02 September 2009

Bison riding...?

I just wanted to mention--I think it is strange how many hits I get on this page based off of people clicking on Google results for searches on "bison riding." Do people actually ride bison for sport and recreation?

The latest such hit occurred early this morning at 4:19 am. The user doing the search was in Muttenz, Switzerland. Perhaps the Swiss view bison riding as a typical American hobby?

01 September 2009

Kitchen fail

Alton Brown has never lied to me before. So when I watched the episode of Good Eats about milk, and he told me that homemade cottage cheese is way better than the store-bought stuff, I believed him.

It wasn't much of a stretch of the imagination to believe it for me, actually. See, I don't really like cottage cheese. I like the idea of it--low-fat, high-protein, slightly salty cheese product. I like cheese, I like salt, and protein helps me to live. It should all add up, right? But the actual placing of spoonfuls of cottage cheese in my mouth never really lives up to the ideal.

So when Alton Brown promised a better product that I could make in the comfort of my own kitchen, I decided to jump in. I bought a gallon of skim milk and a small bottle of white vinegar. I enhanced my kitchen tool box with a candy/fry thermometer.

I poured the entire gallon in a large saucepan, clipped the thermometer to the side of the pan, and slowly raised the temperature of the milk over medium heat until it reached 120 degrees Fahrenheit. I turned off the flame and poured in three-fourths of a cup of vinegar, gave the concoction a stir, and let it sit for 30 minutes. I lined a colander with a flour sack tea towel and strained the whey-vinegar-water solution off of the mass of casein protein. I gathered up the edges of the towel and rinsed the clump of protein under cool running water for three to five minutes, let it drain a bit in the colander, and put it in a bowl.

I sprinkled it with a little kosher salt and poured half a cup of whole milk over it.*

I put a spoonful in my mouth.

I chewed the salty paste.

Yes, paste. That's about what it tasted like. Maybe this is why the stuff from the store is so high in sodium--add enough salt to milk protein paste and it's palatable?

The thing that bugs me the most is that I don't know if I did something wrong, if something out of my control went wrong, or if I just really don't like cottage cheese.

In the end, I still trust Alton. Our joint successes far outshine the tasteless failure that sits leftover in a Gladware container in my refrigerator.

*Alton said to use half-and-half, but come on--I was trying to be healthy here.