Cheese Making...the beginning of the end?

I must admit that cheese making is losing a little shine for me. It is a lot of pressure and not a lot of reward. That's probably how Britney Spears felt about super-stardom and just look at where it got her. Understanding the risks I face (baldness, rehab, etc.) I am taking control before things get out of hand.

But first, let me explain why my passion for cheesemaking is ebbing....

I opened my first wheel of cheddar last week. It does not taste like cheddar. At all. It tastes more like feta, which is hard to explain to people who taste it and expect cheddar. Even my niece (2 yrs old) refused it after taking a bite. She was polite though - she said, "Nothankyounothankyounothankyou."

So now what? After a few moments of soul searching and cheese meditation, I am reminded of the mantra a very wise woman once blogged:

"I shalt not be stifled nor discouraged."

Vocalizing my mantra, I am spurred on. Also I have 2 gallons of milk in the fridge with a "sell by" date of today. Hence, I am making cheese tonight.

I consider this: perhaps this is NOT the start of the downward spiral many of my hobbies succumb to (cake decorating: fall of 2000; bingo: 2005-2006; online poker: summer 2007; healthy eating: 17 hours in October 2007). Instead, maybe I am just in a rut. In the event this proves to be the problem, I have made two steps towards remedy:

1. Instead of making my signature[ly disasterous] cheddar, I am making GOUDA this evening. It must age for 3 months which means I have a good 3 months longer to think of myself as the 2008 Artisanal Cheese Maker of the Year (a title I cannot claim -even in jest- if my gouda fails and is fourth in a succession of failed cheeses- mozzarella, cheddar, and another attempted mozzarella)

2. I placed a $50 order on http://www.cheesemaking.com/. If spending money (on supplies which I can use for no other purpose besides cheesemaking) doesn't motivate me, I don't know what will.

So to the critics, the naysayers, and the family members who torment me by asking if this is the begging of the end, I say:

I shalt not be stifled nor discouraged. Rather, I press on.

(press = cheesemaking pun. It's important to keep a sense of humor in this valley I walk through)


chickity china the chinese chicken

My friend Phanith came over tonight and taught me how to make authentic fried rice, stir fry, and yakisoba. Sarah, Adam & Luke enjoyed the fruits of our labor...


The other day in conversation I used the term "rat fink." My friend asked, "What is a rat fink?" I couldn't really explain. Lucky for my curious friend, my husband exhibited classic rat fink behavior today. This narrative serves as the definition of rat fink:

1. Husband needs to go to Mr. Formal be fit for tuxedo for brother in law's wedding.
a) due date: 2/29/08
2. Husband does not feel like driving to Mr. Formal or submitting to inspection by a weird man with a tape measure
3. Instead, Husband calls wife and asks wife to do the following:
a) call Men's Warehouse, who fitted husband for a tux in January
b) ask for and record the following measurements:
i. chest
ii. neck circumference
iii. pant size
iv. waist and hip
v. shoe size and width
vi. vest size
vii. jacket size
c) call bride to determine which location of Mr. Formal needs measurements
d) call Mr. Formal & submit measurements
e) due: now
4. Wife does as requested

---- NOW---- if this were where the story ended, no finger pointing would be necessary. However....

5. Wife receives email from bride who has this to say: "Luke just called to let me know that HE called and put in his measurements, he says he knows better than to make a bride worry about things getting done and he was sorry he waited so long. I didn’t tell him I knew you did it. So cute! "



Make Up Artist in Training

My niece Christina (4) took it upon herself to draw with green marker all over her brother Thomas (5) while he was asleep. Reina sent me the pics on her camera phone, so they're a bit blurry. This is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time...

And below is his reaction when he awoke. How can you face your friends at the playground when you look like this? What self respecting five year old let's their little sister do this to them!?! Oh the shame.

*The artistically spraypainted portion of the picture below was done in MS PAINT (I am a traditionalist) to protect the image of the nekked nephew in the background. No one needs to see that.

James Blunt Concert!

James Blunt concert was awesome!!!! A great end to a great day!

Mecca To Coors Brewery

Visiting the coors brewery for me was like....coming home. Except that breweries stink. And there was a loooot of walking required to get the 3 free beers at the end of the tour. But well worth it :)
This is me enjoying FRESH beer. As in minutes old. Never left the factory, and never reached temperatures above 38 degrees. It really did taste different than the beer in the bottles in my home town of Milwaukie.
Bountiful harvest.
Double fisting it!

Bug Booty

bllleeeeatttt (that is the noise goats make)

The Goat Farm was so amazing! It was the highlight of my day. There were TONS of baby goats, some just born that day! They feed them using the "lamb" bar below, and the are so cute when the eat- tails wagging.

The pregnant goat i was was petting FARTED.

Dia de Tours!

here we are in front of celestial seasoning factory!!!

Yesterday Sarah & I had an action packed day. Our list of events:

1. tour CELESTIAL SEASONINGS (tea company)
2. tour GOAT FARM where they make CHEESE!!
3. tour COORS brewery (yeehaw- here in Denver, Coors is the LOCAL brew!)
4. James Blunt concert

She's Single, Boys

Yesterday Sarah and I went to the goat farm, where Sarah displayed an unusual fascination for kissing goats. Note: there were no animals harmed in the making of this blog...


Denver For The Girls

My friend Sarah & I are in Denver for the week! A week of shopping, eating, napping, and reading. Well so far, only shopping and eating.
The restaurant was a "comfort food restaurant," and I ordered onion rings, mac & cheese & veggies. Few women would be brave enough to be photographed at a moment like this. To my credit, these were all considered "SIDE ORDERS."
The compact car rental row included a yellow convertible bug, which seemed the natural choice in 25 degree Denver weather.

Hands clasped: a natural reaction to the flash, courtesy of a childhood's worth of trips to JC Penny's professional family photography studio.
Side sit: I instructed her, "Give me sporty. Give me Fred Meyer Sunday Ad Special- like 10% athletic wear storewide." She delivered. We did this quickly. Why? Because it is embarassing to take pictures next to cows downtown.Bitter Beer Face. Luckily she had a water chaser.