BUCKTOWN — With the holidays over and the new year beginning, Chicagoans are looking to their decaying, drying Christmas trees and deciding to either take down their decorations, or keep the pitiful facade of holiday happiness going for another week.
In keeping with his own traditions, Bryant Hoagman, 62, an electrician, recycled his tree into a delicious Christmas tree stock that will make a perfect base for soups throughout the winter.
“It’s an old family recipe,” said Hoagman, stirring a pot brimming with onions, carrots, celery and one roughly chopped Balsam fir tree, “the secret is to leave in a couple ornaments, for flavor.”
“Dad’s always been thrifty,” said Greg Hoagman, 39, a dental hygienist, “I’d personally just throw the damn tree out, I feel like we picked all the Christmas spirit off the damn thing already, but he’s always insisted on using the whole thing. He also claims homemade Christmas tree stock is better than store bought, but that’s clearly bullshit. The fine folks at Swanson make a perfectly good Christmas tree stock.”
As of press time, Hoagman was finishing his final preparations by straining the finished stock through a Christmas stocking and storing it in his freezer for the Winter before starting his next annual project: pickling the wreath.