Wednesday, September 2, 2020

One Click: Mayonnaise

One of life’s many delights is the joy of having choices. With a simple click, you’ll find recipes for three delicious homemade mayonnaises for summer sandwiches and salads. Included is this first, basic mayonnaise from cook extraordinaire Julia Child! 

Machine-Made Mayonnaise                     

Tarragon Mayonnaise

Basil Mayonnaise

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Olive Cheese Bread

Plenty of people have been baking during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what they’re baking is bread. The puff-’n’-stuff supermarket brand I once thought a bargain at $2.50 a loaf looks pretty expensive, now. 

Clues that home cooks are baking bread? 

• Flour and yeast have been in short supply since the crisis became part of our lives.

• New bread machines are hard to find. 

• Cast-iron Dutch ovens are also hard to find. Cast-iron Dutch ovens are essential for No-Knead Artisan Bread, which everyone wants to bake, just as everyone seems to have gone crazy over Sourdough Biscuits and Sourdough Bread. 

I recently made a 1-1/2 lb. (0.7 kg) loaf of Bread Machine Olive-Cheese Bread ... Wow! This is a bread machine recipe Ill definitely make over and over again. It’s a winner that deserves 5 out of 5 stars. If you don’t have a bread machine, follow the traditional method for hand-made bread, taking care to add the wet and dry ingredients in exactly the order the traditional recipe calls for.

Bread Machine Olive-Cheese Bread:

1 c. (250 mL) water, room temperature

3 tbsp. (45 mL) olive oil

1-1/2 tbsp. (22 mL) granulated sugar

3/4 tsp. (3.75 mL) dried thyme

1-1/2 tsp. (7.5 mL) salt (see Note)

3 c. (750 mL) bread flour

2-1/4 tsp. (11.25 mL) yeast 

1/2 c. (250 mL) crumbled feta cheese, well drained 

6 tbsp. (90 mL) coarsely chopped green olives, well drained (see Flavor Note)

3 tbsp. (45 ml) chopped, commercially sun-dried tomatoes, well drained and blotted dry

3 tbsp. (45 mL) additional bread flour

Place water, olive oil, sugar, thyme, salt, and flour into loaf pan of bread machine. Set for white bread, medium crust. Press Start button. 

In medium bowl, stir together feta, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes, distributing evenly. When first kneading is finished or when first beeper of bread machine sounds, sprinkle feta, olives, and tomatoes with additional bread flour. Mix quickly but well, adding to dough in bread machine. The machine will do the rest, baking a perfect loaf of this delicious and interesting bread.

Note: Do not reduce salt!

Flavor Note: Pimiento-stuffed olives impart the most wonderful flavor and ribbons of color to this bread. 

Friday, August 7, 2020

One Click: Stroganoff

The dish we know as Beef Stroganoff is steeped in Russian history. Wikipedia’s surprisingly weak entry on the topic left me wanting more. I still do. I found a lively, intrigue-filled description of how this dish came to be on a website that later dropped all reference to the Stroganoff family of Russia. Pity.

Onward! Nicole Parton’s Favorite Recipes features several types of Stroganoff - not one of them as fascinating as the history lesson I read and lost, but nonetheless filling and delicious. I hope you'll try these One Click recipes for … 

Classic Beef Stroganoff     

Beef Tenderloin Stroganoff               

Jiffy Meatball Stroganoff   

Stroganoff with Meatballs                

Beef Stroganoff “Stew”

Ground Beef Stroganoff  

Turkey Stroganoff with Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

Turkey Stroganoff with Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Chickpea and Rice Salad

Canned chickpeas are a staple, at our house. They’re delicious, nutritious, low in fat, and never go to waste. I was poking around the kitchen cupboard a few days ago, wondering how if could make a salad with almost no “saladables” on hand, when I threw together these interesting ingredients and came up with a decent little salad I judged a “keeper.” 

