I was a real traditionalist when it came to stock making.
I used to think I could make stocks like professional restaurants, and have a cauldron of bubbling animal bones and vegetables sitting on my hob ready for use any time of day and night.
But of course, I'm not in a professional restaurant and have neither the room nor the time to devote to such a thing. The occasional chicken carcass after a Sunday roast is the nearest I get to real stock-making.
And then I discovered powdered stocks by a company named Essential Cuisine, run by half a dozen chefs in Cheshire.
I found them being sold in a local farm shop and thought I would give them a try.
They have transformed my cooking, giving soups, stews and sauces a depth of flavour I could never previously achieve.
Better than any other stock cube or powder I have used before (and I've tried them all!) I literally couldn't do without them now. They are just like using traditional stocks but without the hassle of chopping, peeling, roasting, boiling, simmering and the attention needed for the 'real' thing.
You can find them in good farm shops, delis and online.