Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Tarantulas, Big Birds and Cheese

I did make the cheese. It was mostly easy with a lot of measuring of water temperature and cautionary tales about the curds looking like ricotta instead of custard (which is bad) which is what mine looked like, but then, the mozzarella stretched and became elastic and smooth and I cooled it in water and it tastes pretty good. Will it melt? I don't know. Do I want to make cheddar? Yes. Yes I do. I thought about the cost--$4.00 for a gallon of milk plus the rennet and citric acid (free for now, because the kit was a gift) versus the cost of homemade mozz from the New Jersey Pizza Co. For about the same amount of cheese, NJ Pizza charges $8.00. So, was it worth the $4.00 of time? I'm not sure. Zoe liked it but wasn't in love with it and there's no way she will eat the cheese (she only likes orange cheese. And remember the time we made homemade butter? I think she prefers things in squares. She probably will eat it on pizza. Maybe). And I presume I'll get faster but there's a lot of water heating and tossing which seems wasteful (less wasteful when the big factories make it?) and the curds cling to things but overall--yes. I will make it again if it melts on the pizza that we will make for Max's birthday on Friday!

As for the birds. When I first moved here--I was dismayed. Where were all my hawks from Utah? But since then, I've found them, plus a horde of others. I'm not so good at knowing the small birds but there is a black and white little jobber I would like to call a Junco, so I will.
The other birds include:
Red tail hawk
Harrier hawk
Some falcon I saw yesterday.
Northern Flicker.
Regular old woodpecker like in the cartoons
Bald Eagle (first spied last year)
Blue Jay
Ravens Ravens Ravens mostly ravens
Vultures (only in the summer. Interesting).
Some white-long-legged crane type thing.
Some water-loving Sea-Eagle
Gray Herons.
Mourning Doves
And owls of some kind, though I'm still looking for them.

Today, in the forest while running (or rather, stepping gingerly over snowing snowbanks and icy ice patches) I saw a tarantula. A tarantula in January! Who knew. I also slipped on the ice but I always fall so it wasn't too bad except to remind me to practice my Kegels.


Jackson Connor said...

I mean, it's not wasteful if you're heating up a house in the winter, right? Please tell me that's not just one of the things I tell myself to justify cooking red beans and rice!

And, can you really tell the difference between all those birds? Holy crap: if it's bigger than a sparrow it's a red tailed hawk; if it's smaller than a red tail, then it's a sparrow. I've stuck to that my whole life and never been corrected. This. Is. Intimidating.

radagast said...

Thanks for the list. I do enjoy the smale fowles and briddes.

Logical Libby said...

We have crows for the first time I can remember. Do you remember seeing crows here growing up? Weird.

And I tried to make mozz once. It did not end well.

Nik said...

It might be a little wasteful, heating up my house just to make cheese. I should stay at school, where the boiler runs all day long.
And, my small bird knowledge is indeed very small.

Libby. You should not have crows. There's something about Magpies living in Salt Lake. They compete for the same food as the crows. So something is wrong with the Magpies. I noticed it too. Will investigate.

Nik said...

Oh. And Radagast. I'll need a new assignment for today's blog :)

Lisa B. said...

yay for homemade cheese. I do hope we'll get a melt update.

I am delighted by the bird list. Of late, bird sightings seem like a special treat, even if by proxy.

Lisa B. said...
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