Chickpea and Rice Salad:

3/4 c. (185 mL) white rice (see How to Cook Rice)

3/4 c. (185 mL) poultry or vegetable stock  commercial or homemade (see One Click: Stock)

1/4 c. (60 mL) water

1-1/2 tsp. (7.5 mL) soy sauce

2 tbsp. (10 mL) peeled and finely diced raw carrot

2 tbsp. (10 mL) finely diced raw celery and/or frozen peas

One 14-oz. (398 mL) can chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and blotted dry

2/3 c. (160 mL) large-diced, cooked, chilled poultry or firm fish, boned and skinned

1-1/2 tbsp. (23 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook rice in stock and water, adding more of either liquid according to which cooking method of you prefer. Chill cooked rice, stirring in soy until well blended. Add carrot, celery, and/or frozen peas and chickpeas, blending well. Stir in chilled chicken or fish, being careful to keep delicate diced fish intact. Add parley and seasonings. Chill at least 30 min. Serves 4 as a salad; 2 as a main dish.

Optional: Stir in a teaspoon of olive oil, if you wish; I found it wasn’t necessary.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

One Click: Chicken Wings

It was the battle of the century. In this corner, in the green silk bathrobe: Ronald (Chicken Lips) Earle! In that corner, in the red curlers: Nicole (Boom-Boom) Parton! It’s the ... Great Chicken Wing Cook-Off! 

(Obvious “bid for sympathy” shot)
Nicole (Boom-Boom) Parton.

The Prize? We won’t mention the prize,
 but it sure looks like chicken feet ...

The contest: Chicken Lips’ (preposterous) belief that his wings could fly higher than Boom-Boom’s. The method: Each of these idiots cooked 4 lb. (1.8 kg) of chicken wings. 

And then they sat down to over-eat. After that, they both got sick. Boom-Boom insisted Chicken Lips’ wings won. Chicken Lips insisted Boom-Boom’s won. After turning the (unmentionable prize) into soup stock, they called it a draw, agreeing they would never, ever do this again. 

We baked our wings in similar dishes - Ron’s clear ...

And Nicole’s tinted blue, so they could tell their wings apart.

Ron marinated his Honey-Garlic Chicken Wings.

Nicole’s Sticky Ginger Wings needed no marination..

As the sets of wings baked side-by-side, 
the Cook-Off took off!

Which wings won? You decide. These and other Wing 
recipes are findable as One Click: Chicken Wings
 or Chicken Wings: One Click.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

How to Make Dry Onion Soup Mix

This is an excellent recipe for ... 

How to Make Dry Onion Soup Mix:

½ c. (125 mL) dried onion flakes
1 tsp. (5 mL) onion powder
1 tsp. (5 mL) garlic powder
½ tsp. (5 mL) celery powder
½ tsp. (2 mL) fine black pepper
1 tsp. (5 mL) dried parsley
1 tsp. (5 mL) salt

Combine well. Store in cool, dark place in airtight container up to 6 months. This is a very handy soup mix for camping (it takes about a tablespoon (15 mL) of this mix in a boiling water to make a satisfying mug of soup. A small amount of the dry mix can also be used as an ingredient in Onion Meat Loaf - a comforting cold-weather meal.

Friday, July 24, 2020

One Click: Sangria

If you have a garden, patio, or porch, some wine, some fruit, a couple of glasses, and a pitcher, you can easily make Sangria

I once sipped so much of my own Sangria at a garden lunch I hosted that I put my head on the table and fell asleep beside the soup and every course that followed. 

(I think of this each time I serve Sangria or Chef Gunther Gugelmeyer’s Chilled Rhubarb Soup! My guests served each course while I sawed logs at the table, oblivious to them or to lunch. At the end of the meal, my guests led me to bed, where I continued snoring until late in the afternoon.)

All good things in moderation!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

One Click: An Overview

This blog is nine years old: It’s time I made your recipe search faster and easier.

