Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cooking dairy

It's been a dairy-filled weekend. Not much of this is local, but we're practicing for when we have goats.

There's been a lot of milk cooked on our stove the past two days.

This is mozzarella in the making.

This is Bill being impatient while waiting for the curds to clump enough that the whey looks clear. Instructions said "5 minutes." It was more like "20."

Finally, we got to the part where the stretching and balling happens. The resulting cheese is pretty yum. Worth the waiting.

We gave the whey to the chickens. In return, they gave us eggs.

This, similar looking process, is actually the beginning of pineapple-orange ice cream.

It's now in the freezer along with some very rich chocolate ice cream and a batch of pineapple-coconut that we just finished.

It's been a dairy productive weekend.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Syrup fail.

A few weeks ago, we had maple syrup boiling day. There are a few sugar maples on our property and Bill really enjoys tapping them. While we don't eat a ton of pancakes or waffles with syrup, I was hoping to use the proceeds of maple day as a source of a local sweetener for jams and baking. Alas, this wonky winter had different plans. We collected about 50 gallons of sap, but wild temperature swings in February and March let the sap get too warm. It became cloudy and tasted a little off as sap. Boiling it down concentrated the weirdness and led to unusable syrup.

It was fun to sit around a fire all day, though!

Bill attempted to make bread in his new Lodge Something Dutch Oven with the coal-holding lid that might have been designed by Paul Revere.

He burned the first attempt (having not read the instructions).

The second try was much better.

We'll try again next year, with an earlier boil day. That will probably mean hot chocolate and snowman building instead of a cold beer and book reading, but that's ok!