I have been waiting for this book to come out and I was so excited when it finally arrived! I might live beyond the reach of Walgreens or Starbucks but I do not live beyond the reach of Amazon! I love it so much that I am getting a copy for my mother. She made sure that bone broth was THE staple of our childhoods. I was raised on bone broth but not to the degree that my younger brother was. He was born premature in the 70s when this was a frightening ordeal. He tolerated nothing well, not breastmilk and certainly not formula, and lived on beef broth. Later my mother fed him goat's milk (which is low in B12 and folic acid so it is not a good mainstay unless it is supplemented, see HERE). My childhood centered around soup. As a teen, to be honest, I resented it. I wanted things that were more like what other people ate and not the constant soup bowl. I used to tell my mother that I wanted a meal "that we can chew and not sip" which was unkind. Somehow, she knew just how nourishing and healing the broth is.
We never threw out bones but they went into the perpetual soup pot, a pumpkin orange colored crock pot with brown line drawings of veggies all the way around. We were poor growing up and this was her economy. She would add more water as needed and after a while, there was nothing to be done with the bones but toss them and start over. We ate it in soups, stews, rice and even drank it in mugs my mother had which had soup recipes printed on them. We always ate it. Now when I think back to all the bowls of soup my mother fed us over the years, she was not being merely economical but being profoundly wise. Even today when someone is sick, sad, grieving, or hurt my mother pulls out her pot and starts soup. The apple does not fall far from the tree. When my husband's uncle fell ill, my first compulsion was to make ox tail soup from the bones of our grass fed steer which bought from our neighbors down the road. I am grateful that I learned early on to be pained when I saw someone throw away bones, well before I had even heard of Nourishing Traditions.
While this book is full of vibrant personal accounts, it is not just the anecdotes that make this book one worth having. None of the books in the line of Nourishing Traditions are just cook books, fundamentally they are teaching texts. Sally Fallon Morell wrote this book with Dr. Kaayla T. Daniel, the witty but brilliant author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food. If you have not read this book, not only is it informative and well researched, she pretty darn funny. In the new broth book, she has not lost her snappy charm nor her well honed research abilities. This book starts off with a thorough explanation of MSG as well as the various types and forms of collagen in proper bone broth as well as an honest look at its mineral content and what it contains and what it does not. This means more than you think because most people believe bone broth is higher in calcium than it actually is. This is not as problematic as you might think, it is actually just fine. There are copious other minerals in the bone broth that can and do contribute to strong bones and teeth. What they are and how they work is all part of the information part of the book.
But it is also a cook book. The book covers the preparation of all kinds of stocks which start from all kinds of animal bones and even includes how to make a decent stock as quickly as possible. It is not as rich or tasty as long simmered stock but some is better than none. There are copious instructions for making the basic sauces, as in the basic French sauces, and recipes for using stock in all kinds of foods and not just soups. If you are completely grain free, there is even a set of instructions on how to use an onion as a thickener so that the resulting sauce is completely starch free. I have not yet tried that but it on the plan to do so as soon as possible.
The cover illustrations and the internal ones are very like the other books in the series, which is not actually a series, and my kids recognized it as soon as I opened the box. The funny thing is, we have also been laughing over a specific illustration on page 253. It looks like, well, worms. Get the book and tell me what you think but I swear, it looks like a 9x13 pan of potting soil and earth worms. Worms are good, just not eating good. Seriously, get the book. Tell me what you see.
Since we are taking about broth, I thought I would drop in a little recipe of my own. It is called Sopa de Fideo and it is usually made with vermicelli which also happens to look a bit like worms. See? It is all full circle here. The name is Spanish and it means thin noodle soup. In this largest skillet, this one is twelve inches across and about three inches deep. I cover the bottom liberally with olive oil and I break organic noodles in half and toss in. Brown them carefull, just using tongs to "flip" over the layer of noodles. When it is done, carefully, carefully, really carefully, top the whole thing with whatever left over meat you have. Then even more carefully, pour over the bone broth. Bring to a boil and stir until the broth is all absorbed. One pound of noodles, one pound of meat, and two quarts of broth later and I have a meal that feeds my entire brood of ten for lunch. No kidding. Only a pound of meat and a pound of noodles. What could be easier? It is delicious and it is nutritious because it all starts with broth.
(By the way, that down there is an affilliate link. If you buy something, I will get a kickback. I use those kickbacks to buy groceries and then I write recipes which is good for you. If you buy something you get the, well whatever, and then recipes later. How cool is that?)