Rather than suggest you check the Index for whichever recipe you’re reading, I’m in the process of providing quick links - One Click and you’ll go directly to it and other, related recipes

Feel like making stew? One click on the post immediately below this one (headed Stew: One Click) will quickly link you to every stew recipe on this blog. The Index won’t do that, because you’d need to search for Stew/Pork, Stew/Chicken, and so forth. The search box won’t do that, either, because many other hits that barely mention the word stew also pop up.

Clicking on a single stew you come across in the Index will now lead to others. Clicking on Stew: One Click is even better. I still have plenty of work ahead of me, but that’s the direction in which this blog is heading.

My intent is to present you with other interesting Stew recipes you may not have considered when you began looking for Stew. You’ll still want to check the Index, or use the nifty little search box at the top left of the main page, but you’ll now have a quicker and more interesting search tool at your disposal.

Checking One Click in the Index will show new categories over the next couple of days. One Click: Chicken Wings will definitely be one to watch for!

What else is happening with this blog? In addition to the One Click project:

• I’ve been converting the many recipes in this blog from the tiny font I started with 11 years ago to the larger, easier-to-read font I use today. I’ll soon start converting recipes published in 2013, 2012, and 2011 - a lot of posts, with technical problems along the way, so this won’t be fast!

• I’ve also been converting the entire blog to both metric and Imperial measurements - something Mexican, Australian and European readers will be glad to see. 

• Down the road, I plan to greatly simplify the Index, making it easier for you to find what you’re looking for. The One Click project will be helpful, there, too. A couple of One Click listings already appear in the Index. Take a look! 

On the surface, not much has changed - except that Nicole Parton’s Favorite Recipes is gradually evolving into a more effective tool for your quicker and easier recipe picks. I hope you’ll feel as enthusiastic about these changes as I do! 

One Click: Stew

It’s time to think about stew - not in the Northern Hemisphere, perhaps, but for readers in Australia and New Zealand, where it’s winter. You’ll find a variety of stews on this blog, with each linking to the others in a system I call “grouping.” 

You can always look stews up in the Index, but with so many different categories, you may miss one or two. This linked listing should greatly simplify your choices, Give it a test run to see how it works!

Beef Stew:

Pork Stew:

Poultry Stew: 

Vegetarian Stew:

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

How to Measure Ingredients Accurately

I first wrote this post in 2011. It’s not exciting or funny, but it’s time to say it again for a new generation of cooks!

A few words about measuring ingredients. Experienced cooks can skip this stuff, but novices - or anyone who suffers too many cooking failures - should not.

Most of this blog is expressed in Imperial measure, but the desire to do better set in and I'm in the process of converting this blog to dual measurements. So here’s where things get complicated. 

This blog is read internationally. Strictly speaking, foods such as flour and sugar should be measured by weight, rather than volume. Here in North America, weighing dry goods is rare. Weighing meats and fish, however, is common and often necessary.

That’s why I’ve expressed 1 c. all-purpose flour or sugar, for example, in milliliters (mL) rather than in grams (g). It’s far easier for us cooks to rely on a measuring cup than a weigh scale, so I’ve presented flour and sugar as they appear in your measuring cup rather than offering their weights. Weighing ingredients (as professional chefs do) is a more accurate measurement, but most of us aren’t professional chefs and most of the cookbooks we use weren’t written for pros.

Unless you’re trying a new and complex recipe, you can usually get away without measuring the ingredients used in soup, meat, fish, and veggie dishes. 

Baked goods are a whole different story. Think of them as a chemical equation. When a bread recipe calls for a certain quantity of salt, or a pinch of sugar stirred in with the yeast, don’t omit or reduce either, or your bread will fall flat. As you go along, you’ll learn that some ingredient combinations - dairy sour cream and baking soda, for example - produce a strong chemical reaction. I love to watch the air bubbles form when that happens, knowing they’ll play an essential part in leavening the cake or cookie or whatever else it is I
’m making.

