Picture
It's hardly a secret - I love cheese.

My all-time favorite is extra sharp cheddar, but any cheese is worth my time!  After making yogurt last week, I had about a quart of milk left over.  So I made some cheese!

Farmer cheese, and its cousin paneer, is by far the simplest cheese to make - you don't need rennet, it doesn't need to age, and there are only two ingredients. 

Got milk?  Got vinegar?  Great - let's make cheese!


 
 
Well, I never intended to become a ladybug wrangler, but the everlasting Aphid War has forced my hand. 

It started with my arugula plant, and a hatchery of baby ladybugs that ravenously tore through the aphid population (thank goodness!).  I know that sounds pretty gruesome, it was, but those aphids were coating every surface of the arugula.  I could stand five feet away and watch little showers of aphids fall from the leaves.  Gross.

Last weekend, at the farmers market, I bought a cilantro start (yaaay cilantro!) and a bundle of chard.  When I started to put the chard into my bag, my friend stopped me, "There's a bug on your chard.

Indeed there was.  Or, rather, an almost-bug.  A ladybug pupa.

 
 
Picture
I've wanted to make dandelion wine for, oh... six years now.  And guess what?  Today, I made dandelion wine!

Sure, it won't be drinkable for months, but I'm excited!  And since dandelions are blooming everywhere right about now, it's the perfect time to do some wild foraging and harvest your own bottle of wine.


 
 
I'm a 23 year old feminist, am unmarried, don't have kids, live in rental housing, and have no plans to 'settle down' any time soon.  Yet, I identify as a homemaker.

Call it urban homesteading, simple frugality, traditional skills... I like to call it radical homemakingI am creating home, wherever it may be, with conscious intention.

My version of homemaking often doesn't look like others' - mine is a bit more ragged, opportunistic, and environmentally focused.  My homestead is less fleshed out than others' - my home is rented and shared, and my gardening and fermentation projects are tucked away into corners and windowsills.  My motivations are my own, too - though I'm sure many of you share them:

 
 
Picture
Quick and dirty recipe - homemade tempeh salad!  Delicious, nutritious, easy.  Like many lovely things in life.

When your immune system is struggling, protein and greens are the ultimate combination.  When your energy is low, quick meals are a godsend.  Ta-da!  Tempeh salad, at your service.

Now, you don't have to use homemade tempeh, but I highly, highly recommend it.  It's less expensive and more delicious.  Plus, how cool is it to ferment your own tempeh?!?  Way cool.


 
 
Oh, the humble dandelion.  Dandelions are so under-appreciated in our age of pristine grass lawns!  I'll save the lawn rant for another day - for now, let's appreciate the glory of this well-known 'weed'. 

Dandelions are edible and medicinal, and easy (so easy!) to find.  Their uses range from wine to salads to medicinal tonics, and they are perfect to harvest this time of year.
Picture
One of spring's first blooms, down by our creek bed.

Spotlight on Dandelion

Common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), gets its name from the French 'dent-de-lion' or 'lion's tooth', and is related to chicory and wild lettuce.  Dandelion leaves, flowers, and root are all edible, and are also useful to make herbal remedies, especially tonics for liver and your overall health.

 
 
Picture
There's Bessie!
It's finally happened.  I caught the raw milk bug.  Yep... I'm into it.

Ask anyone who knows me - I can be stubborn.  Alternative health and food trends often leave me skeptical at all the hype.  It took me 3 years to start drinking kombucha, and another 4 months after that to even research its health benefits.  Now, I'm so 'into' it that I make my own kombucha.

So how did I become a raw milk convert? This morning I got an email from a local dairy owner, offering a (raw) milk share from her soon-to-be lactating cow, Bessie.  Shares are about $3.50/gallon, 50 cents more than the local organic milk I've been getting from the grocery store.  Usually the cost (and having to drive 30 miles pick the milk up) would be enough to tip the balance towards store-bought. 

But... I looked at the pros and cons between store-bought and farm share, and raw milk won out:


 
 
Wellness is physical and mental.

All things cycle, and we all go through natural emotional lows.  Sometimes, though, these lows can make it hard to even function, let alone be proactive about feeling better.  At times like these, we just need to take care of the basics.
The Icarus Project, a radical mental health network, published a wonderful poster by Sophie Crumb - "Taking Care of the Basics".  I reference this gem often, especially when my mental/emotional wellness is starting to tip off balance.  It's a great reminder of basics that are too easy to forget.

 
 
Picture
Thick, creamy, a lil' tangy... yogurt cheese is incredibly versatile.  You can use it simply as a thickened 'Greek' yogurt, as labneh, as a spread for crackers & bagels, with fresh fruit, as a substitute for cream cheese, a base for sour cream dips, and even as whipped cream, cheese cake, & cake frosting (or so I hear).  Plus, it's probiotic!

Yogurt cheese is, undeniably, one of life's finer pleasures.  Personally, I like it with garlic, cracked black pepper, and sea salt.  I use this spiced yogurt cheese (yog-eese? chees-urt?) as a spread on crackers - delicious!

Best of all, yogurt cheese is extremely easy to make.  Let's give it a shot, shall we?


 
 
Picture
I just came back from the Florida Gulf, visiting my partner Morgan.  It was an exotic tropical vacation for me, since I'm used to the dry climate of the Rocky Mountain foothills.  The Gulf is a very different world! 

In a lot of ways, the Florida landscape felt very alien to me - lizards clinging to the curtains, Spanish moss hanging from telephone lines, and the scent of saltwater forever on the air. 

The feel and flavor of the Gulf is so very different from my landlocked Rockies home, and the local food was a deliciously exotic treat. 

One word:  Seafood.  Oh my... peel n' eat shrimp, mango tuna tartare, oyster shooters, fried shrimp with hot sauce, raw oysters on the half shell, triggerfish tacos, spicy ginger shrimp ka-bobs, seared tuna with cilantro...

It's making me drool a little just thinking about all the seafood. 


 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...