Posted in City Pioneer on 07/29/2009 11:44 am by admin
In our post-apocalyptic village I realized that we were going to be well fed but bored. I got worried that we would all become lazy and instead of being a Shangri-La it would instead look more like Disneyworld. I decided that I needed to begin learning to build some diversions to help keep our hand-eye coordination sharp and get us up and moving.
I built a little ladder golf. Bolo toss. Horse balls if you would. All right, I admit, it isn’t that active at all. Yes, you can play it while holding a beer in one hand. I wanted to make it because it seemed really easy to make and I had access to a drill and a vise.
I tried first to head to the hardware store across the street from me so that I could support local businesses. Unfortunately they didn’t have the kind of PVC pipe I needed. I was following directions that required 1 inch PVC and the smallest they had was 1 1/2 inch. I sucked it up and headed to the Home Depot which was located near a K-Mart also so I would be able to pick up the golf balls I needed. I am not proud.
I was following these directions. Just as a warning, they work great except for the size of the rope. I don’t know how he got that rope through the balls but I got frustrated and needed thinner rope. Judge by your own patience and ingenuity, I was at a BBQ and the dilemma was preventing me from getting to my burger. Additionally, I found another set of directions on-line that suggested gluing 3/4 inch pieces inside of 1 inch pieces and wanted me to cut 60 pieces of PVC pipe. I don’t care how beautiful the thing would look in the end, if you find yourself doing that then you should just go buy a set. It is just not worth that kind of time investment.
I biked to the superstore complex which was a bit scary in itself. Any time I go under a highway outside of the protection of a vehicle I feel a little bit like I am going to be killed. Instead I was offered flowers. There is a man who sells roses under the Rt. 93 overpass. I am assuming that he knocks on people’s car windows. I personally think his business plan might be lacking. I arrived at the Depot and a really nice guy working there was actually going to cut all of the pieces for me. I began to feel bad though and just had him cut them down to reasonable size. At this point I also still believe that I would be able to bike all of this home by just strapping it to my bike side-bag. I am a dreamer.
So I purchased all of the pipe and joints and rope and wheeled my stuff outside in the cart. I looked at my bike. I called my friend Liz who mocked me a reasonable amount and came and picked me up along with loading my bike onto her car. With the aid of a hacksaw and a vice I cut the pieces. Drilled holes in the golfballs and thread the rope through. Easy as that. Entertainment created.
Posted in City Pioneer on 07/22/2009 10:24 am by admin
I made mozzarella from scratch last night. I am both amazed and somewhat freaked out by milk right now. I also now have a whole different picture in my mind when I picture Little Miss Moffitt. She seemed to be sitting on a tuffet eating separated milk. Who can rhyme that though?
So thanks to the 30 minute cheesemaking kit I made some homemade mozzarella. The kit comes with a thermometer, some rennet tablets, citric acid, cheese salt and instructions. So I went on a search for the gallon of whole milk needed to make the cheese. You need milk that has not been Ultra-Pasteurized.
Don’t even go to Shaw’s (which is a generally irritating place anyway). Their Wild Harvest organic milk says that it has been pasteurized but when I got home, I looked it up on-line and found that it was actually Ultra-Pasteurized (read more about this process here and of course also, why this process will kill you and why you should buy local). So I brought it back to the store and returned it! Ha! (I am actually really proud of that because usually I just say, oh well that sucks. Anyone who wants to praise me can feel free to do so.) I then went to the Dairy Bar (an extension of Kickass Cupcakes in Davis Square). I do not like their cupcakes (sorry Kickass…a lot of people do but I find them dry) but they sell dairy products from Shaw Farm in Dracut MA. Their milk is pasteurized using a low temperature vat processing which means that you can make cheese. It also was cheaper than Shaw’s by a penny and it supports a local farm.
Finally, having gotten the milk, I went home and followed the directions and about an hour and a half later (not quite the promised 30 minutes, but I’m a beginner) I had mozzarella that looked and tasted like mozzarella. I will make one note. The directions show you a picture of what it should look like once the curd forms and their picture promises this neat and lovely looking situation. I panicked as I did not have that and almost chucked it and went to drink wine and watch 30 Rock until I found this site. The pictures on this site helped me to soldier on and I made cheese.
When you finish the process you will have a ton of whey. I didn’t do anything with it and so I am guilty of wasting stuff that has nutritional value which will totally get me kicked out of the post-apocalyptic village, but I was tired and the whole process had been a little chaotic. In the future you can save it, it refrigerates well for a couple weeks and you can make biscuits, rice, shakes, use it in place of stock, give it to pets to keep their coat shiny, use it in place of milk in bread recipes, give it to arachnophobic children sitting on toffets, and all other such things. It doesn’t look yummy though, so I am just taking the word of the internet. Here are some pics. I also included a picture of my iTunes list as I would suggest that while you make cheese you have a small kitchen dance party.