Saturday, July 8, 2017

Odds and Ends


Alex found more of the danthius flower that's been growing wild near our cedar trees, different colours. I'm going to look those up in my seed catalog for next summer, they're so beautiful! Tonight we have a full moon, it's called the Full Buck Moon of July. I got this photo through the porch screen last night before the storms came in. Another name for July's full moon is the Full Thunder Moon which is much more appropriate for us. Here's an interesting tidbit of lore:

"Thunder in weather that is hot
Causes milk and eggs to rot."
(so far my milk and eggs are fine, am I pushing my luck???) :)


Marlene's Thunder Shirt arrived. Just in time too. Poor dog...she is so terrified of thunder and lightning. We are in full-on thunderstorm season and sometimes I wonder if she's just too far gone for anything to help. It's hard to tell but I think this is helping her a little bit. She seems to calm down more easily. I took this photo when the power went out last night during a big storm. Normally she doesn't stay on the bed, she'll try to hide, so maybe that's progress? I'll do anything to help her! The other three dogs slept through the whole thing!


For dinner the other night, I pulled out my "Potato" recipe book and made French Quarter Potatoes. The original recipe calls for it to be spicy and hot (Creole mustard, Andouille sausages, cayenne, peppers)...but I made it to suit our digestions. It has sausages and chicken with a mustard and Worcestershire sauce - VERY tasty and easy to make!


Last night's dinner was from the freezer. Fish and Chips with a cilantro tartar sauce that I made. It's just my Tartar Sauce recipe with chopped fresh cilantro. It gives it a nice flavour. It was the monthly shopping day yesterday and freezer food on 9 hour shopping trips is a relief! We're all set until August now in the food department! Maybe a trip for fresh veggies in a few weeks, but other than that, I'm happy to stay put and not go further than my porch!!


Here's what was in my Cheddar Cheese Making Kit. For anyone interested, it makes 8 batches:

- Rennet Tablets (10 tablets)
- Cheese Culture - Mesophilic Culture (which I can also use to make Cream Cheese!! Woohoo!)
- Cheese Cloth
- Calcium Chloride 
- Cheese Salt
- Basket Mold
- Thermometer
- Plastic Disc - For Pressing
- Orange Coating
- Natural Bristle Brush
- Recipe Booklet

Honestly, I could have bought the ingredients separately as I already have a thermometer, cheese cloth and a brush...plus I'd bought some of the additives already for Mozzarella....but I wanted my first attempt at Cheddar to be easy. The box says "Just Add Milk" so that sounded easy! 

As I venture more into Cheese Making, I'll be posting here on my blog; but I've also reserved a new blog address called Rainy Day Cheese Making. :)) What do you think of the title? :) There's nothing there right now but I'll be adding as I go! If you'd like to follow me there, I'll be very happy about that! :)

It's thundering again all day today...perfect day to start making cheese! Enjoy your weekend! :)

29 comments:

Treey Stynes said...

A good post. Can't wait to see how the cheese-making goes. I'm sure it'll be a success. Thanks for leaving a post on my blog. I hope your thumb is better by the way. Fish and chips is very English and I hope you enjoyed it. It's hard to believe that I went to bed at 6.30pm. It's 7.30 right now and it's still light outside. When you think about it it's a tough lifestyle I lead.. my wife (Mandy) and my son, Jon (25) are all I care about. now though. That's not entirely true. I care about others too. I'll definitely follow you on a new site. Let me know how that goes.

Dawn McHugh said...

looking forward to your cheese making adventures, you can take cuttings from Dianthus.

Mama Pea said...

We've been having some terrific thunderstorms lately, too. Last Thursday there was the threat of golf ball sized hail, and winds up to 70 mph! Happily, the brunt of it went a little south of us and all we got was 1-1/2" of rain in about 10 minutes and high winds, but not near 70 mph.

Cheese making is something I've always wanted to get into (but apparently not bad enough!) so I will be following your cheese making blog. I do cottage cheese regularly but that's all. So far. Encourage me!

Blogoratti said...

Lovely thoughts and photos indeed. That looks like a great recipe too, thanks for sharing. Warm greetings!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Aw, poor Marlene! I hope the thunder shirt helps. It's hard for animals to understand these things. It's just terrifying for them.

Rainy Day Cheese Making. I like it :) And I will follow. Also, it has brought the song "Rainy Day People" to mind and it's now playing obsessively in my head! HAHA

Harry Flashman said...

This is thunderstorm season down here in the Blue Ridge mountains, too. Last week lightning hit a cabin and burned it to the ground. It can be nice to watch but I suppose I could do without lightning.

A Cuban In London said...

I'm sorry about Marlene. That's a gorgeous photo of the moon. Great dishes, too. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

Rain said...

Hi Treey :) Oh I LOVE fish and chips! I could eat it several times a week...but I haven't been able to perfect either the fish or the chips at home! We don't deep fry, the smell of the oil seems to stay in the house forever, so it's been challenging trying to get it right. But we did find a store-bought brand that makes the cut! :) I'll be updating the cheese blog soon!! :)

Rain said...

Hi Dawn :) Thanks for the tip on the dianthus! We just love that flower, and this is the first year we found them out in the yard!

Rain said...

Hi Mama Pea :) I will try my best to encourage you to make your own cheese!!! It's a daunting hobby at first...I made some yesterday, I'll blog on the new cheese blog...I was so nervous lol...it's JUST CHEESE I kept telling myself! Practice makes perfect! The thunderstorms here are still in the forecast so Marlene's Thunder Shirt is being put to good use! Glad we don't have that hail though! I was in a hail storm once and they were big pieces and I was sure they'd go right through my windshield, it was scary!

