As I foamed the milk for my latte this morning, I thought about all the pressure I’m under today. I have about 48 hours before the remaining 3-1/2 quarts of raw milk in my fridge starts to go off!
We’ve spent a lazy President’s Day weekend discussing our Cellphone Situation (basically, we live about 40 miles as the crow flies from Apple Corporate World Headquarters, not to mention Sand Hill Road, and yet we’re apparently Way Too Rural for cell reception), consolidating emails, domains, hosting accounts, and trying to get our family calendar to sync properly on our iPhones. Which really involves me making giant fluffy pancakes and a nice, hot foamy latte or two, then sitting by patiently, prepared to discuss “my needs” while the husband basically does all the work. How sweet is that?
So now I have this ticking time bomb in my fridge! I have no space for cheese, since last week’s batch is still incubating on the bottom shelf, and I’ve got half a shelf of yogurt, which leaves about three cubic feet of space for the rest of our food and maybe a beer or two. Hmmm, I need another sip…
Aaah. Okay, how about a strawberry banana smoothie?
Oops, sort of took a little taste-test there and got distracted before I remembered to take a photo. Hhhm, what else? Oh, Creme Fraiche, my favorite!
Just skim all the cream and a little milk off to fill a jar, warm it to 86 in a bath, then culture and let sit for 12 hours or so. I’ll tighten the lid tonight before bed and allow it to culture another day or two on the countertop before sticking it in the fridge. Super simple, and it keeps for a couple of weeks.
Seriously, I’m not sure there’s anything a dollop of Creme Fraiche doesn’t improve. A bad hair day, maybe.
In fact, the thought of a little Creme Fraiche and strawberry jam leads me to my next milk project, 100% whole wheat bread. One of my sisters-in-law sent me Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which now lives on my tiny over-the-fridge Can’t Live Without shelf. My second biggest problem, okay third, behind Broken Cell Phone and A Lot of Milk, is that I have no room in the fridge for a dough bucket. Because this is the secret to fabulous, fresh bread in the Middle of Nowhere. Make a big bowl of wetter than typical dough, let it rise, then put it in a closed but not airtight bucket in the fridge for up to two weeks!
Then, should you in theory have a normal-sized fridge that could accommodate such a bucket alongside your cheese and yogurt projects, you pull out a boule’s worth of dough on any given night. In the time it takes for your oven to preheat, about 20 minutes, the dough is warmed up and ready to rock.
But then that leads to your fourth problem, which is the husband. Because husbands and children love pizza, and the Olive Oil Pizza Dough recipe is the best I’ve ever made. So now you need two buckets, one for classic artisan bread and one for pizza dough. Not to mention the 100% whole wheat dough for sandwich bread. Oh, what is a girl to do?
Which reminds me, I have to get this in the oven and get outside to check on the garden. Still about a quart and a half left, and another 36 hours or so…