Monday, November 28, 2011

The Kitchen Part 2

Good morning precious one! I pray your long weekend was one that was filled with joy and rest. I fasted from the internet for three days which was wonderful. This is the last week I will be writing about my adventure into a Plain Community. Next week we will get back into the Beth Moore study on the book of Daniel.

Have you thought about how you would prepare food for your family without electricity? I can tell you that many areas of our lives get simpler without power. The women plan their menus carefully so that there is very little leftovers since it is harder to keep them without a refrigerator.

Our second family host has several cows and pigs and chickens. They are one of the very few with milk cows so they sell some of the milk they don't use to others in the community. Raw fresh milk was a new experience for me. I am picky about the milk I drink. I want it ice cold and fresh. I can tell the difference between generic milk and the more expensive name brand milk so I was a little apprehensive when our host brought in milk from the barn. It doesn't get any fresher than that! Did you know that raw milk is not white? I was bowled over. You can tell I was raised a city girl.

Our host took the pail of milk and poured it into a gallon glass jar. Their cow gives 1 1/2 gallons twice a day. In just a bit the milk started to separate and the cream rose to the top. An hour or so later the cream was taken off the top and set aside for later. She makes butter just about every day. I volunteered for the job. Now I have made homemade butter before and I have to say it is yummy. The color is bright yellow and creamy. When I made it I had an electric mixer. I poured the cream into a jar and shook. Then I shook and I shook and I shook some more. Did I mention that living a simpler life requires physical labor? It wasn't to long before I started seeing a little ball inside the jar. The more I shook the bigger the ball got. Before I knew it I had made a pound of butter. The milk that is left is buttermilk! I added a dash of salt and we had butter for our rolls.

Our host is known for her yummy cheeses. Many of the women in the community make their own cheese. Mozzarella is the easiest to make. We took the gallon of milk that had just been brought in and started on the cheese. Out of the gallon we made a large loaf pan filled with cheese. Once the milk is scalded on the stove and the secret ingredient is added (sure wish I could tell you what it is, but if I told you, I would have to shoot you!) the milk starts to change texture. First it starts to have little string like material in it. You put your hand in the pot and just start stirring with your fingers. Apparently utensils would wreck it. The longer you wiggle your little fingers around the strings the more strings there are. At some point there are the proper amount of stringy things that you stop and let it rest. Now this is the cool part. Once it has rested 15 or 20 minutes it is time to cut it. I could barely make out the cut I had made a few minutes later but it was there. It rested again for another 15 minutes and then the entire mixture is carefully taken out of the pot and rests again. Apparently cheese needs alot of rest!

We then started to slowly knead the cheese. It got firmer as we went. In just a few minutes it was time to put it in the pan. We ended up with very bright yellow cheese. I asked about string cheese which our host had never heard of. She cut off a big piece and gave it to me as we left. It is whole food at it's best. It taste yummy and melts like a dream.

Within the community the young men hunt mostly deer and rabbit for their meat. Most of the families grow huge gardens which of course they can for vegetables all year. Several have cows and pigs that are also used for meat. A couple of the younger couples have produce that they sell at farmer's markets. One of the young couples that we had dinner with had the yummiest salad I have ever tasted. There were so many different kinds of delicate greens that I have never heard of but were so yummy.

What I found the most fascinating is their portion sizes. Remember I said in the beginning that there was not one pleasantly plump lady in the group? Well, they eat small portions plus get a lot of physical exercise. I went to bed each night thankful for the lessons I was learning.

Tomorrow is Gratituesday. On Wednesday and Thursday I will share some thoughts on their style of dress and then Friday I will wrap it all up. I hope this has not only been a blessing to you but something deeper. We have much to learn from those who chose a simple lifestyle. May God challenge our thinking as we look towards the Savior for the answers

In Christ Alone,
Jill



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

2 comments:

  1. Wow that is fascinating! I know that rennet is used to make most cheeses but not sure if they use it for mozzarella as well. My daughters and I are allergic to dairy but it definitely sounds lovely! Food allergies have changed a lot of things in our lives!

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  2. Well Jolene you are right. It is called rennet! I am so sorry for your allergies. That is a bummer.

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