Feb. 22nd, 2009

teddog: (CYOA - Ruining the Family Portrait)
I'm a sucker for libraries!

Not the stereotypical, dark wood, book lined walls of the idealist libraries of the smarter class, although I will admit those are really awesome too, but my full weakness is for libraries built on the bleeding edge of the late 1970s to the early 1990s, the sorta mix of function and Brutalist architecture.

Yes, you might poo-poo these libraries, pointing out how dim and unwelcoming they are, but I'm totally at home at time. Going to a new one is like coming back home.

Thing is that I'm not exactly sure why this is. I THINK it has something to do with the Hamilton libraries. The one that I was a regular at, Kenilworth, is a beautiful branch built in 1932 and looks like an old mansion. The upstairs has these massive bay windows with cushions you could sit on, each floor has a fireplace, the kid's section is huge and while some parts are modern, efforts were taken to keep a lot of the original architecture intact during renos.

Problem was that as lovely as, the king of all libraries in Hamilton was Central Library. Central is a massive beast of concrete, steel and glass. The difference is day and night:

http://www.myhamilton.ca/myhamilton/LibraryServices/AboutTheLibrary/LocationsAndHours/kenilworthbranch.htm
http://www.myhamilton.ca/myhamilton/LibraryServices/AboutTheLibrary/LocationsAndHours/Central_Library.htm

But for whatever reason, Central library connected with me on some odd sort of special level. So, a library like Kenilworth is pretty but normal and something like Central will give me happy warm-and-fuzzies. Thankfully, because of how the Toronto libraries grew, I'm surrounded by very 1980s styled branches.

Anywho, about the STOCK thing now. Hopefully someone is still reading this.

I was in the cooking section on a whim and found one of the Urban Peasant books by the late James Barber. I remember his show from the 1990s and honestly, I'd prefer to read a cookbook written about someone who loved all of the little quirks about cooking, good and bad, rather than just getting angry at food or elevating food to godhood, which seems to be the popular styles now. The sections discussing rice and such are very interesting to read. I don't consider myself a foodie outside of wanting to teach myself to cook, but it's clear that the man enjoyed what he did, but he mentions enjoying everything on a realistic level. Use what you can get for a good price and try to use it all.

Connected to that, there's a decent sized soup section, as the writer sees stock as being the way to reuse things that have food value but are normally tossed. All of the soups are for small batches - the book is for cooking for one or two people. There's a very simple, down-to-earth stock recipe in the book that's used as a base for most (90%) of the soups. I could see myself trying it.... but...

THERE'S CHICKEN IN IT!

I can't eat chicken. Complex food allergy. But I really want to try these soap recipes AND try making a stock on my own. Stock cubes are an option, but I don't want to fall back on that if I don't have to.

So, does anyone have any stock recipes that call for only veggies or something non-poultry? Is there something I could toss in instead of the called-for chicken carcass/bones? Would I have to adjust the rest of the recipe, depending?

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