I've been trying to keep busy lately with Lisa away. It seems like every time she leaves town for a few days, I plan some household project to surprise her with and always I'm way too ambitious. I had it in my mind this time that I would empty closets, clean out the garage, even move furniture. In short, a lot of bending, lifting and carrying–– none of which I do well, some of which are potentially hazardous.
So, this time I'm concentrating on manageable projects– things I can do which require short bursts of focused, engrossing activity followed by ample time to lie down. (I'm just imagining someone reading that last line without knowing anything about me and my circumstances and deciding I am the laziest lout in the whole world). So far I can find nothing very engrossing about dusting or vacuuming, so I'm sticking to more fun projects.
Friday, I experimented with making mozzarella. Lisa and I tried this the previous week but the milk we used was probably ultra-high pasteurized because it only turned into unpalatable, squeaky curds. Friday, I used a different milk but with almost the same result. This time, though, it wasn't squeaky, but crumbly, so I decided to call it queso fresco and enjoy it with a Mexican style dinner. And so I did.
Saturday, I baked a whole-wheat-walnut-raisin bread which I can't wait to make again for Lisa. Yum.
Sunday, I brewed barley wine which hopefully will be aged nicely by next Christmas... or the one after that. If you live close by, you may be getting a bottle. I want it to be a surprise so forget I said anything.
Monday, I tried the mozzarella again and succeeded in making a perfectly good, though tiny bit of cheese. The trick turned out to be using a particular, locally produced, non-organic milk. I read somewhere that, ironically, organic milk is more likely to be ultra-pasteurized. Go figure.
Yesterday was semolina bread. As Lisa might write: "Meh." It's still a recipe-in-progress.
Today? Today I faced up to the fact that housework is unavoidable. It will require a good deal of self motivation and naps but after a week of use and abuse, this old place needs some love.