Friday, June 14, 2013

Fun Pictures

I have a lot of pictures from random times over the last few months so I thought I would just make one post with all of them.

Already tormenting his sisters :)

And so gleeful while terrorizing!

It always makes me laugh when I get Bella up from her nap because she loves to tuck in all the animals as she is getting ready to fall asleep for nap time.

We painted the shutters on the front of our house. We were amazed at the difference it made.

Before they were repainted.

We spent 3 days straight out in the sun. Despite a hat and sunscreen this poor little dude got way too much sun.  He woke up with blisters on his nose and cheeks.

He also had swollen eyes and that made him look Asian.

A few days later after the blisters had popped they turned into scabs that had to heal. We felt very bad!

A fresh harvest from the garden!  Carrot, potatoes, garlic, the last of our peas, and green beans.

We turned our harvest into dinner!  We had garlic mashed potatoes, steamed veggies and grilled chicken.

If you look back at the before pictures at the beginning of the post you will notice how dead our grass was.  If you had seen our house when we first bought it, it was about 90% weeds and only 10% grass and that's probably being generous with the grass content.  We tried some weed and feed, as well as lots of rain and were SO happy to actually see we had GRASS!  Not only that but it was very green grass and weeds are down to 5% if that!  We can't believe it.  It has made us believers of weed and feed.

Aw, green grass.

Best friends.  It makes us so happy to see the girls becoming such good friends.  It will be hard for Bella when Hannah starts school next year.

Zucchini.  We grilled it up with some chicken last night and tossed them into an Alfredo penne pasta.  SO GOOD!

Father and son playing together.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

One night after we had gone a date we.......

made mozzarella cheese! So Dan came home on Friday evening with instructions.  Saturday night while out on a date we went to the store to get a gallon of whole milk, rennet tablets, and citric acid.  We were able to get the rennet tablets at Harris Teeter and the milk and citric acid at Wal-Mart. It was a fun experience and now we can say we've made cheese. Here's the process:

1st we dissolved a half of a rennet tab into bottled water.  We couldn't use tap because of the chlorine content found in tab.  For those who do not know what rennet is, it is an enzyme found in a calf's stomach that helps to break the cows milk down

Here's what rennet tablets look like.

Dissolved tablet.

Pouring a gallon of whole milk into our pot.  You have to be careful what kind of pot you use so that it will not react with the citric acid.

Adding the tsp of citric acid.

You then stir the citric acid into the milk.

Once the milk reached 88 degrees F.  You pour in the dissolved rennet and water.

Then you continue to stir is together until the whey and curds separate.

The thermometer broke! Sad day :(

Now is the hard part.  You have to separate all the whey out from the curds.

You then microwave the curds a few times and drain the whey out.

You then have to reheat the whey for the next part.

As part of the kneading, you have to periodically dip it into they whey to keep it pliable.

You also will have to microwave it.  I used a spoon to start kneading it because my hands were getting burnt, the curds have to stay so hot.

And finally, we made them into golf size balls and stored them in salt water to preserve them.
So that's how you make mozzarella cheese balls! It was an interesting and time consuming project.  It made us appreciate just being able  go buy a pound of it at the store.  Would we do it again?  Yes!

We recently made some butter as a family which was fun. I'll make a post about that with pictures as well.