Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Kerfuffle of Confusing Parentheticals

Silas harvested the first food that he has ever grown from seed on Friday. He was so proud of his cabbage; he started the seed in science lab at school. Although the outer leaves had been annihilated by slugs (Tracie told me to put ground eggshells around her, but alas, I was a day late and a dollar short for Ms. Cabbage to go unscathed. Slugs love my yard.) In the meantime, Stella felt pretty proud of herself Friday when she found my lettuce patch.

She has dug herself a dustbathing hole and spoils herself by eating my lettuces as she bathes. I don't mind, they're all going to seed at the moment, and I don't believe that she's able to eat ALL the seeds. I'm going to collect them.

She's so full of herself. What a spoiled little girl. Stella's pretty smart; she even knows her name now.

By the way, I am a total fan of Earthfare. Silas never complains when we get groceries there (he just eats eats eats free samples) and there are NO Oreos for him to ask for. They buy as much as they can locally, and their corporate headquarters are in Asheville. They donate proceeds to charities, invited Beardsley Farm, the Cherokee Nation, etc. to their grand opening week, and well, their cheese selection makes me get the vapors... I may never have to go to Fellini Kroger again!

So, EarthFare and Twwly Suicide inspired me to attempt to make my own yogurt and cheese. (That and the fact that the sugary yogurts in the grocery taste more like jello; they have done away with the "tang") EarthFare, because they have the necessary bacteria and Twwly because she blogs blogs blogs about her cheeses (and her kids, and her family, and her tattoos, and her natural living choices). (I have followed Twwly's blog for some time; read it!)

This is my first ever ever cheese attempt and it turned out pretty good. (That's Tammy's desk and elbow behind there...) The flavor was like a tangy cream cheese with the consistency of goat cheese (which I love!). I'm going to find some goat's milk next, because I think I can successfully make my own goat cheese which is stupid expensive at the grocer. Of course, first I had to make yogurt...

Once we had all eaten our fill of the yogurt, I was left with curds and whey, which I drained through a coffee filter in my fruit sieve. It drained for about two hours and then was solid. I did not save the whey (although its packed with nutrition) because I had no idea how to incorporate it into our food. Must work on this later...

You can see the massive amount of whey that was left once we had dipped out the bulk of the yogurt. Tammy and I had ours with blueberries and granola; Silas had his with mangos and cinnamon. NO SUGAR ADDED.

I love this sieve. My grandma had one EXACTLY like it, and I found this one at the junk store across from my old office. I think I gave two bucks for it, and so far this year it has been used to make rose and peony jelly, and now cheese. Blackberries next!

By the way, I prefer wild blackberries. I think the flavor is more intense than the "tame" (read:gigantic thornless) ones, and the seeds are the size of grains of sand rather than bb's. I like to leave seeds in for cobbler and jams. Because of this, I am always keeping an eye out for wild blackberry patches and have found two. The first is on the way to Seven Islands; the roadsides are covered. The second is in the most unexpected of places; the far parkinglot of Splash Country is SURROUNDED by massive blackberry patches.


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