mozz and booch

Recently my sister and I have been having a series of crafty women adventures. It begins, as so many things do in our lives, with cheese.

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I got Malindi a cheese making kit for her birthday this summer. We took it out for its first spin (a batch of mozzarella) recently. By “we” I mean “I did all the work and Malindi supervised”.

It’s quite the scientific endeavor with the rennet and the citric acid and the curds and the whey and whatnot. It’s pretty magical watching it come together and be real cheese.

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The kit was a little frustrating. I.e. the directions would say “Use gloves to pull hot mozzarella”, yet no gloves would be present. Ouch.

At least Malindi diligently documented this whole undertaking.

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Ta da! Two gallons of milk produced this. Soft and creamy and dreamy and just like the real deal! We used omglocal Maple View Creamery milk.

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So er yes you end up with a *lot* of whey. We used the whey in various not really noteworthy ways (suggestions welcome!)

Some of the cheese we ate straight up and it was damn great. Then Malindi had me over for dinner and made tasty grilled cheese and marinara panini in her roomie’s Foreman grill.

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We rounded out our plates with a random enormous veggie tray Malindi had brought home from a work event. (She bequeathed it to me, and I brought it to a relaxing Christmas decorations crafternoon with some girlfriends).

Oh and yes we did put extra marinara on the side for dunking ❤

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The other homegrown thing I tried at Malindi’s was all her doing.

Anyone recognize this?

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If you said a SCOBY, points for you! Yes, thanks to our local store that sells garden stuff, homebrew equipment and (heh) quite a big of hydroponic materials, she obtained her own kombucha starter kit and has been making DELICIOUS batches of kombucha weekly since then.

Here’s the kombucha after one week of brewing with its newly grown SCOBY on top.

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The next step is flavoring: you remove the SCOBY (by hand is supposed to be the easiest way, here is Malindi modeling it) and divide it into separate containers with the flavorings of your choice. As you can see you can use a variety of containers (old Gatorade bottle anyone?) as long as they don’t contain any metal.

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For the flavoring in the picture below, she used cran-apple sauce.

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And my favorite, pictured below, ginger orange. When it was done it tasted JUST like the Synergy brand stuff.

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Finally, my sister and I did *not* make the amazing things pictured below, but we relished eating them!

Yes, we went to Monuts. Actually, Malindi TREATED me to Monuts as a thank you for driving her to the train station.

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I got a coffee and The Carolinian:

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The underside ❤ Any flavor guesses?

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It is a sweet potato (!) bourbon (!!) cake donut. It tastes like awesomeness. They had SO MUCH good sounding holiday stuff.

Also pictured is one of Malindi’s donuts (she had a long train ride so decided to get to and ensure she had adequate sustenance). The captured one was The Elvis and involved the chocolate, peanut butter, and bacon; but no banana (which is an ESSENTIAL ingredient, IMO).

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What else should we be making at home? All this culinary adventuring is so fun! (Just don’t say homebrewing. Can’t do it. Can’t stand beer. Maybe some home infused vodka?)

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