Tuesday, July 7, 2009

No whey!

As Lao-Tse supposedly said, "The more you know, the less you understand." I'm thinking he meant that in the best possible way; and I'm also coming to it as a person who is satisfied with fairly superficial scientific knowledge. But I continue to be increasingly struck by simple chemistry and biology.
A yard speckled with dandelions is a salad-in-the-making; cheese by-product (whey) is a bit of a miracle liquid; anything that can be classified as a fruit will at least feed something, even if you don't want to eat it. For example, I've officially given up on trying to harvest our black walnuts, happy to feed the squirrels.
And I haven't picked the dandelions because no amount of scrubbing will take away the image of the dogs peeing on them.
But I'm not satisfied with just using whey for watering our precious plants or feeding our pig-puppies. Whey from rennet cheese can be used to make ricotta (I can't wait! And then can I can cook with that whey!), but otherwise it can replace water for lemonade (which we haven't tried, but correctly-drained whey does look like lemonade, which is why it's mean to store it in an empty lemonade bottle) or broth in rice or potato risotto (when I made the former I poached chicken in the whey and used the resulting broth for the rice and shredded the chicken for enchiladas the next night), etc.
Using it to cook with (as in deglazing) adds a sort of creaminess, I mean the -ness without the cream. You just have to try it!

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