I don't know about you, but I love January. A new year stretching out before me, filled with endless possibilities. Time to take stock of the past year. Think about what went right. Examine what could have gone better. Set a few goals. Make new plans.
If there was ever a month designed for someone like me who has a tendency to live in her head, January would be it.
If you feel the same, then you are my people!
The other aspect of January that I enjoy is the overall austerity. I love a good celebration as much as the next person, but the excess of December's parties, food and drink becomes a bit much for this quiet soul.
In January the holiday decorations come down, and the house goes back to simply being a home. A simple, pared down home might feel empty other months of the year, but in January it feels deliciously soothing! If you read my last blog post and followed my One Thing In, Three Things Out Rule, decluttering and putting your house back together will not feel like a chore. If you haven't read it yet, I suggest you do. My methods are not rocket science. They're old school common sense steps that don't involve a trip to The Container Store, and are very easy to follow.
January is also when I like to reset my food plan. I've been eating a paleo-style diet since June 2017. Between Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas this all goes out the window. Latkes, cocktails, cheese-that-goes-crunch. Yes. yes and yes. But come December 26th I find myself craving a clean diet. Slow foods. Bitter greens. Cruciferous vegetables. Simple roasted meats.
My favorite thing is to make this time of year is bone broth from the prime rib that my friends Pasty and Tim serve on Christmas. If you've never made stock from scratch, put it on your list of new things to try!
I take the prime rib rib bones, fat scraps and trimmings and throw them on a parchment lined baking sheet along with an onion and a couple bulbs of garlic.
I roast them at 400 degrees until they are well caramelized. This is what gives the broth color and flavor!
They then get thrown in a pot with carrots, celery, a handful of peppercorns and a few bay leaves. Notice how nothing is peeled? This is also what gives it color and flavor. Plus, I'm lazy.
Add water to just cover and bring the bone broth to simmer. Mine simmered for 24 hours on the stove. If your response to this is WTF!, I suggest you use a crock pot for this part. When it comes to all things culinary, I like to live on the wild side.
Once cooled, pour the contents through a strainer into another pot and put that in the fridge.
Scrape off the hardened fat and you're good to go!
I use my bone broth as a base for soups, stews, and occasionally, heated up and sipped like tea with the addition of a pinch of sea salt.
So there you have it.
An essential start to your new year from your favorite essentialist!