Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Food, Booze, Cheese and a Funny Little Bird


Alex and I have a monthly ritual. The day after the monthly shopping, we go out for dinner. And we always go to the same diner and order the same food! Pizza and poutine...no fail. And it's funny because this diner has a great big ol' menu and we always look at it, then each other then order the same thing. Why mess with something that works? :)  So the shopping is done and my energy is back so I can get back to my life again! The fridge, deep freezer and cupboards are packed to the brim...and if I'm lucky, I might even have enough food for the next SIX WEEKS so I don't have to go out shopping again until September! Wouldn't that be nice??? :)


One of the cherry concoctions that Alex made was a Cherry Brandy Liqueur. We tasted it last night and wow...it was good! Right now it's the first tasting. We have to let it sit for a while and allow the cherry sediment to pool at the bottom of the jar and keep straining it through cheesecloth until we achieve a nice clear liquid. We've done it twice now and it's getting more clear each day. It's really fun to make your own liqueurs!


Part of the process was draining all of those (now) brandy-soaked cherries from the liquid. They are happily sitting in the fridge, waiting for me to make a Black Forest Cake today! The recipe calls for Kirschwasser, which is a clear cherry brandy - distilled. But I'm going to use the liquid from our cherries, I think it'll be delicious! I'll post photos before we devour it! :)


Here is the latest on the Cheddar (I posted a few more photos and info on Rainy Day Cheese Making). Look! It's turning yella!!! Oh joy! :) It's in day 3 of 6 of the drying process then it ages for 3 months. My darling Alex did something quite generous. He is giving up his bar fridge for my cheese making. This might not sound like a big deal, but Alex's passion is mixing new cocktails, creating fruit liqueurs and aging fruits in spirits and spices - all which require every inch of that little fridge. But we're going to try to pack his stuff into the "big" (lol...not so big) kitchen fridge so I can use the little one only for cheese aging. I love that guy! :)) Now some Camembert, Dry Jack and Blue Cheese may not be so impossible after all! :)


We were sitting on the porch yesterday evening before we left for the restaurant and we saw a little bird on the lawn. We thought he was poking around for seeds or something, but he was actually picking up stray dog hair! LOL...This photo is a little blurry (phone camera close ups are awful)...but you can see he has a beak-full of Charlie's shedding coat. I've never seen that before, I guess he's building a little nest of dog hair! Funniest thing we saw in a while!

36 comments:

Kristina said...

Cute bird. Around here the dog hair keeps other critters away (most of the time).

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Oh man, I'm going to want a BIG piece of that Black Forest Cake!

Pam said...

The hair from Ben's first trim of the year goes out on the garden table, the birds love it for their nests. Now I need cake.

RO said...

My mom and dad used to do that too, when I was a kid. We always managed to throw something in the cart that surprised them once we came home from dinner. lol That cherry brandy - Yes!!!!
Hugs...RO

Rain said...

Hi Kristina :) The dogs do keep the critters away, especially the feral cats that are a big problem around here. They spray everywhere and I was worried about my garden, but so far so good!

Rain said...

LOL Debra, you can have a big hunk of cake on your new comfy balcony! :)

Rain said...

Hi Pam :) It's funny because I never knew birds gathered the pet hair for their nests! It was a lesson for us! :) I hope you can put together a nice cake for your dessert tonight! :)

Rain said...

Lol RO...that's funny. I always try to find something to toss into the cart that wasn't actually on the list, just to surprise myself when I get home...and usually I'm so stressed out that it really IS a surprise when we unpack...how's that for all over the place!!! The cherry brandy liqueur is so good...we're hoping to be able to make our own because the distilled stuff is so expensive and we really like it!

John M said...

I love Black Forest Cake and the liquor sounds good too.

Rain said...

Hi John :) Can't have one without the other! :)

jaz@octoberfarm said...

your cheese looks fabulous. i can't wait to hear how it tastes! i think every bird nest around here is made with teddy!