Because you don’t want to wait too long once a reaction like this starts, I prefer to measure out the necessary ingredients in advance - always a sound cooking practice. The second part of this leavening process occurs with the addition of beaten eggs and baking powder. Experienced cooks who give this or any other recipe a quick read-through will immediately know they can expect such a cake to be light and airy, rather than heavy and dense. 

The measurement lesson here? Unless you’re experienced enough to read through a recipe and recognize it as a poor bet for success, do what the recipe instructs. Experienced cooks often change ingredients to create something completely new, but they rarely tamper with the basics - the balanced chemical components that make the thing “work.” Always have your ingredients at room temperature for baked goods other than pastry.

Leaving metric and Imperial measure aside, there are two kinds of measuring cups - “dry” and “wet.” As their names suggest, they have very different uses. Dry ingredients such as flour and granulated sugar are heaped into a “dry” measuring cup before being leveled off. Made of plastic or metal, these measuring cups tend to be opaque or solid, because you don’t need to see through them. 

If a cake is expected to be light and feathery, the flour, baking powder, salt, and soda are often combined before being added to whatever it is you’re making. I don’t own or need an actual “sifter” - I just spoon the ingredients through a sieve and onto a sheet of waxed paper, from which I measure it. 

Occasionally, recipes will call for a “scant” cup or a “scant” tablespoon. That means “slightly less” than a regular cup or tablespoon, with no leeway for extra! 

Here’s how: Using a large spoon and an upward motion, gently spoon 
about twice the amount of flour your recipe requires into a “dry” measuring cup until it rises well above the surface. Without compacting it, level it off straight across the measuring cup using a metal frosting spreader or large knife.

Using the same method, sift icing or “confectioners” sugar before measuring it: It sometimes contains lumps that are a nuisance to beat out. 

Whether light or dark, brown sugar is measured very differently. Unless a recipe says otherwise, brown sugar should be tightly packed into a dry measuring cup.

Liquid ingredients including water, milk, eggs, oil, and so forth are quantified in “wet” measuring cups. Made of plastic or glass, these tend to be see-through, allowing you to eyeball the measurement with accuracy. Don’t do this from above and don’t do this as you hold the measuring cup. For an accurate measurement, place it on a flat surface, looking directly across to the level of liquid inside. 

Unless a recipe states otherwise, use large eggs. For best results in baking cakes and cookies, eggs and fats should always be at room temperature. Fat should be chilled for pastry-making.

Solid fats such as butter, margarine, and shortening are measured differently again. If the fat is cold and hard, I use what’s called the “water displacement method.” It’s basically simple. Let’s say your recipe calls for ⅓ c. (80 mL) fat. Fill your 1 c. (250 mL) “wet” measuring cup with 2/3 c. (160 mL) water. Press enough fat below the water line until the water level of water rises to the 1. c. (250 mL) mark.  

Measuring solid fats by the water displacement method.

One more time: To measure 1/2 c. (125 mL) fat, add 1/2 c. (125 mL) water to your “wet” measuring cup, pressing enough fat below the water line until the water level measures one full cup (250 mL). Although this method is messy, it’s the very best way to measure the fat used to make pie pastry, for example. Making things a little easier, one U.S. stick of butter equals 1/2 c. (125 mL).

For cakes and cookies - neither of which are as fussy to bake as pies - I generally allow the fat to soften at room temperature, and press it as hard as I can into a dry measuring cup before leveling it off. You can use this method if you’re certain there are no air pockets to throw off your measurement.

One last quick word about measurements: Read the ingredient wording carefully! “1 c. (250 mL) chopped nuts” is very different from “1 c. (250 mL) nuts, chopped.” In the first measurement, you’ll need more than a cup of nuts to achieve the “chopped nuts” measure. In the second measurement, you’ll need exactly a cup of nuts, and will have less than a cup after they’ve been chopped. These simple but important techniques will enhance your cooking success.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Into the Bag #5: “The Zucchini Loaf Incident”

I’m sobbing uncontrollably as I write this post. I’ve never pretended to be Martha Stewart. If I were Martha Stewart, I’d have a rap sheet and would be old and rich. The old part, I already am, but I digress. 

