Saturday, March 10, 2012

Daylight Savings and Perpetual Bone Broth

What, you ask, do these two things have to do with each other? Nothing really, except they are both on my mind right now.

Yesterday, I heard a DJ say that it is nice, on a farm, to have the extra hour of day light that daylight savings gives. Dude, you have the SAME NUMBER OF HOURS OF DAYLIGHT HOWEVER YOU NUMBER THEM!!!! Yes, I meant to yell. The time changes drive me crazy, and now its even worse. Please, Mr. Politician, can you explain to my baby that he needs to adjust his sleep and nap schedule?

As for the perpetual bone broth idea... I'm not sold. I set up the big crockpot (holds about 4 quarts) with 2 picked clean chicken carcasses. Yes, 2. The author of that post uses 1 in 6 quarts (if I read it right). After the first 24 hours, I ladled out some beautiful broth, just as I would normally do. I got out 2 quarts of golden, savory-smelling liquid gold.

This is normal. I added back in 2 or so quarts of water, and let the machine do its magic for another 24 hours. The broth, at that point, was the proper color, but didn't smell as strong nor taste as strong. But I filled the machine with an appropriate amount of water, again, and let it go for another 24 hours. At the end of that 24 hours, it seemed more like broth colored water than actual broth, so I decided to let it go for another 24 hours. 

Inadvertently, I discovered that my crockpot doesn't work like I thought it did. Its always cooked a bit on the hot side, and its got to be full or food will burn. It seems that the crockpot just adds a particular amount of heat, rather than keep the food at a particular temperature. (I hope that makes sense) This meant that after 48 hours on low, the broth was a full, rolling boil. ACK! So I turned it down and we ladled out the broth later that evening.

I used it for chicken soup the next day. Yep, colored water. Maybe I am just too picky about these things? I demand that the broth congeal when it cools down (showing its got the collagen, thus protein, from the bones) and that it taste strongly of chicken (or beef or whatever the bones are from). I can buy colored water from the store, thank you very much.

Could be a few issues.... my crockpot cooks too hot; the chickens I used just aren't as "good" (I don't use specially marked organic or free range, or what-have-you); or my standards are just too high and the 4th, 5th and 6th run of broth really is more than colored water.

So, with my crockpot and my chickens, I might start giving bones a second run for broth, but not a third. I think we will continue to live in at a broth shortage status quo for now.

Has anyone else tried this? I know Mrs. Mac tried it and it seemed to have worked out for her. If you have feed back or ideas, please let me know!


  1. I tried it once .. but used my slow burner on the stove (not the crock pot) and I started with a whole chicken (uncooked). We kept it going for five days and then I tired of tending to it. But it did give us five days of golden and very flavorful broth. Chicken broth is harder to congeal than beef .. and really by the 4th or 5th day you should be getting the benefits of more calcium than gelatin.

    I prefer my old method of taking my largest stock pot (humongous) .. and adding about 10 chicken backs, onion, celery, carrots and let it lightly simmer for hours ... separating the fat and straining and freezing it in wide mouth canning jars. We are never without either beef or chicken stock. It's worth the effort to make your own as it's more nutritious than store bought .. and makes for quick homemade soup. I do think some crock pots work differently than others .. sorry yours didn't come work as stated in the link I gave.

    Now about day light savings time. If we didn't have it in our area, dawn would arrive about 2:45 AM. As it is, the birds start chirping at 3:30 and the sky lightens around 3:45 AM in the summer. However, it is a pain for about a week with sleeping babies .. for sure.

  2. P.S. If you can find chicken feet (I actually saw them in an airtight bag in the frozen meat section of our health food store) .. they add tons of gelatin to chicken stock .. I read today the most factory chickens don't make very gelatinous stock.

  3. You are at the far end of a time zone, aren't you? That would skew the time, for sure. And if its about numbering the daylight hours, I don't like it, but I can accept it. But to claim that we get "1 more hour of daylight" is just wrong. If the sun is going down an hour earlier, it means its coming up an earlier as well.

    Hmmm... might have to try chicken feet sometime. I not keen on purchasing something just for stock, but if I have to. Usually I get quite gelatinous stock, but that is only on the first run. So, I'll just stick to doing it the way I've done it for years.... bones in the crockpot with water for 24 hours. Then done.

  4. I know that most people hate DST but I really appreciate it. Now, I can enjoy some daylight after work in the evenings!

  5. So then, lets set our clocks to this way of numbering the hours and keep it this way! I, too, really enjoy the longer hours of daylight in the evening, but I also like early sun rises... hmmm... maybe I just need to move around summer and winter to get those really long days. Canada in the summer, and South Africa in the winter (NA winter, that is).


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