Fingerprints

I have all manner of projects that I work on. Caramel making, cheese making, dyeing/spinning/crocheting wool, I’ll get focused on regional cuisine… just stuff that I do. There’s a subset of these projects that is special to me. I call them my ‘beginning-to-end’ projects, these are the projects where I try to have my hand in as many steps as possible. I can crochet something with yarn, or I can crochet something with yarn I dyed or I can crochet something with yarn that I spun and dyed myself. In the future I will crochet something using yarn that came from an animal I raised and I will process the fleece and dye and spin it up and I can even use a pattern of my own making. I have a few crochet projects in the dye/spin/crochet bin and I will probably post those later.

I set a beginning to end cooking goal for myself a couple years ago. I decided that one day I would make a pizza with a homemade crust, homemade sauce, homemade sausage and homemade mozzarella. I did it! I finally made my super pizza!

Will start off with a few criticisms because if there is anything one thing I am good at it’s criticizing my own self. We’d wanted to use a different pizza crust recipe. The one that I normally use is okay but it’s a bit puffy, we wanted something thinner. Tried a different crust recipe this time and it was just no good, dense and hard and overly chewy and difficult to handle in dough form.

Not awesome dough

It just did not want to roll out nicely and was too stiff to manipulate. Next time we will try a new dough recipe. Also, I should have par-baked it longer.

On the other hand, the sauce was tasty. I was not able to use fresh tomatoes as it is entirely impossible to find fresh paste tomatoes. All they have at the store are the red styro-bombs that are useless for cooking. In the future I will make the sauce from tomatoes I processed and canned but for now I started with canned crushed tomatoes.

Pre-sauce

Saucing

Yes, I do stick shredded carrots in my tomato sauces, it helps cut the acid edge and also yay carrots.

My sausage was tasty good. I’ve been making it for a number of years now and I don’t have the recipe written down so it varies from batch to batch but is always pretty good.

Sausage, 8oz Italian

Only good babies get sassages

Dough, sausage, dried tomatoes

Up in the front there are the dried tomatoes. I buy the little grape tomatoes and dry them all the time. They are excellent to have on hand for…everything. Also, very good for just stuffing in your face when you are hungry.

And the cheese! I followed this video, it’s a great step-by-step guide. PLEASE NOTE: he says 1 and a half tablespoons of citric acid but he means 1 and a half TEASPOONS. Instead of rennet tablets I use liquid rennet from New England Cheesemaking Supply, I used a quarter teaspoon of liquid rennet. The cheese was fantastic. It needed more salt and a little more kneading/stretching but, dammit, I made mozzarella and it was tasty as all hell.

Mozzarella

I did try to make ricotta from the leftover whey. This was my second attempt at ricotta and my second failure. I don’t know if I am doing something wrong or if there are factors I don’t know about. Either way, I will try one more time and if it doesn’t work out then I will know that ricotta is just not a thing.

Pizza

Pizza! I should have used more cheese. After we ate our first pieces David went in and fried up some more cheese and laid it on top and it was even more delicious. It’s not pretty at all but it was everything I wanted to do and it is something I am very proud of. I will keep working on ways to be more involved in the different ingredients and steps and I will make more pizza.

Arugula

Pizza with arugula because pizza needs arugula.

2014 Mid-Year Course Guide

These are the courses provided by the Greater Bathroom and Hallway Community College this semester

Computer Knowing 105
Class ID: 80085 Instructor : Maddie
Schedule : Weekly – Tue Breakfast:00 AM – 12:00 PM; 8 sessions; starting 6/15/2014, ending 8 weeks later
Location : In the bathroom, by where the toilet paper is.
Learn important computer related skills like how to stand on a keyboard, the right way to spill water into a laptop and how to be okay, as well as simple basics like scrolling up or down, right click vs left click, how to tell if your computer is on and how to do ctrl-alt-del. Two sessions will make use of the parachute. Plated sandwiches and whole milk provided on request.

