This blog is brought to you by the Unicode character ℞ and the Wikipedia article Death by coconut. The former because it looks cool and the latter because it features a Hawaiian warning sign with dangerously aggressive coconuts and a lollipop-equipped man.
Onto something more pertinent. If it isn’t apparent, I didn’t get much done today. I had maybe an hour or so this morning where I was sorta getting stuff done, but certainly none of the efficient productivity I’ve been aiming for.
I guess it’s fair to say I spend several hours making food. I found some citric acid hiding in the cabinets (for the record, it is edible1), so naturally, I wanted to make something with it. I decided to make paneer, but that didn’t quite work out because I used ultrapasteurized milk.
Normally, adding an acid (like lemon juice or vinegar) to milk separates the curds from the whey—the decreased pH coagulates the protein casein, which is found in milk. Pasteurization, which is often required by law, reduces the number of pathogens in milk by treating it with high temperatures, which keeps the casein intact. However, since ultrapasterization uses even higher temperatures, it not only sterilizes the milk but also denatures the casein, making ultrapasteurized milk not suitable for cheesemaking (whether domestic or otherwise). Bonus fact: unpasteurized milk is known as raw milk.
Today marks my third and last day cooking dinner with Hello Fresh, one among many crazy companies who will ship you ingredients and a recipe2 that goes along with it. Alas, today is still not the time to rant about the evils of convenience. However, I’d like to note that I didn’t realize how difficult cooking was until I tried a few of these recipes, maybe because I mostly make weird things and don’t usually fret if they go horribly wrong3. This week’s recipes say they have a Level 1 difficulty, but things got dicey quickly. Not literally, except when I was cutting potatoes.4
And I guess that’s it for now.
And, as opposed to the prickly pear in the garden, it actually says “Food Grade” right on the container. ↩︎
Or, if you prefer, “materials and a guide”. ↩︎
Exhibit A: a cheesecake made using a recipe in a Nintendo DS game (thank you Jamie Oliver). Needless to say it didn’t turn out so great. ↩︎
I’m legally obliged (more or less) to tell you that I’m only qualified to discuss the first three recipes, because those are the ones I (more or less) made. ↩︎