Get yogurt, make cheese.

Last night we went to Zakkushi on Main Street, which for us always means gluttony, depravity, and utter disbelief when the bill comes. The thing that’s great about izakayas is that you can graze all night long while pretty young waitresses bring you large pitcher after large pitcher of cold Japanese beer, but the trouble is that while those two-dollar skewers of meat don’t seem like anything in the first place, by the end of the night you stumble and yell your way out into the parking lot, your belly is swollen and your waistband is the cruelest thing you can think of, you have the meat sweats, and you don’t know how you’re going to find the money to buy groceries or eat for the rest of the week. This all means of course that I had tons of fun and regret nothing.

And when we got home late last night (or early this morning), I was exhausted. I whined to Nick that I never get to sleep in, because the cat loves me most at 6:00 in the morning. He reassured me that he would get up with her and feed her, and that I could sleep late, and that the remainder of the weekend would be flawless and spectacular.

This is what Nick looked like at 12:38 this afternoon. Molly Waffles takes her breakfast at 7:30.

Needless to say, I had to get up and feed the cat and clean the litter box and entertain myself for more hours than I care to mention.

Fortunately, yesterday I put a 750g container of all-natural, organic, 5% milk-fat yogurt into a bundle of cheesecloth and let it drain overnight, thanks to a recipe I discovered at GrongarBlog for yogurt cheese. 750g of yogurt (about three cups) produced a little over a cup of creamy cheese. My goodness, you guys. This just improved my whole life, and why the hell didn’t I think of this?!

The cheese that resulted was creamy, like softly crumbly cream cheese – I put the yogurt up to drain around 7:00 last night, and mashed it into a bowl around 10:00 this morning. I knew at once that I would have to trudge down to Granville Island to Siegel’s for bagels and to the smokery for fish. The effort and patience required to make the cheese was minimal, and the payoff was more than was deserved for so little involvement in the process.

I recommend making this today for tomorrow. Make sure you get good bagels and smoked fish. Watercress, red onions, and capers also help, as does fresh-squeezed orange juice and good enough white wine. More information about cheese-making is available at GrongarBlog, and while you’re there, browse around. Her feta is next on my list, and we’re in the process of trying to track down a cheese press to make that gouda.

Tonight my dad and I are going to see Stompin’ Tom Connors, arguably Canada’s finest and most awesome musician (Celine Dion? Rush? The Arcade Fire? Your argument is invalid). And tomorrow, ribs. I hope you also have a fantastic weekend, and that you get outside and have fun! But first, make cheese.

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