Thursday, July 01, 2010

Where has the time gone?

I'm such a bad blogger (and I seem to say that a lot.) I've been working on things in the kitchen which I should have mentioned, bought new (old) clothes, and even started looking for a place to call our own.

On the Kitchen Front (I'll update with pictures later), I tried water bath canning pickles for our family reunion in June. I made beets, spicy garlic sprouts and dilly carrots. It seemed to go well and only two jars didn't seal. The plan is to put up a few market crops this summer so we can have them in the dark of winter. this weekend I will be doing beets and possible green beans as I saw some at the Tuesday market.

In other kitchen news, Mother Trucker inspired me to try my hand a yogurt. I found it had a lot of whey separating out, but haven't found the right mix for draining it yet. The second batch drained a bit too much and is almost cheese-like. Fortunately I kept the whey this time and can mix some back in.

Speaking of cheese, all this fermenting got me thinking about making real cheese again. I checked out New England Cheese Making Supply as I've gotten things from them before and they have a very reasonable mozzarella kit which is now on its way to me. If that goes well I will try again to make a cheddar, or perhaps go for their hard cheese kit and make some others.

The last of the dairy trifecta is butter. I've never understood how someone can accidentally make butter. I have never whipped cram beyond the fluffy stage myself, but this morning I went for it. I used two pints of heavy cream, left out in a covered bowl overnight, and whipped with a hand mixer it on low until it passed whipped cream and separated into fat (butter) and liquid (buttermilk). This is when some butter muslin would have come in handy, but I seem to be out (although more is on order with the cheese kit.) After you've gotten the separation, you need to drain the buttermilk off, which I did with a fine mesh strainer. You then kneed the butter in cold water to rinse out any remaining buttermilk, draining the water when it becomes cloudy. I packed it into a small container and popped it in the fridge, but will probably have to drain off some water when I get home. The butter I licked off my hands was delish!

This weekend should be much cooler than the past few weeks so I should be able to bake some things to top with all of this lovely butter. The plan is to finally start my peapod wine as well, which will clear out a lot of freezer space currently holding pods. I've never made wine before, so this should be an adventure!

That's all for now. Ill update this when I get home with some pictures of the things I've made.


Anonymous said...

Will you salt it? Don't think I've ever tasted unsalted butter.

Teru said...

I actually prefer unsalted butter so will probably leave it as is. I may do a light sprinkle in half of it though just to see how it tastes.