leftover cheese | 8:55 am | 10 November 2012
What to do with all the leftover cheese? French onion soup!
What to do with all the leftover cheese? French onion soup!
We’ve been making a lot of soufflé lately, as we gear up to lead a workshop. My usual practice as cheese-monger-ee has been pretty sloppy: scrawl “Swiss cheese” on the grocery list, then find myself shuffling from foot to foot in the dairy section, trying to remember if we’d ever come up with a preference….eventually grabbing the cheapest of whatever looked decent. Really, everything there looks decent—I’m too lazy to drive to the Giant Chain Grocers (and besides, they give me ADD-hives) so I shop at the locals, which have really nice cheese.
To put an end to this nonsense, here are the three non-baby, non-mega-dairy Swiss cheeses available at the Willy St. Coöp last week: Emmenthaler (source unknown), Edelweiss Grass-fed Emmenthaler, and Cave-aged Guryère (source unknown).
We tasted the cheeses uncooked, first, then in four soufflés—the fourth was a mix of half Guryère and half Grassy Emmenthaler. Guryère, solo, wins by a mile. Here’s our notes:
Personal Brewery Is All-In-One Beer Factory—because brewing was SO HARD before this!
The only step this saves is siphoning the beer from the fermenter into your bottles (or keg, if you’re fancy). Bottling five gallons takes me, oh, about an hour. For only $4500, I’ll get that hour back! Huzzah.
The jazz is on the stereo, the steak is seasoned, the olives are stuffed with blue cheese, and the gin’s in the freezer.
Why, hello, Friday Night! It’s lovely to see you again.
Celebrating St Patrick’s Day with French food and Piña Coladas. Prosit!
Racked Sven’s Oatmeal stout, and brewing Hammerhead Porter. Long mash!
Racked the Warbler Pale Ale, and brewed the Sven’s Oatmeal Stout.
Bottled the Rachel-in-Dairyland cream ale, racked the Red Foxx, and brewed another batch of Warbler Pale Ale.
Making blintzes. Not stingy.
Brewing Badger Red Foxx Ale as he spins up the funk and acid/jazz on the downloader. Yay, Saturdays.
Dancing in the kitchen to Sly, the Staples Singers, HAIR, and the Sex Pistols.
Bottled the Russian Imperial Stout and the Oktoberfest; racked the cream ale; made beef stock and turned it into French onion soup; made the sauce for tomorrow’s lasagna; stuffed the sopressata; he made chicken pot pie and lemon curd torte… the kitchen is going to be glad tomorrow’s Monday!
This captures so well the grim determination that’s needed for first-time sausage making. Armed with Charcuterie, The Art of Fermented Sausages, and, err… Charcuterie, our long-term goal may be to get good at making tasty, tasty meat products, but our short-term goal is to not die.
Our shortest-term goal starting out was harder than it seemed. While we did ok on the provisioning (thanks, internet!), and I already had a meat grinder, the stuffing doesn’t really go so well without the right tools. A big pastry bag is great, but you really need the long nozzle of a trumpet to jam the casings up. (Like putting on stockings: you start by pre-loading them at the foot, rather than just trying to shove your leg in them.) The meat went back into the freezer for two days, while Amazon swooped in with the Kitchen-Aid grinder attachment + sausage stuffer tubes. Do NOT buy! It worked …ok, but the amount of product you can get through the masher at a time is paltry. Sure, they’ll sell you a big piece of plastic you can attach to pile more on, but you’re still stuck feeding the mill–and for all the power of the KA motor, you’re really still doing a lot of work: you have to push that plunger very hard to keep the sausage going through at any speed. Plunge, reload, plunge–it’s a drag, and results in a ton of air pockets to prick. Also, the tubes are plastic; for the same price, you can get metal over at Butcher-Packer. I’m sending the grinder attachment back: next time, we’ll shove the trumpet tube inside a pastry bag.
Racking the Russian Imperial Stout; might need to pick up another carboy so I can do the same with the Oktoberfest. Also, the boeuf bourguignon in the oven for tomorrow night smells awesome.
Bottled the California Golden Ale last night.
Smokey the (alt) Beer now occupying Fermenter #2.
Dry-hopped the 10-Forward dark brown ale, and racked the California golden. Hope the CA will be ready before the supply of Kölsch and Groundskeeper Willie runs out!
A long time ago, the pantry used to be a bathroom. The refrigerator was in the middle of the kitchen, and the dishwasher rolled over to the sink. A day with a Sawzall and some new plumbing skills later, we had a somewhat serviceable pantry. Paint, the pegboard, and the hanging potrack helped a lot, but it’d still have been charitable to call it tolerably grim. Racks of shelves never really fit next to the fridge well—there was always too much space around them for things to fall; the garbage and litter boxes stood in front of the shelve bottoms, and were nasty to navigate; and, for all the space it seemed like we might have, it never really stored anything well or accessibly besides the pots. The first—and gnarliest—thing to tackle in finishing the pantry: the floor.
The pantry’s previous life as a bathroom meant that there basically was no floor where the shower stall once stood; just plywood. The crappy installation job of the previous owner’s vinyl, plus the humidity, also meant it was curling up around the corners. Perfect places for dirt to hide forever, and perfect ways for mice to sneak in during the winter.
Over the new year holiday (yeah, this post is a little late) we took a week off to rip everything out and lay down a new bamboo floor. We got off pretty easy—unlike the bathroom, the base was pretty new and didn’t require more than a day’s work leveling and tinkering. A new floor and new shelves have made this space a lot more usable, and a lot less gross. There’s still more to be done, though: next up, we’re looking for a smaller fridge, and then we can put a counter across the back wall and bring the shelves around the corner.
Bottled scotch ale / brewed a different scotch ale / brewed a kölsch.
Bottled the biere de garde / racked the dark ale / just brewed a weiss: …relaxing, and no longer worried.
Bottled the wit, racked the porter, brewing the bier de de garde tomorrow; next: uncorking the Scotch ale.
Dunkelweiss bottled; Scotch ale on the hob, next to a pot of chili.
Racked last week’s amber into a carboy, and brewing brown ale this afternoon.