Thursday, December 9, 2010

Homemade Cottage Cheese!

At first, the very thought of it made me sick.  Leave milk sitting out at room temperature for three days?  However, as mentioned in this post on making varenyky or pyrohy, homemade dry cottage cheese is an essential ingredient to creating an authentic Ukrainian taste.

At my husband's convincing, we scaled down the recipe to use only a half gallon of milk to make sure that it would turn out before using two gallons of milk.  Good thing, because it turned out to be just the right amount for the number of pyrohy that we decided to make.

Here is the recipe we used (makes approximately 12 ounces of cottage cheese):
  • 1/2 gallon of 1% milk
  • 1/2 pint of buttermilk
Day one:
Mix all ingredients together in a pot or dutch oven.
Set aside in a warm room and leave covered.

Day three:
Approximately 72 hours after mixing ingredients together, place dutch oven on the stove top.

This is what the cottage cheese will look like after sitting at room temperature for three days.
Bring the mixture to a boil.  When the ingredients start to curdle, turn off stove and remove from heat.
As the milk starts to curdle it will look like this

More views of curdled milk!
Once your have gotten your fix of looking at curdled milk, go ahead and use a ladle and cheese cloth to drain excess liquid.  You want to make sure that you have enough cheese cloth to hold all of the cottage cheese that you have made.

Doesn't it look delicious?

Once all of the cottage cheese has made it's way into the cheese cloth, let it sit for another 24 hours.

Day four:
Yay, your work is almost done.  Simply dump your cottage cheese into a container and store in a refrigerator.  (Yes, it is now allowed to be kept cool).

If you are feeling extra ambitious, go to this post and use your homemade cottage cheese to make some varenyky.

Happy holidays.

Live the moment, love life!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Vintage Style - Inspiration from Baba - and a Little Family History

Recently I was browsing through the archives of Casey's Elegant Musings and came across this post about displaying old photographs.  As a newlywed living in a former bachelor pad with blank walls, I naturally thought this was a great idea.  So this past Thanksgiving while visiting the folks, I asked to borrow the box of old photos.  Oh did I come across some great treasures!

While I have not gotten around to actually putting anything up on the walls yet, I found a handful of delightful photos that have stories behind them.  I want to share a few of these photos and some of the inspiration it has given me for sewing and knitting.

Lately I have come to squeal with delight over vintage styling and I blame this completely on Casey and her blog.  (Seriously, it is my favorite blog and everyone I have shown it to has created a soft spot in their heart for it as well).

So with this new found passion for vintage style, I decided that the best place to search for inspiration is from my own family.

This picture is one of my favorite family photos.  It pictures my Baba (grandmother), her sister and parents.  This picture was taken in a camp for displaced persons in Dillingen (West Germany) during 1947.  After WWII ended, there were many people throughout Europe, Germany in particular, who found themselves away from their homeland.  In an attempt to address the situation, the government set up DP (Displaced Persons) Camps.  One of these camps was in Dillingen and was mostly for Ukrainians.

My Baba is pictured top right
What I loved learning about this photo is that my lovely Baba knit the sweater she is wearing!  This sweater was knit without a pattern, she just knew how to create the right fit.  How resourceful people were back in the day!  My Baba still remembers that the sweater was knit is grey and green.  I am making it my goal to try to recreate this sweater.  It most likely will be a while before I accomplish this, but I would love, love to be able to do this.

Here is another picture of Baba.  Although there's not much to see with her outfit, check out that hair!  She is so beautiful.  I would really love to see more of this outfit, you can just make out the floral print of the fabric and some trimmings along the neckline and across the bust.

Here is another family picture, also taken at Dillingen (my Baba spent a total of five years in the camp).  It really amazes me to hear the stories of our veterans and the people who were directly affected by WWII.  I know it really changed the lives of my Baba and Dido (Grandpa).  Anyway, moving on with the photo, I think my Baba looks lovely.

Something that really impressed me about this outfit is that the skirt had originally been pleated.  As fashion changed, my Baba took a seam ripper to the pleats to give it more of a circle skirt effect, which was just coming in style.  I also love the blouse that she is wearing, the added detail of the bunched sleeves really add something.  I can see myself wearing this blouse to work.  Perhaps someday . . . 

It's also so interesting to see the generational difference.  While my Baba's looks are keeping up with the trends, her mother looks very "old country" with the kerchief.

I have one last photo to share with you.  While my Baba was at the Dillingen camp she worked in the hospital kitchen.  Here she is pictured wearing her uniform.

I love this outfit and wish for the life of me that I had been required to wear a uniform like this.  When I worked  in my on-campus snack shop I was given an ugly denim shirt (that was unisex, but really made to fit a male) and an ugly navy blue hat.  Aprons to me have a real nostalgic feel, it reminds me of my Baba cooking in the church kitchen or making cookies with my mom when I was younger.  Her stripped dress also looks quite similar to this adorable Advance pattern:

That is all that I have to share with you today, but don't worry there's more.  I also have a few pictures from my Dad's side of the family.  I just need to get the stories first.  Stories always make life more interesting.

Live the moment, love life!