Last month, we were honored to be a part of The AV Club's This Is My... series. Highlighting small-scale makers, they've hosted events in Seattle, Nashville, Denver, Portland, and Boston. Not only were we part of the Boston event, but they visited our home out on Cape Cod to shoot a little video that you can watch here.
We almost didn't think it could happen, but this run-down house has turned into our cozy home.
The living room had been smoked in for 50 years and covered the walls and floors with its tar-stained haze. Hours of elbow grease later, we now have a bright, clean living space. The bay window looks out on the bird feeder, where today I counted 12 cardinal flitting amongst the song sparrows. The woodstove sits patiently, waiting to be fired up when fall begins. Nearby, books and keepsakes collect on the shelf where once there was dust.
Walls painted, floors resanded, it's a different place from when we first walked in. Old energies the house had been holding onto, are refreshed, renewed.
We're making our own memories in this new place.
Before & After: pt. 2
Easy, super delicious, and cheap. Homemade ricotta is the only way to have ricotta. It tastes nothing like the stuff on a shelf in the market, which I always thought was pretty good. This? Store bought doesn't even compare to this! I use Barbara Lynch's recipe from her book, Stir.
Here's all you need:
1 gallon milk (try to not use ultra pasturized - it won't curdle as well as pasturized)
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
footed colander, lined with cheesecloth (the height of the colander will help drain the cheese), placed in the sink
candy thermometer, clipped to a large pot
Combine the milk, vinegar, and salt in the pot. While stirring constantly, heat to 140 degrees over low heat. Keep the heat pretty low, as you don't want to scald the milk to the bottom of your pan. This will take 20 to 30 minutes, so get your stirring arm ready.
When it reaches 140 degrees, stop stirring, and let the temperature raise to 175 - 180 degrees, about 15 minutes. Once it reaches 180, remove the pan from the heat and gently ladle the curds into the lined colander.
From here, tie up the cheesecloth and hang it over a bowl to drain for about an hour, and it's ready to eat! One gallon of milk should yield approximately 2 cups of ricotta and will keep a couple of days in the fridge (if you don't end up eating it all the first day - it's that good.)
At first glance, the beach looks dry and dusty; the color of summer's greenery fading as the perennials begin their hibernation for the long winter ahead.
A look closer reveals things aren't as drab as they seem.
Bright red rosehips peek through the leaves as lichen blooms in lime greens over the rocks and crevices between the sands. Wild blueberries and a lone beach rose sway in the breeze, nestled between grasses in purple and evergreen. Even the white puff of milkweed adds to the palette.
Terroir: it's the way the earth and air give taste to what comes out of the land.
We collected seawater from this beach, hoping to bottle up these last summer days, these last summer colors, in jars of sea salt to enjoy later this winter.