Monthly Archives: February 2011
I am not a foodie in the food snob sense, but I do love food, no question. I’ll try anything at least once – and this after a childhood so picky that my name might as well have been “No Potatoes and No Beans”, my response whenever I was asked what I wanted for dinner – and I’ve experimented a lot more in last 6 months, making hummus and homemade mayo and stuff like that. This past week, though, I did some pretty cool stuff that I ended up really happy with. Read the rest of this entry
I just read an article on Slate about the beloved Choose Your Own Adventure series of books, and it made me think about those days of school book fairs and curling up in my room with the latest one, Forbidden Castle or Deadwood City. I was probably 8 when I got my first one, and it was like the first hit of heroin for me. I suddenly had the power to choose where a narrative went – my decisions suddenly mattered. What was going to happen to me? It was intoxicating. Read the rest of this entry
Imagine: in an instant, all your credit card debt is wiped away. School loans? Gone. The mortgage or rent payment is no longer an issue. That job you schlep to with the boss that by rights shouldn’t be qualified to flip burgers is a thing of the past, its entire purpose dissolved and rendered meaningless. No more homework, or working nights and weekends, or being burdened with the thousand trivial idiocies that consume every second of our lives, from political bullshit to scare-tactic news to nosy neighbors and irritating phone calls. Welcome to the Apocalypse. Read the rest of this entry
This series of posts describes my recent trip to Bobolink Dairy Farm. I decided to break it into chunks because I apparently have a lot to say about it. Today’s entry finishes up the visit.
With our cheese in its molds, it was time to turn our minds to lunch. We were having pizza, cooked in Bobolink’s brick-oven (which you can monitor the temperature of and watch a webcam of from their website – which is pretty cool, and reminds me of a friend that used to have one installed in his Coke machine). In the episode of No Reservations that visited the farm, Jonathan and Nina made an amazing-looking pizza with veal and other toppings. He tells that ever since, people have come in asking for pizza. They don’t make them to sell; the cost would have to be too high, he tells us. The only way to get one is to bring a camera crew, he jokes – but luckily for us, if you take the cheese-making class, you get one as well. Read the rest of this entry
This series of posts describes my recent trip to Bobolink Dairy Farm. I decided to break it into chunks because I apparently have a lot to say about it. Today’s entry finishes up the cheese-making process.
As the milk starts curdling, Jonathan draws on his engineering background and draws the exponential growth rate over time on a makeshift graph, illustrating the point of the curve that we are going to add our final ingredient, which will stop the milk from turning into yogurt and instead make it draw together to form cheese. It’s a special enzyme, we learn, one that comes from the stomachs of calves (and all mammals): rennet. This enzyme will cause the proteins to coagulate and separate into curds and whey.
It’s all well and good to draw graphs and whatnot, but there is no way to know exactly when the right time to add the rennet really is, according to a clock. Instead, we have to once again rely on our senses. We smell the milk, looking for sour notes, and taste it, looking for the same thing. After twenty or so minutes, we can all smell it, and the flavor is different, acidic, and we’re ready. In goes the rennet. Read the rest of this entry
Lady Aravan and I used to watch Attack of the Show on G4 faithfully. Kevin Periera and Olivia Munn had fantastically goofy chemistry, the show was fun, and we both loved it.
Then Olivia Munn got all famous, wrote a book, got a gig on the Daily Show, then her own sit-com, and that was that. For most of 2010, Kevin had to labor alongside a guest host every night. Some of them, like Alison Haislip and Morgan Webb of X-Play, were great – not Olivia, but themselves, and that was perfect. Others, well, didn’t do so well, and they were so memorable I can’t remember a single one of their names. Read the rest of this entry
This series of posts describes my recent trip to Bobolink Dairy Farm. I decided to break it into chunks because I apparently have a lot to say about it. Today’s entry chronicles the finer points of milk and cheese.
While Lady Aravan is gleefully milking cows and scratching cow heads and hearing stories, I begin my education in cheesecrafting. I have my little cheesemaking hat on (see yesterday’s picture) and don an apron. There’s all kinds of stuff all over this little room, but the important things are a table in the center, and a rack next to it. On the rack are several round smaller cheese wheels, a handful of cheese pyramids, and a larger wheel. Later on we’ll learn the names (the small wheels are Amram, the pyramids are something I can’t remember, and the larger wheel is Baudolino), but for now we learn that those cheeses were made two days ago, and they are headed to The Cave. Lulu takes them away while Jonathan promises we’ll see them later. Read the rest of this entry
This series of posts describes my recent trip to Bobolink Dairy Farm. I decided to break it into chunks because I apparently have a lot to say about it. Today’s entry chronicles the early part of the day.
This is the part where I go backwards a little bit before going forward, because I like to ramble, and because there was some stuff I forgot to say. First, I want to answer the question: Why Bobolink?
When Lady Aravan and I were on our journey to better health, we by chance started watching Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. It’s not a cooking show, but it is a show about food and travel, and we liked Tony’s acerbic sense of humor and presentation. One show he did was set in New Jersey, and in that show he traveled to a small cheese-and-bread-making farm called Bobolink. There he met a raw-milk enthusiast, baked bread, and had what sounded like the world’s best pizza. Read the rest of this entry