Broth, two years in the making

For the past two years, I have been dreaming about making this broth. I don’t write “dreaming” lightly. I mean seriously. LOOK AT IT.

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Photo by Tuukka Koski for epicurious.com. Food Styling: Alison Attenborough. Prop styling: Kalen Kaminski. 

I saw this recipe on Pinterest over two years ago and have been saving my parmesan rinds ever since. Finally, this past February the stars aligned: the weather was crummy enough and my rind supply full enough to warrant making the broth. Well, my storage was almost full enough. I had to buy an extra wedge of parmesan to get the full pound of rinds the recipe called for, but I knew my noble sacrifice would only be to our benefit. (So, I guess not a sacrifice after all… Shhhh DON’T TAKE THIS AWAY FROM ME.)

Oh. My. Word.

I can’t say enough about how delicious this broth was. The parmesan provided all the saltiness needed, which was a welcome relief for someone who chronically over- or under-salts her homemade chicken broth. The slight char of the onion added a lovely sweetness, the bitter parsley provided the herby bite, and sauteed garlic added depth that kind of tied everything together. Is that just the magic of garlic?!

After simmering for two hours, I ended up with a rather messy strainer and about six cups of broth. I used four of them to make this Creamy Tuscan Garlic Tortellini Soup.

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Would you be disappointed to learn I added browned Italian sausage? You shouldn’t be. Of course, we topped off our bowls with mounds of fluffy, freshly grated parmesan, thanks to my earlier purchase that completed my broth supplies. Overall, it was the perfect way to spend a couple hours of and cap off a Honolulu-stormy winter evening.

(And in case you were wondering: I had the leftover two cups of broth by itself the other day when I was sick with a nasty cold. It was heavenly. A treat all on its own.)

The takeaway from this panegyric to broth? Three things. One, I get very foodie romantic and indulgent when the weather cools. The last time I waxed poetic about food was over a meal I made on a similarly stormy day. I think I must like using food to comfort and warm my loved ones.

Two, this is a case where fulfillment outshines anticipation (unlike Christmas, ha). It was so satisfying to finally put two years’ worth of parmesan rinds to good use, and the end product was so delicious and satisfying that it exceeded the hype I had built up in my head. That is impressive and rare for me — I love anticipation. Now, not only am I back to saving rinds for my next broth batch in 2020, but I’m looking for other recipes and reasons to “save up” ingredients for high-quality meals. You know, in case it gets stormy again. If we had the physical space in our apartment, this is the time when I would take up canning, but alas, we have neither the time nor the space for such shenanigans. Alas alas.

The final takeaway: the anticipation didn’t add to (or subtract from) the deliciousness, but it certainly added to the overall experience and enjoyment. Sometimes pleasure anticipated is pleasure enhanced.

May it be so in life as it is with parmesan broth.

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