Friday, June 8, 2007

Missing My Gruntle

You see that? That's how we look when we're disgruntled. The definition of disgruntled is "to make discontented." If that's not a discontented cat up there, I ain't never seen one.

Gruntle, on the other hand, means "cause to be more favorably inclined." The source I checked also added this quote: "quiet the dragons of worry and fear". I like that. Quieting dragons would certainly get you back your gruntle, don't you think?

Speaking for myself, my personal gruntle seems to have gone someplace to indulge in decadent activities or something. It was here earlier this afternoon when I picked up my mail and my eagerly awaited mozzarella cheese making kit fell into my hot little hands. Well, that was just plumb exciting. Full of beaming gruntle, I hurried up to the market and grabbed a gallon of milk and, on impulse, a container of fresh strawberries that looked mighty fine.

Once home, I carefully read the directions (very simple) and laid out everything that would be needed. I had been careful to get milk that was pasteurized, NOT ultra-pasteurized. That's because the ultra version ruins the milk for cheese making -- and for nutrition, too, come to that. About all it really does is add shelf life. I mention this because I soon discovered, to my dismay, the dairies don't necessarily mention the ultra part on their packaging -- nor are they required to, as subsequent research showed. Turns out this was the dreaded ultra version and my nicely setting curd collapsed into useless sludge.

Okay, not totally useless. It's a mess for cheese but will be great for bread making. Nevertheless, I am DISGRUNTLED.

To soothe myself, I took out the strawberries and set about preparing them for drying. Dried strawberries are extremely tasty because the sweetness becomes concentrated. Uh oh. One slice and I was reminded of why I hate to buy strawberries in the store. The outside is a gorgeous red and the inside is as white as a watermelon rind. Phaaah! I sliced 'em up anyway and they are slowly drying as we speak. I'll be surprised if there's much flavor to be had when they're done, though.

I guess the standard line for a tale such as this is, "Do you want cheese with that whine?" But we know what happened to my cheese. Therefore, I will take a hint from the surly feline above and have myself some fine enhanced coffee. That should quiet a few dragons until my gruntle eventually comes dragging its sorry ass home.


John Bailey said...

Hehe! Long may your gruntle grintle, Dee... :-)

bb said...

I have not had the occasion to see ultra on any milk carton either. Then again of late I've not been in the store.

How's the weather been up there? Summer yet?

Dee said...

Thank you, John. There *does* seem to be a bit more of a grintle to my gruntle this morning.

Bonnie, you must realize you Texans have a distorted perspective on what constitutes "summer." You do "hotter than the hinges of hell" and I do pleasantly balmy and comfortable. Of course summer is here, gurlfriend! And there are a kajillion birds outside the window right this minute, chattering about it.

The Old Guy said...

Naturally your entry forced this old, tired librarian to spend an hour or two researching the various kinds of milk and their associated diseases.

Turns out the best cheese is made from raw milk, the purchase of which is legal in only 28 states, with a lot of conditions attached.

As always, the issue boils down (no pasteurization puns please) not to public health issues so much as Big Dairy corporate benefits. An interesting source because it contains current state-by-state information is

Anonymous said...

White-hearted strawberries? You don't suppose it's their particular variety? See this URL for some of those varieties...they may match what you have. Or not. :)


Dee said...

Aha! Not one, but TWO good web sites to examine. Thanks, Bill and CJ. Good info at both places. As for the strawberries, I wish I'd taken a picture of the slices so you could see how much of the interior was white (most of it!) On the web page, the Cabot was closest to what I got, both for amount of white and for shape. I'll certainly know not to do them again.