Most of you readers know I’m not a gourmet cook. I’m … I’m … just a semi-ordinary woman who likes to cook, so how can one reader be so cruel? 

I am, of course, referring to Mrs. Harold Schermerlinger of Philadelphia, who regular readers will recognize as a frequent letter-writer to this blog (actually, the only letter-writer, but who’s counting?). 

I’ve just reached into the mailbag to find yet another letter from Mrs. Harold Schermerlinger, whose words bite harder than Seymour, my last dog, who sank his teeth into my son’s forehead and just sort of dangled there, not wanting to let go. 

Seymour would still be hanging on and my son would be 6 ft. under if I hadn’t distracted him with “Go-o-od boy! Here’s a cookie!” Many bites later, we rewarded him with the “long sleep.” (Seymour. Not my son.)

The last time Mrs. Harold Schermerlinger wrote, she said she and Mr. Harold Schermerlinger were going to sue me

Lucky for me, they relentedbut this time, Mrs. Harold Schermerlinger (just let me blow my nose) writes: 

“I’ve never read a recipe blog worse than yours! Mr. Harold Schermerlinger is partial to Zucchini Loaf, so I thought I’d follow your stupid recipe using the 5 lb. zucchini an anonymous neighbor dumped outside our front door.  

“Thanks to this #$@! recipe, my Zucchini Loaf looked like Steven Tyler before his facelift. My husband of 44-1/2 years, Mr. Harold Schermerlinger, and our 45-year-old triplets, will forever avoid your blog!”

It’s a good thing - Martha Stewart.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Atta-Boy Dog Biscuits

Hey, happy tail-waggers! In my long-ago days as a newspaper columnist, I once rated dog foods by sampling them. (No wonder they called me a bitch). I was particularly partial to something called “Beggin’ Strips.” Said the label: “Dogs will love the taste of these delicious snacks so much they’ll never know they’re low in fat.” 

None of the dogs I’ve known cared all that much about nutritional labeling, but the discerning dogs you have are probably into stuff like Pilates, yoga, and meditation. All I’ve ever had were your average, everyday-come-what-may bed-hogging dogs. 

Never mind: Whether your dog craves $200 spa massages or rolls in Trump, your pooch will love these homemade treats! Ron thought they were yummy, too.

Atta-Boy Dog Biscuits:

1-¼ c. (310 mL) whole wheat flour
¼ c. (60 mL) powdered milk
½ tsp. (2.5 mL) garlic powder
1-½ tsp. (7.5 mL) wheat germ
½ tsp. (2.5 mL) beef bouillon granules
2-½ (13.5 mL) tbsp. bacon fat, strained or unstrained 
½ egg
¼ c. (60 mL) ice water

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. In medium bowl, stir together flour, powdered milk, garlic, wheat germ, and bouillon granules. Stir in the bacon fat (strained or unstrained) and half-an-egg (whisk a whole egg to combine white and yolk, using half of it). Add ice water 1 tbsp. at a time until dough forms ball. On lightly floured surface, roll dough out to ½-inch thickness, cutting into squares or 1 in. x 4-in. strips. Place biscuits 1-in. apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 25 to 30 min., or until firm. Cool before serving.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

How to Freeze Food

This post has appeared before, as have my recent posts on How to Make Stock. I’ve brought them back because this is a difficult time. Just as we’re all in this together, we all need to pull together and support one another as COVID-19 knocks on the door. 

Making stock is both comforting and practical. So’s freezing that stock, making what we have last, and wasting nothing. Ron and I have begun growing lettuce and herbs - something that can be done in a small space, providing a measure of satisfaction. We’ve just harvested the crop of garlic we planted last October. We’ve planted squash between the flowers, as we did last year. It’s good to have something to look forward to, and we’re looking forward to this.

