My sisters both went home to Rhode Island this weekend, visiting from NYC and DC, and I was stuck in Boston with work and too much homework. They posted silly pictures to my facebook to let me know they were thinking of me. One was from our favorite coffee shop, The Coffee Depot. I worked there for eight years, and my mom runs the place, so it has naturally become an extension of our kitchen/living room. My dad drops in on his way to work and again on his way home. It's the homework spot, the lazy day spot, the let's meet before we go to dinner spot, and there is a constant stream of New Harvest Coffee available.
For me, this autumn has been gastrocentric. Scrumptious seasonal ingredients and the cool, crisp weather make me want to spend hours in the kitchen, which is exactly what I did this past weekend. In addition to baking apple crumb cake and oatmeal dark chocolate chip cookies, I also made my first ever raviolis.
The inspiration for this meal was my request, maybe it was a demand, for goat cheese and butternut squash, but the recipe is Ben's. I provided the challenge to think up something ideal for fall and he formulated this fun project and delicious meal. I also made sure it was recorded.
The High Holidays began Sunday night in Jewish homes around the world, ushered in with a feast to mark Rosh Hashanah, the “head of the year,” in the Judaic calendar. As I buzzed around that afternoon gathering the requisite honey and apples, choosing wine, baking a special round-shaped challah, and cooking dinner, I was reminded once again how essential food is to Jewish ritual. At every holiday, the dining table becomes a kind of altar and each cook a virtual priest who creates the spirit of the holiday through symbolic the foods. Sanctity is homemade.
Since our first tasting of the Jasper Hill Cheese, I have been busy with my photo shows and HOME cheese making.
There have been several styles of cheeses made from my kitchen.
I have been experiencing a slight temperature consistency problem with my min-fridge "cheese cave" over the past couple of years in my cheese making. My cave has been running a little too cold for the cheese affinage (aging), average 50 to 55 degrees. Different styles of cheeses may require a slight variation in temp for ageing, some as low as 40 - 45 degrees which works quite well in the mini fridge but 50 - 55 is more difficult to obtain.
Huzzah! I have created cheese.
I'm a big fan of Etsy, an online marketplace that features vintage items, handmade goods, and crafting supplies. I guess you could say it's a bohemian take on Ebay. It was on Etsy that I discovered Claudia Lucero and her do-it-yourself cheesemaking shop, UrbanCheeseCraft. Options include mozzarella, paneer, ricotta, queso blanco, and of course, chèvre. I showed Will and he suggested that I try my hand at making chèvre. I cried "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED" in my head, and here I am. Oh dear.