For the starter, I tried two things that were new to me to make from scratch — crackers and raw milk cream cheese. The crackers were ridiculously easy. I started with this recipe from Mark Bittman, mixed a bunch of different types of flour, added flax, sunflower and sesame seeds. Very tasty! The cream cheese was the uncooked version, and again with the ridiculously easy. Bring the cream to room temp, add the starter, let set over night, strain, put in molds, chill. Okay! I think I’ll try the cooked version next, but this was very good.
Since I was doing an Asian theme, I took those homemade crackers, spread the cream cheese on them and topped it with wasabi tobiko, and that was the starter for our meal. So good! The tobiko isn’t local, but I think making crackers and cream cheese makes up for that. We didn’t go into town this week for sushi and bridge, because we’ve got too much to do here on the farm to bring Polly and Pearl home this weekend, and I really missed my sushi! This helped.
I got a little more adventuresome with my pasta making this week, and used a bunch of different flours — buckwheat from Maine, whole wheat, potato. I liked the way it came out, with a bit of a nutty flavor, and one recipe made four meals for us, which is perfect. I think I want to make an even larger batch, but drying them is a bit of a pain. I bought this drying rack from Amazon, and it’s fine, but I wonder if I can make something more like this one? We certainly have enough scrap wood around, and it will take up less space. I remember my grandmother used to have pasta drying on the backs of chairs and every other surface on pasta making day.
I had a bunch of veggies from the farm stand at Stonewall farm where I pick up my raw milk, and I made another batch of queso blanco with said milk, so I wanted to duplicate a meal that I had when I took the Cheesemaking 101 course. She used the queso blanco in an Asian stirfry in place of tofu, and I had really liked it. I’d only used it in Mexican meals previously, and cheese with Asian flavorings sounds weird, but it really works out nicely. So paired with the homemade noodles instead of rice, it made for quite the nice quick meal at the end of a hot day.
For dessert, I tried the Girl Scout thin mint knock-off from Small-Batch Baking. They came out so well! So yummy, and very very close to the original. However, I took a hint from the Kingsolver book, and doubled the recipe, which sort of defeats the Small Batch Baking concept, doesn’t it? I had quit baking for us when the kids moved out, and that book inspired me to make little desserts for just Frank and I. But Kingsolver points out that when you are cooking locally, it’s a lot more work, so double or triple your recipes if it is at all complicated. So now I’ve got a roll of chocolate dough in the fridge for the next time I want a quick tasty dessert, and I don’t have to worry about the million preservatives in store-bought cookies. Sweet!
[Documented for One Local Summer.]