Lula Cafe, Longman and Eagle, Telegraph, Fat Rice, Thai Spice. Coffee Shops: New Wave Coffee, Intelligentsia, Gaslight Coffee Roasters, 2