{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda, aka Soule Mama. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

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Homemade Ricotta Recipe

I had an extra gallon of raw milk this week and since I knew we likely wouldn’t drink all of it, I decided to be a little creative and make ricotta cheese.

Pour a gallon of raw milk (pasteurized whole milk would work too) into a large stockpot.  It doesn’t have to be an exact measurement.  You may also substitute 1-4 cups of cream for part of the milk.

Add 1 T of sea salt and slowly bring it to a boil.

Now you can curdle it a couple of ways.  You can use fresh lemon juice, vinegar, or buttermilk.  If you use buttermilk, go ahead and add it before heating it up, about 1 quart.  If you use lemon juice or vinegar, add 6 T now.  I used freshly squeezed lemon juice, but my research online tells me the other options would work just fine too.  It will separate into curds and whey.  Let it sit on the heat while stirring constantly for 2 minutes or so.

Next comes the fun part, straining!  Line a sieve or colander with multiple layers of cheesecloth.  I used a single package that I bought at the local grocery store in the kitchen gadgets aisle.  Now put your lined colander over a large bowl and pour your curds and whey in.

Let it strain for at least 5 minutes and no more than 1 hour, depending on how wet/dry you like your ricotta.  Don’t try to squeeze excess moisture out of your curds or you will get more or a farmer’s cheese that isn’t so easy to crumble, but might work out well for crackers?  Store your cheese in the fridge in an airtight container.  It should keep for a few days.  I heard you can freeze it as well, but I haven’t tried it.  And the whey… you can use it in baked goods (oh so yummy in bread!), use it to sprout grains and beans, or as a protein boost to your smoothie.

Yarn Along

Please join Ginny at Small Things with more Yarn Alongs!

I’m hoping to finish up the body of my Shalom sweater this week.  It would be lovely to have this sweater finished before the end of the month, but that may be a lofty goal with all the other projects I currently have going.

I have three more chapters in Love and Anger: The Parenting Dilemma.  I’m definitely gaining some insight and tools that are helpful.

I’m also enjoying Canning for a New Generation.  I made some strawberry jam from some strawberries that we scored at the farmer’s market last week and boy is it yummy!  Can’t wait to try more recipes from this book.  I think we my give radish pickles a go.

The Week Ahead

I love the Sneak Peak of the Week posts that Kara does at Rockin’ Granola.  So in an effort to keep myself organized, I thought I would also share our plans for the week.

Mama’s To-Do’s

  • Alex’s room needs another coat of paint
  • Move pool and refill for many afternoons of swimming
  • Continue knitting my Shalom sweater
  • Get to quilting
  • Pinafores for the girls
  • Catch up on reading Love and Anger: The Parenting Dilemma for the read-along at Parenting Passageway
  • Make eye and dentist appointments
  • Work on budget

Homeschool

  • Finish reading Paddle to the Sea
  • Finish regional maps of the US
  • Gather and sew 4th grade lessons into main lesson books.
  • Continue knitting with Jackson.  He has been knitting in the evenings while I read a couple of chapters of Tiptoes Lightly at bedtime.  He claims to be just as good at knitting as mama.  Daddy asked him to knit him a coaster, so Jackson is super excited to finish this project up before Father’s Day.
  • We’re up to the letter O in our letter per week focus.  It’s become a lot more relaxed and is more like a weekly discussion of each letter rather than anything formal, but it’s just enough to satisfy the little ones’ request for lessons.
  • Our seasonal theme this week is roses and the lovely flowers of June.  I see some bouquets making their way inside!
  • Fifth grade planning.  For anyone else planning 5th grade, please stop by Meredith’s blog to see her notes!

In the Kitchen

  • Making strawberry jam from local berries
  • Making ricotta from some extra raw milk
  • Freezing some enchilada
  • Cleaning out the fridge
  • Organizing the pantry
  • Fudge popsicles

Activities of the Week

  • LLL meeting – my turn to lead!
  • Work at produce co-op and pick up milk
  • Take kids to splash park
  • Gather with friends to do this activity

Meal Plan

  • ground beef stroganoff, peas
  • chicken enchiladas, black beans, corn
  • homemade pizza
  • chicken potpie with biscuit top
  • breakfast dinner
  • grilled butterflied chicken, purple mashed potatoes, asparagus
  • mahi mahi, brown rice, broccoli (from the garden!)
What are your plans for the week?

Growing A Garden

 

The garden is looking great and we’re starting to harvest some goodness from it.  I’m in awe of my husband who built all the raised beds, started most of the plants from seed back when there was snow on the ground, and has been tending to it each and every day.  He installed the rain barrel too!

He’s had a little help along the way from the kids.  Jackson did a good chunk of the mulching between the beds.  And Autumn helped by harvesting a fair amount of strawberries and parsley when we turned our heads for a moment.

 

Being Creative

While I’ve taken some time away from the computer, I’ve had some time to be creative.

The 9-patch quilt-top that I started a year or so ago.  I discovered that 2-inch squares are asking too much of myself and will try to remember that when taking on the next quilting project.  It’s been basted, now to quilt it.

Shalom!  I joined the Shalom-Knit-Along as a birthday present to myself.  So nice to see knitting progress.  I was getting a bit frustrated with the lace-weight yarn.

And do you see that splash of color on the wall behind me?  I got sick of the white walls and have been busy painting.  I’ve done the kitchen, dining room, a pink little girls’ room, and a gray boy’s bedroom so far with hopes of getting to the bigger boy’s room next week and maybe the hallway?