Monday, May 18, 2009

Watered / Cheese

WATER! We have WATER! yesterday, totally out of the blue one of our neighbors called, he was heading out to go and fill his big (1500 gallons) water tank on his truck. And, would we like it if he stopped by and filled our tanks? Whoot! Our two 325 gallon water tanks are now mostly full. There is over 300 gallons in each. With prudent refilling from what we haul from the gas station, this will last us all summer, even with laundry, showers, dishes, watering a few growing things and a few critters. It's an unexpected bounty and one we are very grateful for.

Other than that we didn't do a whole lot. I didn't sleep well Saturday night, and so not a whole lot was being felt like being done. the dishes told me to take the day off and so did the sweeping, noodle making and bread baking. I did, however, make up a batch of BLM (Bisquick like mix) and made some corn tortillas, and some hummus and that was lunch yesterday.

I was going to make pancakes for breakfast this morning, BUT, hubby was up almost all night last night and so was I (again!). This means he's not eating at the moment, and I reheated the spaghetti sauce from dinner last evening and had it over bread for breakfast. Maybe I'll do pancakes for lunch instead.

Today, I am going to make noodles. Spaghetti noodles will be the order of the day. It's 8 cups of flour and 12 eggs and you make them up and dry air dry them. Then you can keep them for up to 3 months or so in your cabinet. I am thinking this would be MUCH cheaper than buying them as we pay $1.50 a dozen for our eggs, and the flour came from the commodities I receive from the local Tribe. It's good flour, and doesn't cost us anything other than my being Native American.

Since it is supposed to be close to 90 again today, I sit here all dressed up. lol. I have on my jeans, but I rolled the legs up to my knees so they look like clam digger pants, and my swimsuit top. I wore shorts yesterday, but with the loose legs on the shorts, I got skeeter bit in places I don't want bit again. Since I am allergic to skeeters, I get huge swellings and itch like MAD from the bites. The straps on the swimsuit top will allow me to get some sun when I go outside later today. Whoot. I need some more color.

other than that, there isn't a lot of plans for the day. Our new neighbor called last night to see if we needed anything from the local big city as he's going in today, but since we are basically broke until our next check comes in we expressed our thanks, and said maybe next time. now that we are getting paid only once a month instead of weekly, I have been working on a shopping list for when we DO go in. I'll tell you, it's double column, and fills a full notebook sheet, as well as has stuff written sideways in the margins. There is so much to get to restock the food larder when you go a full month.

Ok. I am going to read for a bit. Looking into making our own cheese... But I don't have rennet. lol. will have to try some with just vinegar. Here is a few of the recipes I found to try.

Cookin' with Powdered Milk
By: Peggy Layton

Zesty Parmesan Cheese

1 1/2 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cup powdered milk
4 1/2 TBSP. lemon juice

Blend together. Cook over low heat until milk boils. The curds will be small. Pour into a cheese cloth strainer. Rinse and pour out all excess water. Put curds in a bowl and stir to break up. Spread on a cookie sheet and dry for 2 hours at 150 F in the oven. Salt and blend in blender to make a powder. Put in a shaker

Home Cheese Making
By: Ricki Carroll

Queso Blanco

Queso Blanco which is spanish for "white cheese", is a Latin American Specialty with many variations. It is a firm cheese, with a bland mildly sweet flavor. It is easy to make and an excellent choice if you are in a hurry or if the weather is very hot, a condition that causes problems in the production of many cheeses.

This cheese is excellent for cooking, because it has the unique property of not melting, even when deep-fried. It is often diced into 1/2 inch cubes and added to stir-fries, soups or sauces (such as spaghetti) or used in chinese cooking as a substitue for bean curd. It browns nicely and takes on the flavor of the food and spices in a recipe.

1 gallon whole milk
1/4 cup vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)

in a large pot, directly heat the milk to between 185 and 190 F, stirring often to prevent scorching.

Slowly add the vinegar, a little at a time, until the curds separate from the whey. Usually 1/4 cup of vinegar will precipitate 1 gallon of milk. you may increase the temperature to 200 F in order to use less vinegar and avoid an acidic or sour taste in your cheese. (Do not boil, as boiling will impart a "cooked" flavor.)

Ladle the curds into a colander lined with butter muslin. tie the corners of hte muslin into a knot and hang the bag to drain for several hours, or until the cheese has reached the desired consistency.

Remove the cheese from the muslin. Store ina covered bowl in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

yield: 1 1/2 to 2 pounds

I'll try one of these sometime in the next few weeks and then let everyone know how it goes.


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