Rain said...

Hi Blogoratti :) Thank you :) Greetings back to you :)

Rain said...

Hi Martha :) I know, I feel so bad for Marlene, she doesn't understand that she's safe...I think the Thunder Shirt is helping her though. Last night some tourists let off those annoying fire crackers at midnight and she just looked up and went back to sleep...that is GOOD progress!! And thanks! I thought the title of the new blog was rather CHEESY yawn, chuckle....glad you like it! Sorry I had to put that song in your head lol...

Rain said...

Hi Harry :) That sounds horrible...one lightning strike can devastate someone's home...when the lightning hits here, it's usually up higher on the mountain and the trees are the ones to take the hit. It is something beautiful to see though.

Rain said...

Hi A Cuban In London :) Thanks for visiting my blog :) We got Marlene two years ago, she's a rescue dog...we have no clue about her history, but her fear of thunder and loud bangs is worrisome, it's very over the top. I hope the shirt helps her more and more so eventually she'll sleep through it all like the other pets!

John M said...

The potatoes made my mouth water. I hope the thunder shirt works.

Rain said...

Thanks John :) I think we'll find out more tomorrow and Tuesday with 70% risks of thunderstorms. I hope it works for her too!

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

I hope the thunder coat helps yours dog. Coco gets nervous too and wants to be by Bob and if he is not available then it is me. It looks like the jacket fits snugly so I am wondering if a towel wrapped snuggly around her middle might help. You are adventurous and ambitious making cheese! I am trying to go longer between our main shopping trips but seems I am still running to the store for some things. Neither of us likes to grocery shop! Nancy

Kristina said...

Have fun with the cheese making. I used to make homemade ricotta, cream cheese, fromage blanc and a few others using our fresh goat's milk.

Sam I Am...... said...

Poor Marlene! I hope she gets used to the Thunder Jacket and that it helps her...poor baby. The food all looks so good and yummy. I am with you sister....I love staying home and I feel the same way after shopping....being from the North, when my kids were little and we got home with all the groceries I would always say..."let it snow"! LOL! I still do even though it is supposed to get to 91 or 93 today (F). I can't wait to hear about your cheese making adventures and I will probably join you after my company leaves....so exciting! I have been very fortunate evidently. I have yet to have a dog that is bothered by thunder or the 4th of July booms. TTYL!

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

We have been having no thunderstorms sadly. Just a bit of rain here and there. I need a proper thunderstorm! Today might hold potential. My storm chaser is all set and ready to head out in case of some :)

I hope that thundershirt does the trick. Poor darling. Nothing worse than a frightened or scared dog. My 3 send her lots of puppy kisses...well...Hunter might give a love bite but he's still a puppy... :)

Yay for cheese making! I will get sign up to follow you rainy day cheese blog! :) Love the name! Can't wait to see some cheese!

Susan said...

Those thundershirts are supposed to really make a difference - my sister's dog couldn't make it through a storm without his. Our storms seem to go north or south of us. I'm not complaining, believe me. This is the fist time that none of my dogs or cats are bothered by the storms. I'll be interested to follow your cheesemaking adventures - while I've made mozzarella and some other aged cheeses, I have not made cheddar.

Rain said...

Hi Nancy :) I tried to make my own version of the Thunder Shirt a few months ago, I used a big large elastic-type bandage to wrap around her tummy and neck but it didn't seem to help much. But basically it is very snug on her. We have to really see if this helps over time. So far, her anxiety is lasting shorter times, so hopefully one day she'll be able to handle the noises without so much fear! Oh, I HATE grocery shopping!!! But I'm the same way, I always seem to need something else. I was pretty good all winter though. I went once every 4-6 weeks and put my foot down on extra trips. Having to shovel out the car was good motivation though lol!

Rain said...

Hi Kristina :) Thanks! I've made ricotta too, but I'm now able to try more things because I finally have the ingredients! I'd love to have a goat handy...

Rain said...

Hi Sam :) Ha ha...I think I would curse myself if I ever said "let it snow" out loud! With the last snow fall in mid-May this year, I'm not chancing it! :) Well, I'm very thankful that we only have one dog that is afraid of loud noises...I think having more than one of them in that state would be overwhelmingly challenging! I hope you do some cheese making too! Add that to your millions of projects! :)

Rain said...

Hi Dianna :) I wish I could enjoy a good old fashioned t-storm again! I feel a weird guilt about it, knowing that Marlene is freaking out though! I'm sure your hubby is chomping at the bit to chase some storms!!! I told her about the well wishes from your puppy and she loved it. ;) Cheese making attempt 1 is now on the air! Lol...

Rain said...

Hi Susan :) I really hope it the thunder shirt helps her. When I had my pugs, the only thing that stopped one of their fears was that the poor thing went deaf with old age, then he didn't care at all. She still freaks out and searches for Alex...we'll see as time goes by! I'm looking forward to making the cheddar, that will be a project for this week!

Nicole Thomas said...

I love the cheese making kit. Where did u order it ?
I will for sure follow your cheese adventure :(

Nicole Thomas said...

:)

Rain said...

Nik, I ordered everything from makecheese.ca, it's a company in Alberta. There is another supplier in Ontario, Glengarry...but I wrote them 2 emails and they never replied and they have an "iffy" shipping policy. Only thing is, if you order it, make sure you have an 8L pot...you need 6L of milk plus other stuff to make one batch of cheese. I had to order a pot from Amazon so that's why I'm waiting to make it!