Tag Archives: milk

A bit of crunch

Jicama Salad

I wasn’t even going to post today. It’s been one of those weeks, yet again, where we have no bread in the house, a random assortment of groceries we’re unlikely to get to, and a few too many takeout bills. But the lure of blog-related procrastination is a bit too much for me, it seems. Especially when I have a research proposal to write (due tomorrow!) for an experiment I’m not sure I’ll have time to do.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that this isn’t a real post. It’s just a place to share a few thoughts, and a recipe I wasn’t really sure I was going to share (notice the lack of prep photos?).  If you only have time to read one thing, check out Nathaniel Johnson’s article on raw milk in Harper’s Magazine (which I found via Bitten). It touches upon the history of pasteurization, what kind of farmers pasteurization regulations are actually trying to protect us from, and all in all, presents a pretty scary picture of the industrial dairy industry in this country. For the record, I’ll take my grass-fed raw milk from the friendly local farmer at the farmer’s market, thanks. Luckily, I have that choice here in Connecticut.

Otherwise, today was one of those days where it rains and rains until you think it’s never going to stop, and then transforms itself into a glorious, crisp evening, with streaming sunlight, chirping birds, and all sorts of other gorgeous signs of spring. The tulips even opened up, after a two-day hiatus. So what did I do? I went for a run, in my new, very funny looking shoes. I think they’re kind of hilarious, and I’m certain I look like a bit of a circus act running in them, but normal shoes seem to cause me trouble, so I thought I’d give them a try. They’re comfortable, and kind of awesome — provided you don’t spend too much time on concrete.

All this faux-barefoot running takes me back to about 18 years ago now, when I’d run around my grandmother’s neighborhood like a hoodlum, without shoes or fear of anything but the boy down the street that I sort of had a crush on (but only because I’d kissed his cheek when we were playing house one day, and it seemed appropriate somehow).  I’d run and run, playing pirates or princesses or some other nonsense, until it was time to go home for dinner, and I had to be coaxed into the car for the trip home. If I had been cooking back then, I think this jicama salad would have been the perfect antidote to a long day of playing pretend in the burning San Joaquin valley sun.

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Filed under cilantro, limes, local farms, milk, quick meals, running, stories, vegan, vegetarian

Midnight snack


I was planning on some semi-intelligent discussion of the Farm Bill tonight, but it’s only 1:30 in the morning and already the caffeine isn’t helping much.  I’m on the night shift tonight, which means that I’m checking numbers, taking data, and trying to keep my eyelids from drooping too often until 8 am, when someone else will take my seat.  Right now, the accelerator isn’t happy, so I’m waiting, hoping luck will kick in and make my colleague’s experiment work.  But I digress…

The point of this little story is to explain that the haze of exhaustion won’t stop me from telling you about my favorite midnight snack: homemade Greek-style yogurt.


For those of you who haven’t made yogurt at home, the process is fairly straightforward.  All you need is milk, starter (fresh, leftover plain yogurt with active cultures will work), a meat thermometer, a wire whisk, and somewhere relatively warm.  If you really want to get fancy, a bit of dry milk is also a good addition.

As long as you have good quality milk (like the one James is holding in the picture above), all of this equipment will get you a decent end product.  But a couple of years ago, I fell in love with Greek-style yogurt, which has a thick, creamy consistency and is — in my opinion — delectable enough to replace dessert, cream cheese, sour cream, and any number of soft cheese variations.   Lucky for me, creating Greek-style yogurt from regular yogurt requires nothing more than a fine sieve or cheese cloth and a little bit of patience.

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Filed under milk, quick meals, yogurt


For those of you who haven’t seen Marian Burros’s article on small dairies in today’s  NY Times Dining & Wine section, be sure to have a read.  Yes, it’s about milk, which most people probably don’t consider much when they’re grabbing a gallon or two from their local supermarket shelf.  But the article’s right: artisan dairy products taste nothing like their mass-produced cousins.  We recently started buying raw milk from Deerfield Farm in Durham, CT, mostly because James started trying to make cheese in our home kitchen, and once we tasted the real stuff, we couldn’t go back — even at twice the price.

But really, even if milk isn’t exactly a titillating subject for everyone, check the article out anyway, if only to read about Nancy Nipples the Milkmaid of the Pike Place Market Creamery. (Yes, Burros assures us — that is her legal name).

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Filed under local farms, milk