Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Seeds, Cottage Cheese, Cloth Diapers, Spaghetti Sauce

I love gardening. I organic garden simply because I'm too lazy to dust my plants and these past few years I'm either pregnant, nursing or have a curious little one eating tomatoes off the plant. It's just safer.

The problem is it is expensive to buy all those flowers and plants at the greenhouse every year. So, I've turned my sunny enclosed porch into a seed starting center! I've reused plastic pots and yogurt cups in the process, too.

Courtney asked how to make cottage cheese. There are several recipes out there, but the one I use is the easiest. However, it doesn't make cottage cheese like what you'd buy in the store. Instead, it comes out more like a ricotta. I don't eat it plain. I use it in meals like lazagna, stuffed shells, baked ziti and cheeseburger pie.

Pour 4-8 cups of WHOLE milk in a double boiler. Heat over boiling water until the milk itself is nearly boiling (don't let it boil!). Turn off the heat and add just a little white vinegar (1-2 tbsp.) Let it sit and separate into curds and whey. Then, pour all into a cheese cloth or muslin-lined collander and let the whey drain from the curds. The longer you let it sit, the drier the curds get. If it doesn't quite separate, you can slowly reheat it until separation occurs.

Candy, you are accidentally green, but I have to say many of my ideas come from you! I got my yogurt recipe and my homemade cleaners recipes from you!

I read an article on the debate between cloth diapering and disposables (based on which is more environmentally sound). The author did his own comparison with his own 7 month old. His conclusion was that disposable diapers are better for the environment and cheaper! Why? Because he wasted so many papertowels, wipes, water, stain remover, detergent and electricity (drying in the dryer) in cleaning each diaper. Candy has a much better and easier way to deal with cloth diapers at http://www.keepingthehome.com/.

While at Aldi, I needed spaghetti sauce. I usually just grab a jar, but so many brands (even not at Aldi) has high fructose corn syrup in them or other preservatives. So, at Aldi, I grabbed two cans of stewed tomatoes, one can of tomato paste and one can of tomato sauce. I threw all 4 cans into my food processor, added whatever I felt like (oregano, garlic, italian seasoning, salt, pepper, etc) and made a great spaghetti sauce on the cheap! It's also a great way to use up past-their-prime-but-still-ok veggies! Yum!

1 comment:

Courtney said...

Thanks for the cottage cheese recipe. I frequently use cottage cheese rather than ricotta in recipes, so it sounds perfect for me. I'm going to try it after my next trip for groceries. :-)