Friday, January 22, 2010

Big Week, Dairyffic!

Whew! It's been a busy week.

I've been trying to get through 7000 words on another revision of the damn novel (aka "the thing that is eating my life"), I went to see The Informant! at the Laurelhurst, and last night there was a cast and crew screening of Extraordinary Measures at the Bagdad. On Wednesday our littlest cat, Fry, was spayed and she's recovering nicely. We've also been taking the dog on long walks and runs through the park.

We had two very nice people from Independence Gardens out to start working on our landscape design; we're building raised beds and going functional-farm in the backyard, but we wanted a pretty, natural-looking garden in the front yard and I'm not good at landscape design. So Independence Gardens is going to show us how to turn our front yard from The Ugliest Lawn In Portland (seriously, it's overgrown weeds and poorly laid-out rose thorns) into a beautiful landscape of edibles and flowers that will attract lots of bees and hummingbirds. I'm very excited about this!

In the evenings I've been playing with dairy. We're still really enjoying that raw milk - especially after a workout; the protein and healthy fat is exactly what you need to repair post-workout muscles - and I've made a big batch of the most spectacular crumbly ricotta cheese. With the leftover whey I made a very tasty and healthy potato-turnip-parsnip soup, and I drizzled it with homemade creme fraiche! The creme fraiche is the easiest thing I've ever made - just stir a tablespoon of raw buttermilk into some raw cream and let it sit for a day or two, and it cultures itself without any work from me.

I got the raw buttermilk by making raw butter, which was also crazy easy! I just skimmed the cream off the milk and went at it with a beater until the butterfat separated from the buttermilk, and then I rinsed the butter clean and that was that. Here's my pretty homemade delicious healthy grassfed raw butter (whew, adjective overload!)...

Here's my delicious ricotta cheese...

And here's how they came together in a mind-blowing hot potato salad! This is fingerling potatoes, celery, green onions, and pickled garlic, cooked together in the homemade butter and rice vinegar, and then served over lettuce with the homemade cheese sprinkled over. I don't mind saying this was one of the most satisfying meals I've ever had.

Tonight I'm going to try my hand at homemade mozzarella, which will find its way into a casserole with mushroom bolognaise, some whole-wheat penne pasta, and the homemade ricotta. That ought to be good for one dinner and a few lunches too!


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  2. The hot potato salad looks great. I'm really enjoying reading about the raw dairy experience; I feel lucky to not only get food porn and Portland envy from your blog, but always an education as well.

  3. Thanks to both of you! Mary, I'm pleased to join the CookEatShare community. Elizabeth - aw, you make me blush. When are you gonna move up here already?