Just Another Day At The Venomous Homestead

by Venomous Kate

It’s Saturday, and as usual that means I’m tinkering in the kitchen. This Saturday, thanks to some weather-related damage, tinkering in my kitchen requires stepping around a contractor hired to stop the 14-foot tall mirrors over my fireplace from peeling away from the wall and crashing down on us. (Let me just tell you, it was terrifying to see those mirrors start shaking the other day!)

Today’s cooking started with making baked donuts for breakfast, because VH and the Big-Eyed Boy are crazy about them. The contractor liked them, too. Up next: homemade cheddar crackers followed by whole wheat sandwich bread for next week’s boxed lunches, then whole wheat fettuccine (using my new CucinaPro 150 Imperia Pasta Machine which I’m absolutely crazy about!) for tonight’s chicken alfredo, and some whole wheat bagels to go with the cream cheese I made yesterday. Oh, and while all that’s going I’m also making brie.

That’s right: I’m making brie.

See, for Christmas, VH bought me a book on making homemade cheese. It goes nicely with my latest foray into making homemade sausage and, well, what else does one serve on top of homemade crackers, right?

Now, the contractor, having polished off four of my baked donuts followed by a handful of freshly made crackers, was just floored when he learned I’m making cheese from scratch. A divorced guy who shares a house with two other divorced guys, his kitchen skills apparently run the gamut from pressing buttons on a microwave to pressing buttons on a phone. From what he said of his ex-wife, she was similarly skilled in the kitchen. That someone makes cheese (or donuts or crackers or bagels or bread) from scratch was, to him, nothing short of mind-boggling.

All of which is to say that the mirrors above my fireplace are now stable, the cracks they’d made in my wall have been beautifully repaired, the bill was less than half of what we expected AND he’s offered to come back next week to help VH pull up the cracked porcelain tile floor in the kitchen that I’ve been complaining about for the past, oh, 5 years. Of course, he’ll be coming Saturday afternoon because, as he put it, there’s no sense interrupting next week’s cooking session.

Somehow, I suspect he’s going to show up with an empty Tupperware container or two.

7 Responses to “Just Another Day At The Venomous Homestead”

  1. So, are you pulling our collective legs? I know it takes at least five days for a fresh brie curd to cover with that white fuzzy rind and another day for it to cream to the center of the curd. Serve at room temperature before it goes past “on point” and starts to smell like a cat’s scratch box.

  2. No, I’m not pulling your leg. I’m making brie. It’s in the molds now and draining, which takes a couple of days. Tomorrow it gets salted and flipped, then it spends another day drying before going into our “cheese cave” (an old dorm fridge with a huge pan of water in it to keep the humidity high). It’ll sit right next to the cheddar and the Monterey Jack I made earlier this month. After the white coat forms (about 2 weeks) it’ll go into our garage refrigerator to age for another month.

    See? Cheese cave:

    THEN we’ll eat it.

  3. I believe now. Nice touch with the straw (looking mats). The underside needs to breath too.

  4. Those are bamboo sushi mats. The book suggested them, and they’re great for the exact purpose you pointed out — air circulation. They also help when it comes to flipping the Brie while it’s still in the mold.

    Oh, and for making sushi!

  5. I am in awe. AWE, I say. I’m sure the contractor will dine out (almost literally) on stories about you to his roommates and peers for days. No wonder he is eager to come back and help you with other tasks. :)

  6. Hey, it’s great that having him fix something around the house doesn’t put me back on sole parenting duty, followed by clean-up and cooking, the way it does when VH “fixes” something around here. Also, if the contractor screws something up or doesn’t actually repair it, I’ll fire him. Doing so with VH is a bit more messy.

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