Monday, July 27, 2009
When most mothers of four get their little ones settled into various rest time activities, (sleeping, reading, multiplication practice, painting) I imagine that they also sit down and read, or even better, switch on Oprah. Not me. For some reason that mental flashing red light which warns of a future sore back or aching head is broken. Alas, I use my ninety minutes in the kitchen when I could be resting.
This afternoon I banged out vanilla syrup (for iced coffees), Paula's banana bread (best this side of the Mississippi) and here's the best.... homemade ricotta cheese. I've had a few people suggest to me how easy this is, and after following this recipe on 101 Cookbooks, I can say this is almost as easy as cracking open a pint of Polly-O.
Basically you bring to a boil one part buttermilk to four parts whole milk. 101 Cookbooks calls for 1 quart buttermilk to a gallon of whole milk, but I halved it because I only had 2 cups buttermilk. Stir until mixture is steaming, & when it gets hot enough (roughly 175 degrees), the curds will come to the top. At this point, you pour it through 6 layers of cheesecloth and drain for 10 -15 minutes depending on the texture you desire.
Back in the mother country, New Jersey, we pronounce this wonderful soft cheese, with two distinct shortened syllables : re - goat, not the typical WASP, ri-cot-tah. As I was stuffing the cheese calzones that I was making for dinner, scenes from the Sopranos flashed into my mind, making me reminisce the good old Italian-New Jersey-American kitchen.
If you're making any dinner that involves or more importantly revolves around high-quality ricotta, this is definitely a trick you're going to want to have up your sleeve.
I don't usually put these playlists directly on here, but I just can't help myself with this one.