Blogoratti said...

Wonderful thoughts indeed, and nice routine with the date night, and pizza!
Must be nice to make your own liqueur too. Warm greetings!

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

I was actually just thinking that it has been some years since I had Kirschwasser (Cherry brandy; they ferment everything!) from Germany and Austria.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

I laughed out loud with your restaurant/menu comment because my husband and I do the same thing! We always order the same things when we go out to eat even though we look through the entire menu. 'Cause you never know, right? Something just might change our minds. NOT. LOL

That cheese looks spectacular! It must take tremendous amounts of patience to wait for it to be ready.

You are so good with your shopping. I'm way overdue. So badly that we were trying to figure out what we can put together to eat tonight. Tomorrow will have to include a trip to the market!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Wow, I have no idea how you only shop once a month. I would need to go every week for stuff like fresh vegetables and milk. That cheese looks really good. Won't it be great if you can make different kinds! -Jenn

Nicole Thomas said...

Oh the cheese looks so good !!! And my mouth drools thinking about that black forest cake. Hmmm...
The poutin and pizza looks good too. I didnt have supper tonight...can u tell ?? Lol

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I would like the Black Forest cake, my husband would love that cherry brandy.

Susan said...

That is definitely what you need for cheesemaking! Alex is a keeper!! I put the little bits of leftover sheep fleece on trees for the birds - luckily, the dogs are not shedding enough to compete with the fleece-gathering. I think we need to adopt the poutine as a national treasure. OMG.

kymber said...

i'm sitting here crying over the pizza, the poutine, your cheese and the cherry liqueur!!! i have an appointment next week - haven't been out to town in over a month - but i swear i am having poutine and i don't care if it makes me sick! i loooooooove poutine! i loooove cheese! i just can't eat it very often. i am loving following your cheese journey tho! and congrats on getting all of your shopping done and not having to worry about that for at least a month! you shop like me and jambaloney!

sending much love to you and alex and the menangerie! your friend,
kymber

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

Oh that pizza and poutine look GOOD!!!

I wish I didn't have to leave my house daily :) what a treat that would be. Now if I can only get my life sorted so I can manage a once a month shop that would be grand. Sigh. One day I am sure of it!!!

Those liqueurs that you guys are making are gold!!!! Online fortune here you come!! :) Seriously tho - you hang on to your Alex. He's a diamond. Make sure you take pics of that cake! I love black forest cake - sadly most of my immediate family are not cake lovers (I know!! what is WRONG with them) so I don't make cake often. More sigh.

Your cheese is indeed yella! :) Cannot wait to see the finished result! Its going to be so good I just know it. There was a cheese commercial on TV last night and I casually mentioned last night that for my birthday I would like a cheese making kit :) Mine quickly got onto his phone and was jotting down "things". Roll on November! :)

When I brush the dogs I leave their fur in our spruce trees for the birds. They collect it year round. I love doing that. Its fun to watch them collect the fur. I found a hummingbird nest earlier in the year and I could see some of our dogs fur entwined in it. Adorable!!!!

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

We are the same. Going to the same places and ordering the same thing. Wow! I would love to not have to go grocery shopping for six weeks!! I dislike that job. You sure are ambitiou making all that cheese! Maybe that bird likes a nice soft nest with that hair. Maybe you will be seeing some babies! Nancy

Rain said...

Hi Joyce :) Thank you! I'm really enjoying the process of the cheese making a lot! Funny about Teddy nests! :)

Rain said...

Hi Blogoratti :) The liqueur making is really cool, it would be nice if we could distill, but I don't think it's quite legal...fermenting is good for now! :)

Rain said...

Hi TB :) I don't remember the last time I had Kirsh either actually. I think I used to get the Italian brand. I only used it in cooking, but that was before I developed my palate for spirits!

Rain said...

