today's culinary adventures

First off, I made a pot of yogurt last night using a few tablespoons of Fage
Greek yogurt and a half gallon of milk. Making yogurt is one of the easiest
(and most mystifying) kitchen activities I have encountered thus far.
Simply heat up your milk (try not to let it boil, although I neglected to do
this last night due to my reading a book), let it cool off again until it is luke
warm (cool enough to take a bath in, best temperature description ever,
unless you take really hot baths) and add a few tablespoons of yogurt. Then
cover it with a lid/plate/towel/all three and put it somewhere to incubate.
I stick it in the oven with the oven off (or the light on). Let it sit overnight,
and you'll have a whole pot of yogurt! To get fancy, pour your yogurt into a
cheesecloth set up in a strainer over a large pot. Weight the top of it and the
whey will start to strain out. The result is a pot of whey and a strainer full
of thick delicious yogurt! (if it is too lumpy after straining, stick it in a

Now previously, I had always dumped the whey down the drain, but I decided
to give this ricotta thing a whirl, since I had already put aside the day to ruining
the kitchen, so the whey went back on the stove, and lo and behold! the curds
started to coagulate, and it smelled like warm fresh ricotta cheese. It was really
a lovely smell. It would have been great, except that this is all the yield I got
from a quart of whey:

But moving on.

Sunday night dinner number two was a smashing success with the theme "things
that look like eggs but aren't eggs." Featured below: Jesse's buckwheat and rice
crust, swiss chard, pesto, and double cheese deep dish pizza, and my curried lentil
burgers with yogurt and sauerkraut.

and Lauren's savory bread pudding, absolutely delicious, even though it didn't
look like an egg. All of this was washed down with the best kombucha I've ever
had: locally made smoked pear (in a beautiful glass bottle to boot).

We took a long break before dessert, because gluten free pizza, lentils, and
bread pudding all tend to expand in your stomach after a few minutes.
Conversation soon turned to the day's kitchen absurdity, which not only involved
burning a pot of mung beans beyond repair, but also included burning a pot of
curried lentils (salvageable at least), and to top it all off, letting the water boil off
while making dulce de leche, and burning the crap out of that as well. A cursory
archaeological search in my kitchen sink yielded a solid chunk of formerly-
sweetened-condensed-milk ash. I'm going to attribute all of these to being

But dessert couldn't wait forever, and soon we sat down to a lemon-white chocolate
mousse with mango, rosewater and azuki bean mochi, and dulce de leche. Damn tasty.

Now taking suggestions for next week's dinner theme, although it might end up
being "anything but lentils," which are what I will be eating for lunch and dinner
the remainder of the week.

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