Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Using Sour Milk to Make Quick and Easy Cheese in our Rice Cooker

We were down to our last bag of milk.  Luckily I had starred milk on our Wunderlist and made sure to purchase some more just as we started the bag.

Unfortunately, as I went to pour Kenny a glass from that final bag, he remarked something like "I don't know if that's a different kind of milk from usual, but I really don't like it."  Immediately I  sampled it and could taste the distinct acidity of milk starting to turn.  I set the bag aside in the fridge and poured him a glass of new milk, and decided to take another spin at making cheese the next day.

I don't know if I'm unique, but I still torment myself with embarrassment even over things that happened years and years and years ago.  Often to such a degree that recalling those events causes me to cry out loud now, at my age.  Fortunately Kenny has learned a bit about this quirk of his father's, and when he hears me make these whimpers, if I reply that I'm just remembering something embarrassing to his queries, he soon lets the issue drop.

The title of this blog post is one of those embarrassing memories.  Then again, as I start really embracing the dad joke, perhaps it isn't so bad.

On the plus side, it was pretty much exactly the recipe I used for making cheese this time around.  Cost of cheese - about $1.50, using milk that was going in the thunderbox anyway, so that's not bad.  It tasted like some sort of fancy gourmet cheese that would have been much more than $1.50 for 100gm, so I guess I came out ahead there.  Thinking I should save some brine from feta, and put this in the brine to give it that same flavour. I may end up making my own cheese on a more regular basis?

Much easier to heat the milk in a rice cooker!  Just set on cook and wait for the bubbles.

Maybe an ounce of vinegar.

Cheesecloth and colander assembled.

Right on queue, here's the bubbles!

Things happen real fast when the vinegar goes in.  Stir for a minute, switch to warm, and let this just curdle for maybe a quarter hour.

Pouring through the cheesecloth.

Still pouring.

Pouring complete.  There's the curd in the colander.

Wrapped up the cloth, set between two dinner plates, and put on a full jug of vinegar to press it for another half hour or so. 
Looks cheesy.  Very bland.  Needs lots of kosher salt!

And packaged for salads or just eating straight up.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

A Rack for Milled Lumber

As you probably remember from the post about me starting up the sawmill again, I've just been throwing the 2x4's willy-nilly all over the ground in an effort to make a big dent in the skidway.

Ugh, what a mess.
Doesn't really look any better from this angle.
Me thinking, "I'll deal with you later!"
After the pile started to get really unruly looking though, I decided it was time to put that stuff on a rack neatly for aesthetic, quality, safety and space reasons.

I planned out a complicated rack that I could build using gas pipe and gas pipe fittings and headed in to Home Depot.

Unfortunately, when I arrived, they had only a fraction of the types of fittings I would have needed, and even less of the pipe in the sizes I wanted.  On top of that, a mental calculation of cost made it less and less attractive.

I headed down to storage solutions and then figured that, while sub-optimal, a heavy duty storage rack should still be able to be pressed into service.  As such, I purchased the largest, heaviest duty one they had and headed home.

While Donna and Kenny pursued their chores at the cabin, I assembled the racking on a level area really close to the mill, and began to load up the product I had already cut.  I was able to fit five boards across, then a sticker, and then repeat this process for three layers.  This times four shelves gave me space for theoretically 60 boards at a time.  Realistically, I lost a number of slots where the diagonal braces spanned the ends, but I also made up a number of slots on the top shelf which I could pile higher.  I also found that I could even pile a couple boards outside the shelving on the protruding ends of the stickers.

Nice, level area close to the mill.
Sliding them in from the end is just the way of things.
Looks nice and neat though!
All in all, it sure has cleaned up the mill area, and I trust that it will help keep the boards I cut straighter than they would be just piled on the ground.  I'll report back if there are any issues.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Kenny's Garden Harvest

Be it ever so humble, there are no veggies quite like "grown on your own..."

Showing off the bounty from our raised beds.  Made for amazing fresh salad!