Hi Martha :) Isn't that funny about the restaurants?? Every time we do the same thing, but I always have high hopes to try something new lol. The patience for the entire cheese making is something I'm learning to perfect! I go shopping on Mondays...usually there are less people and everything is restocked from the weekend, so it's a good day for me to go. We don't even leave the house from Thursday through Sunday if possible!

Rain said...

Hi Jenn :) Thanks! I plan on making some red-wine infused Cheddar and I hope some soft cheeses like Camembert down the line. If the Cheddar works out, I'll always have one on the go. It's pretty exciting! I still have to go in the middle of my "month" to get fresh produce, but for milk, we put it in the freezer.

Rain said...

Hi Nik :) Thanks! The cheese is doing so well! It's tough going out for poutine and pizza (well, not really)...but it makes it hard to get back to cooking after! :)

Rain said...

Hi Starting Over :) I'll post the cake photos, I made it yesterday! :)

Rain said...

Hi Susan :) He definitely is a keeper :)) LOL...the poutine is something else. Actually my plan is to make my own. We've tried before but since we don't like to deep fry, it's hard to find a good fry for it. But we found a great brand that we love and I found a sauce...and the ingredients to make curd cheese are on the way! I hope it stacks up to the diner poutine!

Rain said...

Hi Kymber :) OH NO! Another post that you shouldn't have read!!! But I say go for it, get that poutine when you go out!!! :) I'm a bad influence...I'm glad you're enjoying the cheese journey! I'm very excited about it all and I can't believe how far I've come so quickly! The long-term shopping is the ONLY way to shop for people like us who don't want to go down the driveway :)) Love back to you and J! xx :)

Rain said...

Hi Dianna :)) With your schedule I'm surprised you have time for twice a month grocery shopping! And how many more sleeps until you retire??? THEN you can hermit yourself away like us lol!! :) Alex is really generous, and I wasn't going to ever ask him if I could take over his fridge, he offered and that made it so much more special a gesture. :) Gush lol.

I have pictures of the cake! There is only half left and I suspect it'll be gone by tomorrow lol...the liqueurs are a fun experiment. I can't wait to try the Cherry Bounce we made, that has 2 more months of aging though! We have MORE cherries lol...we have to get to that tonight, I wonder what Alex has in mind because I"m plum out of ideas for them.

Oh the casual birthday wish list mention ha ha ha...I do the same thing, though I'm not so casual. I see something, I email the link to Alex lol! You could get a Mozzarella kit or a Feta...or even a Curd/Poutine kit at MakeCheese.ca. Or if you want, ask me for the ingredient list for each cheese and I'll let you know as I make them! :)

Rain said...

Hi Nancy :)) I very much dislike grocery shopping...but to be honest, both Alex and I aren't very social and we get antsy when we have to leave the house. If we could, we'd order everything in, but that's not possible so we go out as little as possible! Luckily we have some fresh veggie in the garden to help us out though, but right now it's mostly herbs and lettuce, I can't wait for those tomatoes to get going! We actually tried to follow that little bird to see where he or she flew off to, but we couldn't manage it. I'd love to see a few bird nests around here, but I think they mostly stick to the woods.

Ruth said...

I put out dog shed every year in a suet cage for the birds. They empty it almost daily for a while in the late spring!

There was a video going around facebook a while back of a bird plucking the shed directly from the dog!

Rain said...

Hi Ruth :)) Oh that's a fabulous idea about the suet cage. We can't use ours anymore because the Blue Jays knock it down no matter how well we think we've secured it! But I like the idea of helping the birds nest! LOL...I'm sure if a bird landed on Charlie, she'd sit by and do nothing while it "groomed" her of her stray hair!

Guillaume said...

That looks like a delicious poutine. Heven't had one since 2015. Haven't had a good one in years.

Rain said...

Hi Guillaume :) Thanks for visiting! We found it very hard to find a good poutine. We used to live in Montreal and it was much easier but up here in the mountains, we've only found 2 spots so far that have great poutines. Both are a good 30 minute drive away though!