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  • Tracey Broussard

Taking Stock


Tonight's cocktail is a gorgeous sangria. It may not be a star mixologists version, but it was bright, fruity and just what the doctor ordered.


One of my new year's resolutions was to not only be more mindful of my household's consumption, but to also generate less waste.


Not all that has come from quarantining is bad. I've been able to make serious progress on both fronts since I've had the time to really slow down and pay attention.


Since Laura was going to do some grocery shopping for me today, I decided to assess my kitchen and really take stock.


My friend, food writer, Ellen Kanner, has a recipe in her book, Feeding the Hungry Ghost, that she calls Stone Soup. She suggests you save odds and ends of vegetables in the freezer, until you have enough to make a stock.


I love that idea. In the fridge today I found half an onion, some rough looking celery, and the last of a scallion bunch.


For weeks I've been envious of everyone's scallion plants. Facebook is filled with pictures of peoples efforts. After trimming the tops off of those few scallion stragglers, for use in stock, I took the bottoms and got my own plants going.


Because I usually kill everything I attempt to grow, I've been hesitant to even try. But after almost a month of waiting, I noticed a small victory today. The mint cutting that has been sitting in my window in a mason jar has finally grown roots. Yipee!


My mason jar situation as a whole may be getting out of control. I have a jar containing vodka and vanilla beans, the beans harvested from the dark recesses of my spice cabinet. God only knows how long they had been sitting there.


The jar next to it steeping Sumo orange peels in vodka. If all goes to plan, we will be having our first batch of Sumocello before long.


Laura found a few more Sumos at the store last week. But they looked like they had seen better days. In the interest of science, I decided to see if the Sumo peels would produce a beverage as fabulous as the Satsumacello we made during the winter for my neice, Sommer, and her husband, Chris.


If you have never tried Louisiana satsumas, they are another fruit you must put on your list. Easy to peel, tart, juicy and seedless, satsumas ripen in the late fall.



I have finally put my mason jar of sourdough starter to bed in the fridge. It was fun while it lasted, but I've got to put the brakes on these carbs before the Covid 15 weight gain becomes the Covid 30.


And then there are the mason jars filled with iced tea in the fridge. Unlike the dryer, which eats my socks, I think the pantry must be quite fertile. My tea supply seems to have multiplied since last I looked. Needless to say, Sam and I are having plenty of tea for two.


The Sumo peels utilized, I was still left with a lot of orange sections. Remembering the half finished bottle of red from a couple of days ago, I decided to make some sangria.


Sam took one sip and pronounced it delicious. I took a sip and thought about Barcelona. The best sangria I ever had was at a small cafe on Las Ramblas.


Joe and I sat at a sidewalk table sipping sangria. We munched papas bravas and mellow olives. It was one of the most memorable meals of my life.


Though I cannot be in Barcelona tonight, I am in my home with Sam. The rest of my family is safe and sound. Sumocello and vanilla are steeping. Stock is ready for for a warming soup tomorrow. The sangria is sweet and I am filled with gratitude. Life is good.


Sangria is a forgiving drink, lending itself to whatever you have on hand. Frozen fruit works especially well in place of ice cubes. I freeze pieces of melon that aren't as sweet as we would like, for use in cocktails and smoothies.


I travel with a group of girlfriends who only like sweet wine, so sangria made with Manischewitz is always part of the packing list. Don't hate. I also may have been known to sangria-fy the passover wine on occasion. Try it. You'll like it.


Pantry Sangria


1/2 bottle of dry red wine

1/4 cup Peach Schnapps

1/4 cup pear juice

1 apple, diced

1 Sumo (or other orange), chopped


Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. Serve in a chilled wine glass, poured over ice.


Serves 2 to 3

















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The Big Easy Cook

@2020 by Tracey Broussard