Glasses and Chicken Stock

To children, some decisions seem far more important than they really are.

I’m legendary in my house for how great my vision was as a small child. According to my mother, I used to be able to identify the different planes that flew over our house (we were lucky enough to be on the flight path for a major airport) by calling out the colors on the wings and tails. I could identify birds and squirrels in trees all the way across a gigantic field.

And then my father’s genes took over after my visual peak in kindergarten.

By third grade, I had become the child that had to sit in the very front of the room, or else I would have to walk up right next to the board to read the chalked instructions. My first vision test was right before my class was scheduled to take a standardized exam, and the start time for everyone was delayed for forty-five minutes while the school staff became aghast at how bad my vision was at the old age of 8.

You know the big letter “E” on the vision chart? The one that everyone assumes even a blind person can see? My eyes, it turns out, were worse than that (though it’s a good thing that, at my current age, my eyes don’t appear to be getting any worse).

I should probably take a moment to say that I was legendary in my family for another trait- it took me FOREVER to make a decision. It was though my entire life would be completely dependent on what I chose to bring for lunch that day or what I brought to show and tell.

Therefore, choosing my first pair of glasses was quite momentous. My mother had taken me out of school for the afternoon so I could have a proper eye appointment and then pick out a pair of glasses.

Eyeglass sales clerk: What kind of glasses would you like, my dear?

Young Megs: Should I get blue? Or green? Or pink? What should the sides look like? Do I need sunglasses too? What should I doooooooooooooooo?

I looked at my first pair of glasses at 3pm that day.

By 8:30pm, I had tried on every pair of glasses in the entire store. It had actually closed at 8pm, but the store employee took pity on me (or, perhaps, didn’t want me to return another day where she would then lose out on even more commissions). I tried on glasses right through dinner, and snacks, and practically through bedtime. My entire family wanted to rip their hair out. I practically cried when they told me I had to make a decision in the next five minutes. And I still managed to delay that decision until 9pm.

I finally picked a pair of glasses. Which, looking at the pictures from back then, where my blue and turquoise frames took up over a third of my face, were probably not the best decision.

And, if you must know, it still takes me at least an hour to pick out the perfect pair.

Take the Time Chicken Stock

chicken brothbecause good food is always worth waiting for


  • 1 carcass from a large roasted chicken (or from two roasted cornish hens)
  • 3 large carrots, chopped into large pieces
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half
  • 3 ribs celery, cut into large pieces
  • 1 large purple onion, quartered
  • 12 oz bottle beer (I used an Oktoberfest, but an IPA works well, too)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • Water


  1. In your largest stock pot available, place the chicken skin/bones, carrots, garlic, celery, and onion.
  2. Pour in the beer, then add in the bay leaf and peppercorns.
  3. Cover everything with water up to an inch below the top of your pot.
  4. Turn the burner onto high, and bring the water to a boil.
  5. Reduce to a simmer and let the stock bubble for at least 3-4 hours, until the liquid has reduced by at least 2 inches and the color of the stock is a nice golden brown.
  6. Using a large colander, pour out the broth and throw away the large pieces of the stock ingredients.
  7. Using your finest mesh sieve, remove the rest of the impurities from your stock. Place into containers and either freeze (you can keep it for up to 6 months) or refrigerate (it can keep for up to a week).
  8. Once the stock is cold, skim off the layer of fat that has solidified at the top (this is really easy to wash off the frozen stock).

54 thoughts on “Glasses and Chicken Stock

  1. Love this post! How exciting! I have been making my own stock for a while now, but haven’t done anything in a few months. My husband wanted me to make soup and I have been holding off because I decided to try a good stock recipe. This is perfect! … p.s being picky is my daughters first-ish name… and she also wears glasses… you would love her… she also likes delicious food…

    1. I wouldn’t say I’m picky about food at least!

      1. That’s a great thing! I am growing less and less picky with my foods as the years go by… it is still a work in progress πŸ˜‰ but I am always on the search for good recipes to try, I might end up finding something I never used to like very enjoyable with a good recipe!

  2. Oh man, I can totally relate to this. I take forever to pick out glasses. And it makes sense too, because they aren’t cheap and they’re on my face most of the time. I don’t want to pay through the nose for a pair that looks awful.

    1. I’m still bad now, even though I only ever wear my glasses at home right before I sleep- I always wear my contacts at work!

  3. Beer sounds interesting. I usually do wine but will have to keep beer in mind for a different flavor! And I concur on the glasses. If they are going to sit on your face for most of the day, you should take the time to get the right frame for your face!

    1. Unfortunately, looking back at those pictures, I did not make the right choice…

  4. I was laughing at this post because it reminded me of when my daughter had her first trip to have her eyes checked. They’d just started to learn script handwriting & my daughter kept complaining that she “couldn’t see what the teacher wrote”. Of course at the eye exam she passed with flying colors & the opthamologist started asking questions like “how far back do you sit?” Oh, I’m in the front row… it went on like that until finally she said “I can’t read the teacher’s writing because my hand’s on it!” She’s a lefty & the teacher wasn’t using the board – she’d given them a paper with the writing on the left side & they were supposed to copy it on the right. So of course her hand was covering it & SHE COULDN’T SEE! Good news was we got out of there without having to buy eyeglasses but I had a chat with the teacher the next day.

