Wednesday, June 17, 2009

kijiji



I'm driving myself mad. It's kijiji's fault really -- too much free stuff. Add that to my very flexible schedule and you have an exhausting combination.

On the right are the straw bales that I brought from out of town to mulch the garden with. I didn't want to make two trips, so I wound up with waaay too much. Should have taken Wendy's advice there :(

I've also been hauling a lot of rocks which are getting put to use for some nice front yard landscaping. Many are still in "storage" until I have time to do some more sod removal.

All this might be somewhat diverting if I weren't continuing to attempt all the new food production things that I've learned recently. Casualties are mounting. Yesterday I killed millions of bacteria when I messed up making yogurt. When will the insanity end? Wendy told me to stop doing extra shit and start behaving like a human being towards my children. Do you think she is trying to tell me something?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Butter

Being injured sucks.
We've talked about this before. My elbow is still nagging me but, I have started a slow program of push-ups again. As well, you may have noticed that the spreadsheet up top has a couple of new times for the Arts Tower. Neither of them are PB's but both are very strong and I am encouraged by how good I feel at the top. Today I ran to campus (20min), stumped heavily up the first 8 floors of Arts (40sec) and then ran home (20min).

My computer is back. Against what they told me were the odds, the data on my harddrive was indeed lost. Soooo, I have lost about 3 months of pictures. Ouch. That really hurts. You may recall that my ambitious photo campaign has been to assist my pathetic memory. Loosing 3 months is a blow that will certainly result in more regular back-ups.

I do have all of the last 4-5 weeks of photos that I accumulated while my computer was in the shop. This is the one that I want to share with you today.

So... you shake it. Yeah, you knew that already. Do it in a container at least 3 times the volume of the cream you start with. It makes the shaking much easier. Shake until it becomes whipped. Then continue to shake REALLY hard until it begins to separate and look like cottage cheese. Alternately drain off the butter milk (or just drink it) and continue to shake to get all the butter into one lump. Then you "massage" it if you want to get as much milk out as possible. Try it. There is something very satisfying about the whole process. I feel embarrassed that I never made anything so simple before the age of 30. Talk about prolonged infancy.

The thing that isn't omnipresent is price comparison information. Unsalted Butter (454g) =$4.50 or roughly 1 cent/gram. Whipping cream (1 litre) =$3.55 which produces (based on 6 trials so far) 350-400g of butter or roughly 1 cent/gram. Based on butter alone it comes out a stalemate unless you buy salted butter, which strangely is cheaper. However, the homemade process also yields 500ml of the most delicious butter-milk you've never tasted.

As a final note, I bought all my whipping cream 3 days before the best before date (1/2 price!), turned it into butter and froze it. If you can manage that, it's a hands down win for do it yourself. Plus, it really is empowering. You won't know until you do it. And the butter is really good.