Monday, February 15, 2010

The 'whey'-ey-ting is the hardest part.

OK, so waiting isn't really all that bad, but I couldn't resist paying homage to Tom Petty and his song, The Waiting.

Day four of the cheese trial is coming to an end, but there still seems to be little difference in the appearance of the milk in the jar.  I am still not seeing any distinct separation of the curds and the whey.  The milk at the top of the jar is only slightly whiter than the milk at the bottom.  Whey should have a pale yellowish color and should be translucent.  I think that I am going to wait another day before I try to strain the whey from the curds.  If it doesn't work, I will likely give Melynda at Deerfield Farm a call to see what I am doing wrong.  They make their own cheese on the farm using their milk.  It also occurs to me that I might just be able to obtain some whey from them.

We found ourselves downtown yesterday, so I stopped at It's Only Natural to pick up some more raw pumpkin seeds.  Properly soaked and dried, these make an excellent snack for me.  I used up my last batch when we went to see Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief on Friday.  I ate my pumpkin seeds as opposed to candy or popcorn.
This time, I decided to try to season the pumpkin seeds during the soaking time.  I bought 1/2 pound of seeds this time so that I could make some lightly salted and some 'pepitas.'  When I got home, I split the seeds into two separate containers, covered them with water (I have a PUR Water Filter attached to my faucet), and added sea salt to both containers.  To one, I added some dried, ground organic chili peppers as well (It's Only Natural has an array of organically spices).  I set both containers to soak overnight.  This morning, I drained the water from the containers and spread the seeds in my food dehydrator and started the drying process.  I could use the oven, but the food dehydrator uses less energy to achieve the same result.

My next project is going to be growing my own peppers.  We have a small garden outside, but every attempt to grow peppers in the past has failed.  Either the bugs or the squirrels get to them before they have the chance to grow.  My plan is to try to grow some in pots indoors.  This way, I can at least keep the squirrels away.  I am hoping to support my pepper plants with a small amount of composting.  Depending on the variety, I can then either use some of the whey that I acquire from the cheese-making to preserves the peppers or I can dehydrate and grind them to be used as seasoning.

I really need a bigger kitchen!

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