The previous recipe, my first DIY cheese-making blog, was pretty straightforward. But there was just one problem: citric acid was really difficult to find.
A cheese-making friend of mine ran into this problem a few weeks back—and she hasn’t made cheese since. The grocery store attendants didn’t know what citric acid was and figured she was using it for a nefarious plot. Perhaps she should have referred to citric acid as “sour salt” to avert suspicion.
You can order citric acid/sour salt online, but who wants to pay extra for shipping and handling? Rennet tablets were another “controversial” ingredient. My friend surprisingly never heard of rennet tablets even though she makes cheese all the time.
It’s so lovely when you like your neighbors. Granted, sometimes I don’t think I like all of mine, but there are some awesome ones in my building! One in particular, Melissa, is an excellent hostess who ALWAYS manages to have the perfect little plates, utensils, and pretty finishing touches at every event she hosts.
This past week, Melissa made this dessert – she called it lazy cannoli. It was delicious, easy, and downright enlightening. Even a kitchen klutz like me could make it. As someone who thinks about efficiency a lot, is this “lazy” or merely “highly efficient?" Anyway, try it for yourselves! Beware, though, you might not want to share it once you taste it.
Melissa’s “Lazy Cannoli” Recipe
15oz Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1/2 Cup Confectioners Powdered Sugar
Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips to taste (around 1/2 cup as well). You can grate a dark chocolate bar instead of using mini chocolate chips.
Optional: some diced Maraschino Cherries to taste
One of the unexpected pleasures of my job is developing ongoing e-mail exchanges with readers. These are usually triggered by questions or concerns, wishing to share stories of cheese-related activities or simply feedback on articles we've put out there.
Some time last year, I received an e-mail from a lovely Italian lady, Paola, now living in the Philadelphia area. Paola was homesick for good Italian ricotta and wrote to ask if we knew of any sources of either domestically produced or imported ricotta that might assuage her craving. She had tried Bellwether Farm's ricotta and loved it, but it was hard to find on the east coast in good condition, so then started buying Calabro hand-dipped ricotta, which sadly she can no longer find.
Yesterday I moved from one apartment in Boston to another - a disgusting activity, given the temperature outdoors.
During the process, my moving-helpers and I decided to pull the empty drawers out of my dresser before carrying it down the stairs to the street.
This is when we found a handful of yellowed sheets of paper, wedged up in the interior crevices of my dresser.
02 December 2010
Amtrak Surfliner from Los Angeles to Goleta, CA
I have survived the Thanksgiving carbohydrate overdose, followed by the airline’s flight cancellation due to (inperceptable) weather conditions and the subsequent overnight at Syracuse Airport’s Holiday Inn Express, as well as the perk of making the most of it by indulging in Dinosaur BBQ, a 40-some-odd smokehouse and watering hole. The pulled pork at Dinosaur was actually recommended to me by Culture’s own David Newhoff, a man whose taste in food I would trust in even the worst of times. Believe me, being stranded in Syracuse qualified as such, but the AMAZING pulled pork at Dinosaur was definitely a big reward for my not having throttled the rude and flat-affective staff at the Hancock Airport (except you, Denise, Ms. Fabulous at US Airways!)
11 November 2010
I bounced out of bed this morning, completely primed for some serious fun in town: a visit to the local cheese farmer. Trying to fight the urge to pre-write my fantasy visit to the enchanted, I followed Cornelia to La Tavolata, the restaurant at Podere Conti, the agriturismo I will call home for the coming week. I trotted along behind her like a happy puppy at her heels. Of course, morning coffee will never be the same after this morning’s doppio espresso. Add that to the list of “I never want to leave because of…”s.