Thursday, September 11, 2008

Miscellaneous ...

Can I just tell you that Ripley started to have, what we call here, a "baby meltdown" when I had to explain to him yesterday morning that we didn't have any of my Homemade Greek Yogurt (I have updated the recipe with pictures) ready to eat. (It was still straining after a night of "brewing".) This is noteworthy because Ripley is such a picky eater, and to see him gobbling down homemade plain yogurt with homemade super healthy granola drizzled with a little local honey every morning brings joy to my heart!
Over the past two days I made mozzarella (which my sister-in-law Tanya can't believe I didn't start months ago after reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle). My first attempt wasn't a booming success. I did get a large ball of mozzarella which tasted great, but that was with a gallon of milk! This time I had checked out some other instructions online that had other helpful information. I ended up as usual using a blend of the recipes -- the first I'd gotten from which is the company Barbara Kingsolver had referenced in her book. They tout making mozzarella in 30 minutes -- but having grown up in an entrepreneurial manufacturing family (handbags) I know something about efficiency and LEAN Manufacturing and it don't take no 30 minutes! After making it twice, all of the "wait times" were longer than listed. But, it still is pretty cool and is a big savings -- one large ball I saw at Whole Foods yesterday in the produce department was selling for $7.50! Eegads!

Now (don't roll your eyes at me now) since I was making yogurt and mozzarella in the same 24 hour period I had a lot of left over whey (the liquid that separates from the curd in both of these processes) so if you simply boil the whey again -- let it sit at room temperature overnight (makes it more acidic apparently) -- then strain through your cone coffee filter (not the paper variety) PRESTO! You have Ricotta Cheese!! I guess Ricotta means something like re-cook. You end up with about a cup of fresh homemade Ricotta. I learned about it HERE. Now, I guess over in Portugal -- in the northeastern mountains (see picture ... I know, why did they leave??) where my husband was born and raised for 6 years -- after boiling the whey they throw in a little sugar and drink the whey and ricotta all together -- The ricotta sinks to the bottom and that's the best part at the end.

Finally, here is an okra flower picture untouched by pests!

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