The French Laundry Cookbook's veal stock has been on my to do list since before I started this blog, but apparently it wasn't enough of a challenge on its own: I had to put off making it until conditions were particularly difficult. When we first returned from Asia, in May, we sublet a studio apartment for a month. The apartment was lovely, in a beautiful neighborhood, and was endowed with a kitchen that we probably could have fit into the suitcase we were living out of. Seriously, I could barely fit my copy of The French Laundry Cookbook in there with me &mdash I tried putting it on the floor, but then there wasn't room for my feet. If I had two copies, I could have re-tiled the whole room.

But I had the veal bones, the stock pots, and, most importantly, the time. Plus, I had the model provided by one of my fave bloggers. So I plunged ahead, spending the better part of two days simmering, straining, and simmering again.

Of course, I also failed to locate any of my homemade tomato paste, so I had to resort to canned... without the help of a real can opener. Can you tell from the photo that I was never a boy scout?

Somehow it all worked out, however, and I ended up with a beautiful, sultry stock that perfumed the small apartment. Unfortunately, all of that chopping on a floppy cutting board balanced on sink edges, moving stock pots in and out of the hallway, and having to walk out into the other room to consult the cookbook temporarily exhausted my patience for tiny kitchens, and rather than cook anything with the stock, I froze it for later. It promptly became too hot to even think about anything that you would ever want to do with veal stock. The mere mention of braising, for example, causes me to break out in heat rash. But the stock will return! And I'm thinking French onion soup.

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