Ellie’s Fate is in Your Hands Now…

Magic happened in my kitchen last night.  I dipped a sieve into my biggest available pot, filled almost to overflowing with milk and buttermilk, and when I lifted it out, it was full of ricotta cheese curds.  Ever since I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, I’ve wanted to make some sort of cheese, but the cheeses that she made in the book all required me to order rennet online.  That requires forethought.  Do I need to say more about why I haven’t done that yet? No, I didn’t think so. 


Ricotta is another story entirely.  It takes two ingredients: 1 gallon of whole milk and 1 quart of buttermilk.  If you have a pot and a stove, you are pretty much in business.  I got the recipe from 101 Cookbooks (a beautiful site, full of things I want to make, but which mostly also require forethought, so…)


So here’s the Pot o’ Milks


David was embarrassed of our straining method (a CLEAN pillowcase.  The thread count on that bad boy is about 14, so it’s basically cheese cloth.  I made my aunt sleep on it once and it actually hurt her face.) I say that it is inventive and efficient. 


The finished product: approximately 4 cups of the mildest, creamiest ricotta cheese ever.  I had some last night with some honey drizzled on top.  Mmmmm…


Tonight: Cheese Blintzes!


On a totally unrelated note: Last weekend, I visited a yarn shop near where I work in Georgetown, KY called Stone’s Throw Artisans.  A lovely and cozy shop that blends the best of my two favorite yarn stores in Lexington—in other words, it was fairly hip/bohemian-y, but still managed to be super friendly, non-intimidating and welcoming. Unfortunately, when I went there, the owner told me that they are closing next month because sales were down.  It’s such a shame that a sweet little shop like that has to close.  Stupid economy.  So of course, even though I wasn’t originally planning on buying anything, I felt bad and bought the yarn for Ellie’s Jane Austen Dress.  And then I knitted it like an obsessed freak all weekend long.  Sweater vest?  What sweater vest? 


The yarn I used was perfect for this project because it is meant to breathe and it’s a cotton blend, which is always good for the babies.  The only downside was that it hurt me to knit with it.  I guess because it’s a cabled yarn or something, but my finger now has an abrasion on it from where it rubbed along.  I suffer for my craft (and my niece), I tell you.  And the pattern?  Adorable and fun, but it resulted in about 45 million loose ends to weave in.  45 million.  Ends.  To weave in.  Ugh.  But it’s done and that means it’s DECISION TIME.  Because, although this would make a perfect midriff-bearing top for Ellie, I am really not into that sort of thing on a 1 year old, so it must have a skirt!  Now, I could purchase new material for said skirt, but man, wouldn’t it just be great if I could use fabric that I already have??  Yes, it would be great.  But David says it will look too random and thrown together.  I leave it to The People to decide.  Here are the stash options:

#1: Monochromatic

#1: Monochromatic

#2: Classic

#2: Classic

#3: Vintage-ish

#3: Vintage-ish

#4: Flower Child

#4: Flower Child

Option #5: Buy New Fabric (I was thinking a Khaki Linen?) 

What do you think?


5 Responses to “Ellie’s Fate is in Your Hands Now…”

  1. 1 Elliot March 11, 2009 at 7:13 am

    Aunt Jillian,

    I just LOVE my new 1/2 a dress! I about fell out of my bouncy seat when I saw it. My mom says I look great in lavendar. After carefully studying all of the fabric options for the bottom 1/2, I have two faves – the monochromatic and the vintage-y ones.

    I can’t wait to wear it! Any chance you could make me a matching bib so I don’t mess it all up with my newfound love of peas, carrots and other colorful veggies?

    Love and see you soon!


  2. 2 hasenfefferinc March 11, 2009 at 7:57 am


    I like those two as well! Although I might still take a little shopping excursion to see what else is out there for you. And of course I will make you a matching bib, because when you ask for things, my mind turns to mush and all I can say is “yes, Ellie, whatever you want…” in a droning monotone voice.


    Aunt Jillian

  3. 3 Anna March 11, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    I’m all about the flower child one. It would be so nice on a spring day. I’m on the Atkins diet and that homemade ricotta sounds really good right now.

  4. 4 hasenfefferinc March 13, 2009 at 7:36 am

    I am partial to that one, too, but David is not a fan–I’m going fabric shopping today to see if there’s anything better than what I’ve got.

  5. 5 Joe March 13, 2009 at 8:19 am

    No one seems to mention the first event in this blog….the miracle of Ricotta. You are now equipped with the knowledge of the ages to prepare you for the next step in your journey to reaching the pinnacle of culinary nirvana….lasagna!!

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