Although this “How to” series likely features things you know, not everyone does.  My tried-and-true method for How to Freeze Food may be “different” from yours. It may also give you a much-needed laugh. Hang on, Dollinks ... hang on.

I am a highly organized woman. I balance my check book to the penny, file every receipt, keep warranties, and generally have my life in order - the exception being the archeological dig that is our freezer. I’m reasonably well-stocked in the freezer department - the only minor crisis being an occasional imbalance in bits and bobs (too many bits - too few bobs). 

As I recently clawed my way through the ice to find last summer’s bacon fat, my thoughts turned to freezers. I wanted that bacon fat. I needed it. Nothing works better in my favorite recipe for Pennsylvania Red Cabbage. To save space, I’d stashed the fat in a thimble-sized plastic container, as any highly organized woman would do.

I excavated the levels of frozen food past Woodstock, past the Great Depression, past the Ming Dynasty… No bacon fat. Slowly coming to grips with the realization that it was gone, I speculated that it may have migrated to that mysterious place that houses single socks, or maybe into the hands of someone who wanted it even more than I did. Prime suspect? Ron. Clues? Freshly greased hair. Bacon-scented cologne. Paper-thin alibi.

That got me thinking about a system that would never fail (unless the item in question were bacon fat - which, as everyone knows, is highly prized as an ingredient in foods such as, um … bacon)

Forget the system we used in the ’80s. It was too obsessive ... too compulsive … too what-e-ver. 

Here’s how it worked back then: Let’s say you froze eight pork chops and six T-bones (I used to be more extravagant, actually buying T-bones. It was just T-bones, of course. I couldn’t afford the steak draped over them). So let’s return to our eight pork chops and six T-bones. 

Taped to the outside of the freezer was a little sign: “Pork chops,” it read. “T-bones.” And so forth. Beside the notation for “Pork chops” was  / / / / / / / / Next to “T-bones,” I wrote: / / / / / / 

Whenever something left the freezer, I stroked through the item count, changing it to an X. The system failed because our kids removed stuff willy-nilly. It was crazy-making. So now I just dig, using the same technique employed in the frantic search for victims flattened by fallen buildings.

Full disclosure? I’ve stopped putting pork in the freezer. We’ve been unable to stomach it since the time I bought a 23-lb. (10 kg) pork leg on sale at a buck a pound (Miss Piggy Goes to Market). We briefly considered converting to another religion to avoid pork, but our love of bacon and shellfish was overwhelming.

(Digression: I’m still traumatized by an unfortunate experience I had in the ’90s. I left town for a single day, only to return to see my then-husband glazed in sweat. He’d scraped through layers of ice to retrieve and chuck the bags of pumpkin I’d been saving since the ’70s for future use in soups and scones. Is it any wonder we divorced?)

My new system will be foolproof. It will be easy. It will organize your freezer and mine for once and forever (though finding the missing bobs is probably hopeless). Here goes:

(1) Peer into your sorry excuse of a freezer. You’re probably thinking “No room, no room!” Remember the Mad Hatter’s tea party? Using my system, you’ll soon have plenty of room.
(2) Buy stackable rigid containers in various sizes. Use freezer-grade plastic bags for meat and seafood. 

(3) Transfer chilled food to containers. Wash previously used containers with soap and hot water: No cross-contamination in your kitchen!

(4) Using indelible ink or label maker, mark filled packages by content, quantity, current date, and expiry date.

(5) For efficient date-rotation, store containers in bottom of freezer.

(6) For reasons unknown, containers never migrate to top of freezer.

(7) Toss.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

One Click: Stock (How To Make)

Some people make soup. My Austrian grandmother made Zoop. It cured everything, was fragrant and delicious, and filled us up when we were hungry. And now I make Zoop. 

I throw vegetables, bones, and seasonings into a large pot to produce chicken, vegetable, or beef stock. Stock and broth aren’t interchangeable terms. As one culinary expert put it: “Broth is something you sip. Stock is something you cook with.” Stock contains a lot of bones; broth contains a lot of meat. 

