Hello Hello! I had the most relaxing weekend I have had in a long time as a result of my executive decision to stop reading for my classes. I took a major test this weekend so gave myself most of the weekend off. There comes a time in the semester when the Professor’s continued attempts to teach me things just seems futile. I am like stop already, I am trying to hurry up and learn everything you have been teaching and I have been ignoring for the last three months.

As a result we had a chance to step out with some old neighbors who we don’t see very often anymore. We went to Local, which is new to Ferndale. It has a beautiful front, that you just have to see. We had to wait nearly an hour to eat which was a very long time, just as we were about to leave they found us a table. The problem with waiting that long (or perhaps by design) is that we had all had three drinks and were starving. The subsequent order was ridiculous, between the four of us we had

Fried Green Tomatoes

Sweet Potato Tots

Poutine

Bolognaise Pasta

Macaroni and Cheese

Fennel Gratin

Scallops

Soup

Walleye

That amount of food, and four people, does not compute. I think the best was the sweet potato tots but those also came out first, so we were hungriest. They have little corn muffins that come out right away that were delicious, but tiny. Everyone but me ordered dessert, which the host thought was weird, and he ended up bringing me the homemade blueberry ice cream anyway! It was delicious but I was so full already that John had most of two desserts. We all agreed that while it would rarely be worth it to wait that long for a meal (and it was pretty pricey), this time it was. The thoughtful dessert certainly helped. Then we went home and did what all 20-30 somethings do after a nice dinner, go to a party played catchphrase.

During my test John had gone to Eastern Market to pick up some supplies, which was good because by Sunday Morning I could not wait to use this:

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From this:

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I am pretty delighted! I used the tutorial on You Craft Me Up except I bought a decal instead of dealing with the tattoo. I used paint form home depot, about 3 coats, and $21.00 total including the decals. The I fired it up and made a lot of things.

Lemon Zest Scones (ok)

Lemon Rosemary Bread (less ok but edible)

and this:

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Blurry Focaccia. It may not look amazing but it was. And incredibly unhealthy. I’ll give you the secret though, follow any recipe for focaccia bread, and then add this as a topping:

2-3 Tablespoons Rosemary

.5 tsp red pepper flakes

2 closed chopped garlic

Salt and Pepper.

enough olive oil to make a paste out of the above raw ingredients. Then spread it on the raw focaccia and cook. It was amazing. John and I managed to get food poisoning not once, but twice on our honeymoon and ended up just eating at a place called “Pizza” several times which was actually amazing. They had the above sauce as a sauce for pizza and we were both impressed that it was a taste that we had never experienced anything like before. We got the recipe, and it its mine now. So maybe I am not terrible at baking, but only at baking sweet things?

Then I was excited to have enough time to finally try the second hard cheese. The Farmhouse cheddar which we already tasted was delicious and much more successful than I was expecting, so I was excited to try again. Plus how can you say no to a salad that you made/grew entirely yourself:

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(homemade bread and cheese, homegrown arugula, kale, spinach, and lettuce mix with home grown tomatoes that are still ripening in a brown bag in the basement).

Especially since we will soon be having a lot more milk available. So now I have made Farmhouse cheddar and I was trying to do a stirred curd cheddar, but by following a youtube video ended up making traditional cheddar. It did take a long time but was very exciting. I never end up taking pictures in the beginning because it just looks like a container of milk, and also I am usually thinking its not going to work haha. The milk is supposed to ripen at 90 degrees in a water bath. However, I vastly overestimated how warm 90 degrees is (it is cooler than body temperature APPARENTLY) AND how much the milk would cool the water.  I accidentally brought the milk to 116 degrees. The optimal range for mesothilic starter is 86-113 degrees, so I was hoping I at least didn’t kill it. After I added the rennet the curds were not coming together so I added a second measurement of rennet (this time in unchlorinated water, oops) and let it sit for an extra hour. When I cut the curd I was still not impressed but moved forward draining the curds from the whey and putting them in a cheese cloth and back in the (now empty) pot in the warm water bath. They came out looking like this:

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PROGESS.

Those guys went back into the pot for 2 hours.

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More whey drained (I was supposed to flip them but forgot, oops). Seemed fine, I broke them up, added the salt, and milled the curds. Then I packed them into the mold, and pressed.

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It is still pressing right now,  but that is SO MUCH better. It is so much better that I am thinking about making it again tonight but the jalapeno version. Because I have some jalapenos, so of course all I could do with them is make cheese. Hopefully it takes less than eight hours this time, or I regain my sanity.

While I was doing all of this John made some moves in the yard. With a lamp post in our yard that has been randomly standing around peeling paint since we bought the house. We found a great lamp that was much cheaper than the one we had been eyeing at home depot, and brought it home. Some spray paint and a solar lamp later, it looks awesome.

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There was a little studying the weekend, that quickly devolved into a doodle photo shoot.

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Even models get distracted sometimes

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How is his neck that long!?

He learned that paw cross from his big sister, but she was too busy dreaming about bones to show off her stuff.

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