The Best Party Trick Ever: How to Make Thirty Minute Mozzarella

The following is a guest post from Andrew Wilder of Eating Rules. Welcome, Andrew!

A couple of years ago at a Fourth of July party, I pulled off one of my best party tricks ever.

Showing up with a gallon of milk in hand, I asked my friends if I could borrow their kitchen. Spying the other items in my bag — a bunch of fresh basil and cherry tomatoes — they knew I had something good in store. They eagerly let me take over.

Half an hour later, I emerged victorious from the kitchen with a platter of fresh caprese, made with still-warm mozzarella.

I’ve been using this “30-minute Mozzarella” recipe, from Ricki Carroll’s book, Home Cheese Making, for a few years now.  I’ll admit, it comes out slightly different each time (the type of milk, how quickly you heat it, and how much you stretch it will affect both the flavor and texture), but it’s always been a big hit. [Read more…]

How to build raised garden beds

Urban farming seems to be everywhere. I’m sure I see at least two articles a week this past year on the urban farming trend. There are more and more “concept” cities of the future that are not all glass and steel.  Instead, they’re “vertical farms” with each storey having their own plant life.  Of course, if we carry on with “business as usual”, then we’ll end up with a city that looks a lot like the bleak glass and dirty metal of Blade Runner, Star Wars, Dune, The Matrix or other futuristic sci-fi films.

We sometimes jokingly refer to our property as the “Homestead”, as we have tried urban chickens (and will try again this summer with reinforced coop to keep the predators out), and this year we will finally have our garden.

If you eat food, you need a garden – no excuses.  Do you live in an apartment?  You can get a small flower box of herbs or a few cherry tomatoes. Do you have a small city lot?  Carrots and lettuce.

So do you want to be part of this movement?  Here is a look into what we’ve done. [Read more…]

The Beauty of Farm-Fresh Eggs and How to Source Them

Written by Diana Bauman.

The word ‘egg’, all alone, makes me happy. When I hear it, thoughts run through my head of fried eggs with potatoes, mayonnaise, a rich custard or a Spanish tortilla omelet…. If there was a food that I simply couldn’t live without, it would have to be eggs.

Although I love eggs for the diverse range of foods that they help make, my favorite thing about eggs is that they are a traditional source of complete protein and nutrition. This couldn’t be more true than in the Spring.  Spring is the season for pastured, farm fresh eggs.

Yes, eggs are available year round from the farm or grocery store, however, as the buds start to bloom, grasses start to grow and microbial bugs and earthworms start to proliferate, pastured chickens enjoy their buffet.  With this buffet comes more vitamins and nutrients.  In the Springtime, eggs are at their nutritional peak.

[Read more…]