The stocks I make tend to use both. Turkey’s a prime example. Although we slice and pick the meat from the bones, there’s always some left. Turkey stock is rich in flavor. So’s beef broth. The marrow inside beef bones is flavorful.

A fast summary of making stock? Bring water, seasonings, vegetable scraps, and the (optional) meat, fish, and bones to a boil; reduce the heat to simmer; chill everything overnight; skim away the fat; drain the liquid from the vegetables and meat or fish; chill the liquid again; skim away the fat with greater precision than the first time ... And there you have it! The basis for a very fine zoop! 

My grandmother, or “Mutti,” would have been proud. The posts highlighted above will show you exactly what to do and how to do it.

I grew up as the earth was cooling. European households were big on European morality tales - and my Austrian grandmother told some whoppers! Enter Struwwelpeter, by Heinrich Hoffmann. As any good child raised in post-war Europe, I recognized this as the Morality Tale to End All Morality Tales. Struwwelpeter - literally, “Shaggy Peter” - was an undisciplined boy who let his hair and fingernails grow too long. As a consequence, he was shunned by his friends. Today, the kid would be a rock star.

In these morality tales, naughty children always met dire consequences. A thumb sucker had his thumbs snipped off; a girl who played with matches burned to death; a boy who ventured outside during a storm blew away! What does this have to do with soup? Everything.

I was raised with the story of Die Geschichte vom Suppen-Kaspar (The Story of the Soup-Kaspar). You can imagine where this is going! Kaspar, a robust young boy, refused to eat his soup. Over the next five days, he wasted away. Surprise, surprise! While I remember Soup-Kaspar, I also remember Augustus - same story, same ending. It reads:

The Story of Augustus Who Would Not Have Any Soup:

Augustus was a chubby lad;
Fat ruddy cheeks Augustus had;
And everybody saw with joy,
The plump and hearty healthy boy.
He ate and drank as he was told,
And never let his soup get cold.
But one day, one cold Winter’s day,
He screamed out - “Take the soup away!
O take the nasty soup away!
I won't have any soup today!”

How lank and lean Augustus grows!
Next day he scarcely fills his clothes,
Yet, though he feels so weak and ill,
The naughty fellow cries out still -
“Not any soup for me, I say:
O take the nasty soup away!
I won't have any soup today!”

The third day comes; oh, what a sin!
To make himself so pale and thin.
Yet, when the soup is put on table,
He screams as loud as he is able,
“Not any soup for me, I say:
O take the nasty soup away!
I won't have any soup today!”

Putting Augustus to one side, Zoop! is an inexpensive, nutritious comfort. If you’ve never made stock, the methods below make it easy to start. My advancing years have changed the way I do things, so I sometimes buy prepackaged stock. Low-sodium commercial products have improved over the years. Once you have stock, making homemade soups, enriched rice, and gravies is deliciously simple.

Tip: Add 1 tbsp. (15 mL) vinegar or white wine or lemon juice to a full stock pot the size of mine (16 qt. or 16 L). Adding this small amount of acid to poultry stock helps move the calcium from the stock bones into the broth. Lemon stock may impart a slight citrus flavor to the soup, so don’t overdo it! 

This tip comes from Ann Krahulec of Vancouver, who will be 99 in six weeks. Ann grew up on homemade soups: As the story goes, Anns mother could make a tasty meal out of almost nothing. Charming the butcher, she’d tell him about the delicious meal she created from last week’s meat, so hed always give her a meaty knuckle bone for the family’s (non-existent) dog.

A handy site called verifies the vinegar tip, crediting it to a site called The Kitchn: 

Adding vinegar to the early stage of poultry stock will “break down the collagen in bones and tissue, releasing extra gelatin. The result is a finished broth that gels up in the refrigerator, but even hot youll notice the difference - richer in texture and taste.