Monday, October 1, 2012

Old Friends and New Cheese

Ken and I are just on our way home from Vancouver, where we attended a “celebration of life” for a doctor friend, whom we met in Dawson Creek almost 30 years ago, and whom we have seen only once in all those years.  There were many old friends and acquaintances present, as well as Chris’s (our dear departed friend) wife and children. When we left Dawson creek they were  small children and some as yet unborn, so it was also quite wonderful to see a family, essentially a generation later.  Sadly with each generation in time, also much tragedy. Along with Chris’s death in June, the older sons wife, 36 months pregnant was found to have a brain tumour and there is much concern for her future as well.  The first grandchild in the family, now about 3 weeks old, and mother quite ill.
 On the one hand I felt like a voyeur peering in on someone else's grief, yet on the other hand I was so touched by what a close family they were/are, and all the wonderful things they have done together over the years. At the very least a very good life lived.
This has been quite a week for “reunions”, in that a close friend of mine from medical school came to visit for the weekend. We have not seen each other for 4 years and  our last get together was in Montreal and had both just finished reading Barbara Kingsolvers book “Animal, vegetable, miracle”, about her families year spent essentially living just on what they grew in their garden. We decided back then in Montreal that we would get together at her house or mine and make mozzarella cheese and can tomatoes, which is exactly what we did.
Although I have already canned tomatoes, she had not and so that part was fun, the cheese make was quite an experience.  We used 2 gallons of organic 1%milk, one at a time. The first batch did not turn out at all, and even CHEWY would not eat it. We were following the instructions from the booklet for that batch. For the next batch we went to youtube and followed instructions from someone else and it worked WONDERFULLY.

The whole concept of self sustainability seems to require these kind of skills, and so immediately after making mozzarella we looked up how to make OTHER cheeses. Always something else to try.
SOOO here is how to make mozzarella.
Mozzarella Ingredients: gallon of milk (you can not use ultra pasteurized)
                        citric acid
                        water (must be chlorine free)
                      computer hooked up to internet and stove, and you are well on your way to making mozzarella cheese. Just google how to make mozzarella cheese.
Next I am going to try goat cheese.