Two weeks ago, a major hurricane bore down on our coast before deciding that the area is quite lovely and she wanted to spend a couple of days just hanging out. A full day of devastating winds followed by two days of catastrophic flooding were her gifts to us before she moved on to torment towns, cities, and communities inland.
My teen and I returned from the beach and started preparing for the storm with an eye toward the possibility of having to evacuate. I had decided to pull some turkey carcasses out of the freezer to make bone broth to can, thinking, if nothing else, we’d have some broth with which to make soups (on the grill) or to add flavor to beans and rice (cooked on the grill).
For those of you who don’t know, bone broth is a fantastic base for soups and gravies, and, better still, the collagen that steeps out of the bones is great for gut health. (My husband will be having outpatient surgery in the coming months, so any leftovers would be good for him.) I make my broth with the bones of the previous year’s turkey and use it to make the next year’s gravy. It makes a LOT of gravy, so I had a bit leftover in the freezer. With the power outages, though, there’s a chance it would no longer be good, so I’ll toss it when we get home.
Early in the week, I made and canned seven pints of bone broth and had two quarts leftover to freeze. As midweek approached, we’d decided to ride out the storm, so I’d started another batch, pushing to get it made and canned while we still had power. Unfortunately, an evacuation notice curtailed that brilliant plan, so I poured everything from the slow cooker into a huge container, wrapped it in four grocery bags, and carried it with me to my parents-in-law’s house where we have been since we left.
I finished the broth our fourth night evacuated. As I was ladling the fresh, hot, fragrant broth into my container, I had a few thoughts go through my head. One, I simply had to admire my broth. It’s beautiful, all golden healthfulness. Two, I need to skim the fat off of it, freeze both the fat (for the gravy) and the broth, and can it when I get home. Three, it’s a good time for starting fresh and new.
Through the disaster and the not knowing, we are finding the happy things. We are grateful for all we have as we get through this time. We are taking advantage of opportunities that this location affords us. We are thankful that we homeschool and can take our studies with us, as well as find awesome-cool field trips and things to explore that we don’t have at home.
We have no idea what our home looks like now or what it will look like when we return. One this is for certain, though: We will have to clean out our refrigerator and freezers (maybe the freezers, depending on how long power was out). This means starting with a fresh, clean space. We will have to air out a home that will have sat in heat and humidity with no central air for over a week. We will want to launder bedding and change sheets – all sorts of things to freshen up our home.
The seven pints of bone broth I canned and the ten or so more I will be canning will be new and fresh for us, too. They will see us through cold and flu season, dinners, and pre-procedure clear liquid diets. A quart will give itself to our amazing gravy for Thanksgiving dinner. They will be the start of something wonderful as we take this opportunity for fresh newness.