Tuition: $27.00 Materials Cost: $8.75


How to know stuff 30009
Class ID: F4rt84ll5 Instructor : Chester 12Pound
Schedule : Weekly – Mon 11:00 AM – Snack treat time PM; 8 sessions; starting 6/sometime/2014, ending 8/something/2014
Location : In front of the wine rack.
Do you know things? We can all agree that we should know things. Chester wants to explore all the ways you can know things and give you the guidance to start your own journey towards knowing the thing that is all of the stuff. Chester’s mantra “KNOWING IS A THING YOU SHOULD DO!!” will permeate the entire course. This class has multiple field trip sessions where you will start to know things like how to scream ‘NO NO NO’ at people at intersections, finding inside out toads, and understanding that Bick Stickerson has the stupidest dumb face and he should go cough into his own dumb face!!

Tuition: $93.00 ($21 if you hate Bick Stickerson) Materials Cost: 3 peanut butter biscuits


PANIC SHITS!! 101
Class ID: 5m3ll Instructor : Maddie
Schedule : Weekly – Thu 4:00 PM – 8:45PM; 8 sessions; starting maybe next week, ending when we start to feel good about our skills.
Location : the bedroom floor
We’ve all had times when we were left alone or the phone rang unexpectedly or the food bowl was empty and it had lots of food in it before and maybe Chester is eating all the food. Anyone can shit on the floor but it might be time to take it a step further. Maddie will share her almost encyclopedic knowledge of the art of the panic shit emphasizing nuance and artistry. Topics covered with include placement, size, how to get the maximum effect, consistency and smell. This is more than just putting poop on the floor, come prepared to work hard and learn. The final class will touch on how to hide your panic shits using laundry, papers, a lamp or any other easy to find materials as a brief introduction to next semester’s PANIC SHITS 201. Students will be responsible for making their own shits, feces will NOT be provided.

Tuition: $19 Materials Cost: $0

To spin and spin again

I will tell you a story from my teen years. It’s a thing about which I still carry much shame. It is a thing that still happens now, and I am 40 years old.

I lived in a foster home, a pretty awesome one. Getting your own room is the holy grail of foster living. It’s arms in the air butt times! Your own room, you don’t have to share it, you won’t have a parade of short staying kids cycling in and out. There’s privacy and you can secretly experiment with make up and high heels and seeing how short you can make your skirt. Is good.

I got my room and the deal was that if I kept it clean I could keep it. Totally a good and appropriate situation. In the beginning it was perfect. I bought posters for my wall and made a little make up table, set up my little stereo and everything (and I was going through a ‘phase’, it was the public radio classical music station all the way). And then my brain caught up with me. I stopped cleaning. I didn’t know why. I was given many warnings, probably way more than I deserved.

It was totally an easy thing to do. It was a pretty small room, most of the mess was dirty clothes that could be scooped up and put in the laundry room. Dirty dishes go upstairs, the rest of it just needed some sort of attempt at a meaningful pattern.

And on the last day, the very last warning, the get-it-done-or-else day. I stood in my bedroom right there in the middle of the room and I sobbed because I just could not clean it. Think about that, think hard. I stood in the middle of my room and with fully functioning limbs and hands I could not do the task that I knew how to do and all I could do was cry. But I didn’t clean it up. I moved down the hall to a bedroom with 2 other girls (it was a big room, we weren’t crammed in there at all).

Most of you are thinking, “damn, JUST DO IT!! Just pick something up!!” You can’t even comprehend this, can you? It just makes zero sense to you. “JUST DO IT” is exactly what my mind was screaming, it was why I was crying so hard, my head was so very loud.

I know most of you just can not wrap your brains around this. I am 40 years old and this is the damage that I carry in my brain. This is one of the reasons I am always trying to find redemption. Maybe if I can apologize enough my brain will stop skidding and find some traction. And this is not up for debate. You do not get to tell me I do not have to do that. I will not discuss it. I want you to see that this is what it is like sometimes You don’t have to understand it, you just need to know it is there.