Sunday, July 13, 2008

Say Cheese!

The life of The Daily (almost) Blogger is not an easy one.  Every once in a while, you come up against a day that is naught but a blank slate.  Topics are not plentiful.  Not even identifiable upon close examination.

I could show you The Thing That Will Never Grow Up To Be A Sweater, I suppose.  But that just seems kind of mean.  I'm really just knitting blithely away until I get to the point where I will, inevitably, screw it up beyond all repair.  That is the way of The Blog Sweater Curse, you see.  I'd like to think positively about it, but the years I've been blogging have not been good ones for sweaters, I fear.  And there are any number of things working against me here, not the least of which being the fact that I don't really have enough yarn.  Hence, I am going to have to do some creative patterning at the yoke and stranded knitting has never gone well for me either.  Frankly, the whole thing is really just a disaster waiting to happen and you don't deserve my getting your hopes up only to have them cruelly dashed when the whole thing goes up in flames.

I think better of you.

The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty is always good for a post.  But you have all been pretty patient with my overly enthusiastic blogging about the newest member of the family and I don't want to abuse your kind natures.  Besides, all he's really done today is:

1.  Fallen asleep in his kitty bed.

2.  Rolled out of his kitty bed.

3.  Woken up on the floor and looked confused.

4.  Staggered back to his kitty bed

5.  See steps 1-4.

He had a fairly busy morning and is tired.  I suspect it is going to be an "interesting" evening once he wakes up, but that doesn't really help me now, does it?

When I'm stuck for topics, food is always a nice thing.  I like food.  I don't always have a good variety of foods around the house being as I'm a picky eater and all.  But I can talk about it pretty enthusiastically.  Why don't we talk about cheese for a while?  Cheese is one of those things I've been eating more of lately.

I got the results of my mammogram last week (all is well) and, in typical fashion, my doctor's office neglected to remember that I had other stuff done as well.  The nurse seemed a bit surprised when I suggested that the results of my bone density test and Vit. D screening might be handy information for me to have.  After great shuffling of paper and two phone calls, she was able to locate the pertinent data.

I was pleased to learn that things have improved with my skeletal structure.  I was diagnosed with Osteopenia a couple of years ago and was not really looking forward to the next stage of the process:  Osteoporosis.  I'd like to think I could hold off on that until I feel I am mature enough to warrant having Old Lady Bones.  I guess I didn't know that you could add bone mass...but I'm not arguing the point.  I've been really trying my hardest to get more calcium into my system since the diagnosis.  The problem for me is that I just can't remember to take those stupid supplements.  I forget...  So I've tried to eat a bit more dairy.  Apparently, this has gone well.

Sadly, it has not been enough to keep me at a healthy level of Vitamin D.  I failed that test miserably.  Well...not miserably.  But enough so that I am being reminded to remember that I keep forgetting to take the supplements.  It was suggested that I get some of those chocolate flavored chewables like you see the happy old ladies gnawing on in the commercials.  

I did.  They are quite tasty.  I'll probably only forget to remember that I forgot to take them once or twice a week now.  Or I'll remember to not forget them but I'll do it two or three times per day...

Still, it couldn't hurt to keep up with the mineral intake through the consumption of foodstuffs.  It made my bones thicker, right?  Who knows what I could do for the vitamin D if I really put my mind to it?  Maybe next time, I'll have enough of the stuff to donate some to other poor, deficient women!

So I decided to make a paneer this weekend.  I first began noodling about with the idea of making cheese when I read about it on The Purloined Letter.  (She does the coolest stuff...)  Experiments have gone rather well, overall.  Sadly, all I had on hand this weekend was 2% milk, but I thought I might be able to squeeze a curd or two out of it if I really focused on the task.  The cow juice was dutifully heated and lemon juice was added to make it separate.  There was straining, draining and lots of squishing.  This was followed by a great deal of molding and shaping.  Finally, the little round of cheesy goodness was soaked in a cool bath before being rolled in some dried herbs for flavor.

Before I knew it, I had me some cheese:

Not a great deal of cheese...but cheese nonetheless!

Paneer is similar to goat's cheese in texture.  In and of itself, it has little flavor, but you can add whatever you like to make it taste however you want.  You can cube it in salads, eat it on crackers and even slice up the firmer versions for frying.  Plus you get to say you made cheese and who else do you know is going to be saying that around the water cooler come Monday morning?  

(You can also say you cut the cheese, but that could be said by lots of people even though they don't mean it the way you do and it probably isn't the kind of thing you want the boss hearing you say when he's strolling by on his way to the pastry cart.)

I am pleased with my efforts this weekend.  I remembered to eat The Chocolate Old Lady Candy every day and added a little homemade vitamin D for good measure.  The doctor would be so very proud.  If she remembered that I needed to stop forgetting to remember, that is...

And, for those of you who are interested in these sorts of things, Prometheus The Absurdly Gi-Normous Kitty has rolled out of his kitty bed for the fiftieth time today.  I'm going to go wake him up.  I think it's funny when he tries to figure out how he ended up on the carpet.  

I'm also thinking it's all the distractions around here that keep me from remembering to not forget what I am supposed to be remembering.  Or is it forgetting?  I can't remember...



Jeanne said...

I'm glad the reports came back with good news.

You can also make Paneer Mattar with your cheese. Just add peas and curry sauce. Yum.

I'd love to see video of Prometheus' roll out of the bed. As for me, I never get tired of seeing cute cat pictures.

In honor of your "cut the cheese" line, my verification word was "PFEUY".

Yarnhog said...


I give those chocolate chews to my kids every morning. They love them.

Bells said...

aha! This is something I've long wanted to do. Now that I've seen an average person can attempt it, I will too!

trek said...

Yay for the medical successes! And for the cheese making.

Number Guy wants to learn how to make all kinds of things. One of them is cheese. I should clicky the linky on the post.

PS - Don't you own a drum carder?

Anonymous said...

The Sheep makes cheese - who would've thunk it?

Mia said...

oh my - too funny! I'm over here losin' my cheese and you're over there makin' your own!

Beth said...

Making cheese - how cool is that?! And congratulations on the positive test results!

The Purloined Letter said...

Oh, I am so glad it worked out! Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Congrats on the good news, too. Keep eating your bone food!

Anonymous said...

Good news on the medical tests.

I just finished up a 2 year program of daily shots for Osteoporosis. Yes, your bone density can actually improve, but you must keep up the vitamin D treatments. My bone doctor actually advises 2000 iu per day as necessary for healthy bones. Just passing this on. He is a specialist that has been studying Osteoporosis patients for over 12 years and seeing significant improvements with treatment and the extra D.

PICAdrienne said...

Go knit in the sunshine for part of the day. Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin, you can make it yourself.

I am another who does not tire of pictures of BFK or AGK. Or course, I also took about 15 pictures of our own kitty last night, simply sleeping, because he looked so relaxed.