    1. Oh dear- at least it was an easy solution!

  5. I love the soup, risotto etc that is enhanced by a good homemade stock. πŸ™‚

    1. Definitely! It makes such a difference πŸ™‚

  6. Have no fear- I couldn’t read the “big E” on the chart when I was younger either. I had Lasik now and it rules! πŸ™‚

    1. My astigmatism is too bad for lasik…sigh…

  7. FarAwayPeachGarden February 11, 2013 — 10:10 am

    I have never heard of using beer to make soup. Very interesting… I have an easy soup to share, too.
    BTW, would be fun to see a photo of your first pair of glasses.:-)

    1. I’ll have to see if I can track one down from my mother…

      I’ve also used beer in a cheddar ale soup!

  8. I can really relate to that story. I got my first pair of glasses in 3rd grade and couldn’t believe how much better it was when you could see clearly. I look at the blue glasses I chose then and think why did I get those πŸ™‚

    1. Glasses are really an item where fashions do not stand the test of time…

  9. This sounds delicious. I will try it this week.

  10. blowingoffsteamandmore February 11, 2013 — 1:25 pm

    Oooh I never thought to add beer in there! Might have to try that next time!

  11. nothing better than homemade stock…

    1. I know! And you don’t need to worry about tracking down the low salt varieties!

  12. If you like beer in your cooking, check out carbonnade.

  13. Let me comment about your introductory essay: you have terrible eyesight, you have trouble making decisions, and you’re an anesthesiologist? “What does it say on that monitor, is the pulse rate 80 or 30? Should I turn up the O2? Oh, I just don’t know!”

    1. It’s a miracle what contacts can do. And I only agonize over clothing- that’s why I’m not a stylist πŸ˜‰

  14. You sound a bit like my fiancee who pops in and out of the wardrobe three or more times in the last five minutes before we go ANYWHERE. I mean, he will have been wearing whatever outfit he had originally decided on up until the last five minutes, when he suddenly starts doubting his navy t-shirt and shockingly ordinary blue jeans. Talk about disaster if that crazy outfit was to hit the streets..

    Fun story, and probably a good chicken stock. Good idea with the beer πŸ™‚


    1. That’s at least better than my boyfriend…he attempted to pair together corduroy pants with a black velvet smoking jacket…I at least managed to convince him to wear something else…

  15. Would love to see that picture!

    1. If I can track it down from my mother…

  16. I hate menus that are more like books…

  17. I make and freeze my own stock too. There is nothing like a risotto made with homemade stock! I even have some turkey stock in the freezer from thanksgiving, should make a great soup…

    1. Have you ever used seafood stock in risotto? I’ve had success with shrimp stock.

      1. No never yet, I have made shrimp risottos but used diluted chicken stock. But I want to make one of these seafood risottos, I think shrimp stock would be a must there!

      2. I used mine in a shrimp and lobster risotto- it turned out great! I finally worked up the courage to make risotto earlier for dinner for my boyfriend, who is of all things Italian- apparently I passed the test!

      3. I love Italian food! The first time my husband tasted my cooking, it was a tagliatelle with asparagus, the second time was a risotto. Obviously I passed the test too πŸ˜‰ LOL

  18. Funny post. I can relate to that in my childhood. I used to have fantastic vision and then suddenly it got really bad. Unfortunately for me I didn’t realise quite how bad until I did a mock driving test the day before my actual test. My parents and instructor were shocked I couldn’t see the number plate. I ended up borrowing one of their glasses. Still failed it.

    1. Haha, there’s no way I’d be able to drive without my contacts in…it’s even difficult to drive with my glasses because I have no peripheral vision!

      Did you at least pass the second time?

      1. Nope forth. British driving tests are the WORST!

  19. I make my chicken stock from a roasted chicken carcass also – it’s refreshing to see someone else do the same! Seems many start with raw chicken and I always think “where’s the flavor in that?” I’ve never added beer to my stock though – I may have to try this! It sounds delicious!

    1. It’s so much better from a roasted carcass! You get most of the flavor from the roasted chicken bones anyway!

  20. When I read this I swear you were writing about ME!! I too had to get glasses in the 3rd grade and to this day it still takes me 8+ hours to pick out a pair of glasses. I spend a lot of money on my glasses so I want to make sure I get THE BEST looking ones. I drive the people at Wisconsin Vision NUTS. I’m there at least 3 times with 3 different people narrowing down the choices. If I could wear contacts or get Lasik I would, but I can’t. Eyes are too dry for contacts and my corneas are too thin for Lasik. So it’s either glasses, glasses or glasses for me. But, glasses are cool now!

    1. At least lenses are thinner now, too, if you eyes are bad on top of it!

      1. OMG I’m damn near blind. -9 and -9.5, so I still have to pay extra to thin them down a little more, especially on the edges. I really do love my glasses though. I wear them 16 hours a day so I really do get my money’s worth out of them.

      2. I’m actually worse than you- I’m -10.5 in both eyes.

      3. OMG, I feel for you sister!!

  21. At least you parents let you pick your own glasses. That also means you are a detailed person. πŸ™‚ Well maybe. Ha!

    1. I think that my mother would have picked them out for me if I had let her…

  22. I am also infamous in my family and group of friends for being the slowest. decision-maker. ever. Currently have been debating my next glasses pick for the last 2+ weeks and don’t see any decisions being made by 9:00 pm…

    1. I’m at least a little bit more quick with decisions lately, though it might be because I only wear my glasses at night so I’m not quite as picky.

  23. This is a great stock recipe, and I do often, especially in winter.
    I actually like to keep the veggies rather than throwing them away. Most of their flavour has already been infused into the stock, but the goodness of the fiber is still there. I rinse them off quick to remove any unwanted stuff on them, then grab a couple cups of the stock, toss in a blender and blend away. Stir into the rest of the stock… it makes for a cloudy soup, but you get a nice texture and colour and still keep all that fiber and flavour.

    1. That’s a really good idea- I’ll have to try it the next time I make stock!

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