After an especially frustrating afternoon, I came home and began rummaging through the freezer. As I tossed things onto the counter, opening containers, throwing various things out and adding other things into pots, generally woeful about the state of the world, Matt asked me what I was doing. I paused, glanced at a mysterious piece of chicken, and tossed it into a pot. “Making stock.” He nodded sagely. “I guess this is your version of drinking.”

I’ve been collecting drippings from my cooking for weeks, so this was as good a day as any to make cornbread from them. The state of the cornbread is yet to be determined – I’m a bit concerned about my ability to transcribe a recipe right now and I think it may be a bit dry and lumpy. The stock should be good, as I’ve been saving pieces from whole chickens for months, including necks and wings, and a random chorizo sausage that I didn’t think we’d have any other use for.

What I’m really pleased about, though, is that for dinner I managed to make ancho spiced short ribs and found a recipe that wouldn’t kill anyone. The last time I attempted ancho spiced short ribs, I had the entire dinner table in tears. “No,” they protested through pained gasps, “this is really quite good.” Perhaps it would have been good… if anyone’s taste buds could have been salvaged.

This recipe is very similar to the one I used that time – except I toned down the chipotles in adobo, didn’t save the chile water, and pumped up the tomato paste. The molasses is a fantastic touch, and I served it with vinegar and molasses glazed carrots (I used red wine vinegar instead of sherry vinegar). For some reason I always have red wine vinegar on hand.

Cooking always makes me feel better.

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