Sunday, August 12, 2007

Gooseberries & Mulberries...what a team!

Better late than never, right? I didn't make the gooseberry mulberry tart till this weekend, when we had a goodbye dinner for Mark, who returned to Kentucky after an all too short summer in Milford. The taste was excellent, an interesting combination of very tart (gooseberry, PA) and very sweet (white mulberry, NYC), but it didn't jell 100%. After remembering my last blueberry pie I asked myself if tapioca has an expiration date and if that might be why the filling was a little runny. Turns out it does (have an expiration date) although I'm still not sure if that's why it didn't jell. Because blueberries and gooseberries are acidic fruits, I use tapioca as a thickener instead of flour. But next weekend I'll be using a new batch of tapioca when we harvest our last blueberries.

Today I read the last Harry Potter book and made my first mozzarella cheese. To say the book was a lot better than the cheese is a gross understatement. The cheese was frustrating because I followed all the instructions EXACTLY and it didn't work. I suspect the blame lies with the dairy department at the Price Chopper. The recipe specifies that you can't use ultra-pasturized milk, but that pasteurized is ok. I checked every carton of milk in the store and chose the only one that said pasteurized, which turned out to be the Price Chopper brand. I think they were lying to me. Michael leans toward ignorant mistake where I come down on the side of careless stupidity. The point is that ultra-pasteurized milk doesn't solidify correctly for mozzarella so you end up with a more ricotta-like cheese. And I so had my heart set on a mozzarella/tomato/basil salad for supper tonight! I'll have to scour the city for less processed milk and try again next weekend.

As for The Deathly's excellent. And her plant references are right on.


At August 15, 2007 at 7:02 PM , Blogger nznetwork said...

Hi again Ellen - this is my second comment but I only discovered your blog this morning. I have to say, and it's unrelated to your post, that your blog name, 'Down and Dirty' is so close to the title of a television series that I fronted in New Zealand that it is worth noting (I thought). The series was about permaculture and growing heritage apple orchards (pruning, grafting, that sort of thing) anyway, the title of the series was, "Deep, Down and Dirty".
It played nightly for a year and I'm sure many people tuned in for the wrong reason!
aka Robert

At August 21, 2007 at 9:12 PM , Blogger molly said...

will you do the cheese on crackers? a lasagne? it still sounds delicious!


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