First Cheese and Hamburger Buns

June 29:  I took the cheese out of the press and have it drying on the counter.  I have no idea what will become of it, but it’s a fun experiment.

June 28:  Today I tried my hand at cheesemaking.  I heated 2 gallons (-1 pint) of milk and 1 pint of cream to 90 degrees.  I adding my culture and had it sit for 45 minutes.  Then I added 1/2 Tablespoons of rennet in 1/4 water and waited for it to coagulate…….

Still waiting………

I’ll check it later…….

 Now I can hang it to drain and then put it into the cheese press that Joe made for me.  Remember, the press is an experiment and needs some modifications after its maiden voyage.

June 27:  Noah and I decided to try making homemade buns for the sliders we’re making for dinner this evening.  The recipe follows

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm milk
  • 2 T soft butter
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 4 1/4 cups unbleached flour
Place all of the ingredients into the mixer and mix for ten minutes using the dough hook. Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover to rise – about 1 hour.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1″ thick.  Cut into circles with a round cutter or a greased drinking glass.  Bake at 350° for 9-13 minutes.

The buns turned out great!  Golden brown and very tasty.  We didn’t however get to try them with burgers…..My husband took the sliders out to start the grill.  It flared up and when he jumped, he threw the sliders onto the patio.  The dogs are having some really nice ground beef for dinner and we’re having chicken legs.

I also tried out the bread cloche today that I picked up at Goodwill (a year ago).  I was afraid that the top might break as it had a crack repair.  Fortunately, the top held, but less fortunately, the bottom broke.  The bread looks fantastic.

Food Storage on a Budget – Week 8 (really late)

This week I veered off course a bit with the food supplies in favor of disposable plates.  They were on special at K-mart for $1.50 and I had a coupon making them only $.50.  I purchased four sets.  Normally I really dislike using disposable plates and napkins and I even wash and reuse the plastic cutlery, but my thinking is that if there is some type of emergency, we may not want to use clean water for washing dishes if it is limited.  I also thought the paper could be used to help start a fire when we finish with them.  I also picked up a couple of lighters on sale at Safeway.  They were marked down from $3.49 and with coupon and doubles they came to only $1.49 each.  So the total for the week was $4.98.

Gardens get Started

June 25:  Early summer is such a busy time in the garden here.  I decided to take a quick break after some morning work.  Noah helped me transplant a poor little apple tree.  It’s been struggling along for at least five years.  It seems every time it starts to look good, something comes along and eats almost all of it. He also helped me weed the raised beds in the backyard and pull out the spinach that had bolted.  We’ll use the leaves for dinner tonight.  I also mowed the flat part of the front yard (the hill is too much for me) and am trying the grass clipping as mulch in the some of raised beds.  I read that if I put it on in thin layers and give it time to dry that it works well.

Backyard Garden

I think I’m going to make some Jammers from the Grand Central Baking Book this afternoon.  I had Caleb pick a number between 20 and 193 (the pages with recipes) and the number he chose had Jammers.

– – No Jammers yet.  It was finally summer out so I just couldn’t come inside and bake.  It’s supposed to rain on Mon and Tues so I’ll bake then.  Meanwhile, Joe bought a half yard of cedar chips for one of my garden paths and a yard of mint compost.  He made four hills for me and I planted pie pumpkins, some squash that starts with a K that I saved seeds from New Seasons,  a green winter squash that appeared in our garden last year and some Delicata.

Squash Hills and Straw Bales

I was also able to pull the bird netting out of the tangle of overgrown grass and moss to finish cleaning up the blueberry patch.  The garden is starting to take shape.

We finished the day with a great barbecue on the Big Green Egg – chicken thighs in lemon juice and olive oil.

My new garden path

June 20:  I was finally able to get out an do some work in the upper garden this afternoon.  It had dried enough that I was able to weed the front raised bed and plant seven pepper plants that I had picked up at Rite-Aid (great prices, only 89 cents for a four inch pot).  While working in the garden I saw a sight I have not seen in years…..massive numbers of bees in my raspberries.  They were teaming with bees, flying from flower to flower.  Go bees!

We also harvested some spinach this morning for a pasta dinner – orzo, spinach and sausage.  It’s just starting to bolt so I’ll have to put in some more seed tomorrow.

Peach Cobbler

1 stick butter
1.25 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
.75 cup milk
1 quart jar of peaches – drained

Melt butter in 10″ cast iron skillet while oven is preheating. Combine flour baking powder, sugar and milk and mix to the consistency of pancake batter.  Add the batter to the butter in the preheated pan.  Add the peaches to the top of the batter and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

Welcome to our New Kitty

We would like to welcome a new kitty into our home.  We lost Darwin this year and Suzuki seemed a little lonely.  After much thought, we decided that we would all like to look for a kitty-friend for Noah and a buddy for Suzuki.  After a trip to the Humane Society, we came home with Faye (might need a new name). She is a six year old, 17 pound tabby with a lot of love and a big purr.

This naming thing is tough.  She’s a girl, but really, she doesn’t look like one – she looks like a Boris or Apollo.  Tonight I saw an interesting piece about a British cat that likes to get on the local train (alone) and ride to the sea park to watch the penguins.  He’s been doing it for three years.  His name is Percy – – – – -I think I like it????