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Simple Chevre and Simple Bread

by Suzanne I love Ottolenghi's cookbooks. I just do. The photos alone are worth a browse, even if you don't cook at all. His newest book, Simple, is no exception. As I was getting deep into it, I came across an interesting quick bread recipe, nothing like I'd ever made before. I knew immediately that I had to try it. This would be no half-hearted attempt, however. I was determined to make the goat cheese and sour cream from scratch, to make this bread really amazing. Making sour cream is a breeze using cultured buttermilk as a starter. Making your own fresh chevre is just as simple, so I decided to go that route for this bread recipe. To make...

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Sima? What? Why?

by Jerri Vappu (May Day) is celebrated May 1st in Finland, usually for an entire week. It's said this Finnish holiday rivals that of Christmas and Easter! Banks and government offices (liquor stores too!) are all closed. Originally in the 1700s, the upper class would go horseback riding to enjoy the new greenness of spring “ since the 1800s, it morphed into university students celebrating academic achievements. Today it also includes workers, with everyone celebrating not only students' successes, but the current spring weather and the coming of the summer solstice. Celebrations actually start on April 30th, vappuaatto, or Vappu Eve. This is when the statue symbolic of Helsinki, The Daughter of the Baltic Sea (Havis Amanda), is cleaned and...

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Cultured Butter (and Buttermilk) with the Aromatic B

by Jerri I get giddy when I get a chance to make butter! It's hard to find good cream that is not Ultra Pasteurized or a heavy whipping cream, so when you do, you'd better make something GOOD with it. When my kids were younger we'd have a weekly raw cow milk drop, and I would immediately scoop off the cream and we'd have a shake-shake-shake party to make butter. After the butter was made, my kids would do drive-bys with a spoon and it'd slowly disappear before even being applied to a food! And now I have learned that you can culture the cream FIRST, and then make butter “ LOVE that idea! You can use just about any...

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Sour Cream with the Aromatic B Cheese Culture

by Jerri The Aromatic B Cheese Culture* can be used for many cheeses, like goat milk chevre, or cow milk for Havarti or Baby Swissbut until I get my hands regularly on Non-Ultra Pasteurized or raw goat milk, or a cheese press, and cheese cave to age the more difficult cow milk cheeses, I can use the Aromatic B Cheese Culture for cottage cheese and sour cream. Let's do sour cream! To make sour cream is fairly easy: Heat 1 quart regularly pasteurized cream to 72ºF Sprinkle Aromatic B Cheese Culture on the surface of the cream and let rehydrate 1-2 minutes Mix in the culture Maintain 72ºF and culture for 12-24 hours My friend said it might take longer...

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Mesophilic Yogurt: Viili

by Jerri At NW Ferments we absolutely LOVE the mesophilic (a.k.a. œroom temperature) yogurts. We carry the Matsoni, Filmjolk, and Piima, but today we are rehydrating and using the Viili culture. I have a special interest in this one because my daughter is spending her junior year abroad in Finland, where Viili hails from! Our product description says: Make your own creamy & mildly flavored Viili Yogurt. Originally from Finland, this heirloom variety is mesophilic, meaning that it will culture at room temperature (70-77 degrees). No yogurt maker is required. Reusable- by reserving a bit from each batch, you can continue to make Viili Yogurt indefinitely! However, this time of year, if you don't have a spot in your home...

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