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A little less than a happy high
This morning I went to vote in the primary for the special election to fill Senator Kennedy's seat. There were exactly two voters at my polling place, including me. To put this in perspective, there were more moms selling baked goods than there were voters, and volunteer poll workers outnumbered us by 2.5:1.

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What you'll need:

2.5 lb beef or veal bones
roughly 3.5 quarts of cold water
2 carrots
2 onions
2 stalks of celery (celery root will do)
whole white peppercorns
bouquet garni (I used rosemary, thyme, parsley, and a bay leaf)

Arrange the bones at the bottom of a heavy stock pan and just cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and blanch bones for 5-7 minutes. Skim as necessary.

Drain water and discard scum. Wash the pot, rinse off the bones, and return to the pot. Add vegetables, peppercorns and bouquet garni, and cover with approximately 2.5 quarts of cold water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Cook for 2-3 hours and then drain through a fine mesh sieve and/or double layer of cheesecloth into a smaller pot. Cool to refrigerator temp and skim fat. Depending on how violent your simmer was, this will yield between a quart and two of beef stock.

BONUS: If you prefer Fond Brun, which is a little more aggressively flavored, after blanching the bones arrange them on a roasting pan in a 375F oven and roast for 10-15 minutes. Proceed as before, but be sure to deglaze your roasting pan to capture any tasty roasted bits. Add this liquid when you add water for the second time.


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