Canning and Dyeing Along the Way

I bought an organic chicken to make stock and soup last week. I used lots of spices, turmeric, cumin, red pepper flakes, so I could get a strong flavor with some heat to it.

After I cooked the chicken, I removed it from the pot to debone it. I put the stock into pint canning jars. I had five pints. Not wanting to fire up the canner without a full compliment of jars, I went ahead and made the soup.

I put the chicken into the pot. I cut up onions, celery, and carrots and added them to the chicken. I decided to see if I could get some more value out of the chicken bones, so I tied them in cheesecloth, like an herb sachet, and suspended them in the soup pot.

I was able to add three more pints to the canner and then I started it up. I had planned to can the rest of the soup, but we ended up eating it all! How rich the broth looks. The color is partly due to the spices.

When I took out the cheesecloth with all the bones in it, it had been dyed by the turmeric. I remembered taking a natural dyeing course, so I washed the cheesecloth and then set it in a pot with water and vinegar to set the color overnight.

I rinsed it out three times with soap, and then let it dry. I will use it in my fiber art journal covers sometime. It will be a wonderful source of texture and color.

© 2014 Kathryn Hardage

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