29 Sep

Homemade cheese is tasty

Photo by dfinnecy.

When I was a kid in the 70s, we had milk delivered by a milkman. We had a little white wooden Vitamilk box on the porch, and every few days the milkman would put a couple of bottles of milk in the box. To me, it seemed like magic. After a while, they stopped using glass bottles, and then they stopped delivering milk at all. Like much of the rest of America, we had to start buying our milk at the grocery store. This was a sad thing.

A few years ago, I was surprised to see that milk delivery still existed in the Seattle area. I contacted a local dairy to inquire about service. “Sorry,” they said, “we don’t deliver to Beacon Hill.” I was disappointed.

This year, though, I browsed around to the Smith Brothers Farms website and discovered that now they do deliver to Beacon Hill. Joy! I signed us up for regular delivery.

A week later, the milkman showed up and dropped off our delivery box with our first delivery. Like my childhood Vitamilk box, it is white. The milk inside, sadly, is not in glass bottles, but in cardboard cartons. But it is fresh and tasty.

The one problem, however, is that there is a minimum order of two half-gallons per week. We don’t always drink that much in a week; usually we have up to half a carton left over. I don’t want to be wasteful, so tonight I went looking for ways to make use of extra milk.

I found this. Homemade soft cheese (basically the same as paneer), made from milk and lemon juice. I took the leftover milk, heated it to 190F, added lemon juice, and was amazed to see that, yes, it works, and it tastes really, really good!

We ate some of the cheese in our dinner tacos (with pico de gallo), and will probably snack on the rest. It’s darned good, and I should have no trouble using up every drop of milk the milkman brings us from now on.

Next experiment: homemade yogurt!

(The photo here is not my cheese, but it looks just like the cheese I made. Thanks to dfinnecy on Flickr for making this photo available in Creative Commons.)

25 Sep

No more “friend of the family”

So, Washington Mutual is dead. (I suppose I am continuing a theme here.) I went looking on YouTube for one of the really, really old WaMu commercials I remember from childhood, the ones with the kindly banker saying “Washington Mutual. The friend of the family.” Unfortunately, that seems to be one of the few things YouTube doesn’t have.

But they do have this cringe-inducing commercial, in which we see both one of the reasons they failed, and some of the pain that this failure is about to put a lot of people through:

And then… then, there’s this one:

Um… yeah.

I wonder if WaMu was the last remaining local bank from my childhood. Seafirst, Rainier, Peoples Bank — all absorbed by larger entities. (There is another bank using the Peoples name now. Peoples Bank in the Seattle area is now U.S. Bank.) Of course, some of the old credit unions are still around. But all the local banks — gone.

25 Sep

I understand the feeling.

Hi all. I’m back. I took the summer off, and a well-needed break it was.

I upgraded WordPress while I was offline, and it’s doing some weird stuff. My categories are gone and it’s ignoring some of my formatting. But I guess I’ll ignore it for now.

I’ll restart the blogging with a tidbit I noticed in last Sunday’s Seattle Times obituary section.

The Mariners have a lot to answer for this summer.

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