Monday, April 23, 2012

Dulce de Leche and Other Things Dairy

A little over a week ago I got an email saying that a local person was going to be taking orders for dairy products from San Isidro Hacienda.  The hacienda is about a 15 minute drive up a twisting mountain road so not many people actually go up there to get a liter of milk.  At any rate, I decided to give it a try and ordered a liter of milk, non-homogenized, and a jar of dulce de leche.  I pondered getting homemade fontina cheese or maybe some quesa fresca with herbs (it's a fresh cheese with a very mild flavor that, for some reason, doesn't melt but is great on crackers or just about anything else) but decided I'd see what I thought of the quality of what I got first and then plan my next order accordingly.

My order was delivered Thursday night and on Friday I could hold off no longer and made a pot of potato soup.  Of course when one has a cold or flu, one is told to avoid things like dairy products and high fiber foods like corn but, as I said, I could hold off no longer.  I only had a small bowl of the soup and kept out another bowl's worth and froze the rest so I'm feeling pretty good about that but I just had to do it.  If I do say so myself, it may be the best batch of potato soup I've ever made.  The sausage I put in it was locally made and has a great flavor without being overpowering and that had something to do with it.  The onions were particularly flavorful and quite excellent--something you just never know whether you'll get or not--so that contributed to it.  I also think the creaminess of the creamy milk was a plus for it.  All in all, it was a true winner and I will definitely be getting more of that milk--just not all the time.  It's a long walk to pick it up myself and there's a delivery charge if I don't.  It will definitely be worth it when I do, though.

Then there's the dulce de leche.  I didn't even know what I was going to be getting.  I just knew that the dulce de leche ice cream I used to buy in Washington was amazingly yummy.  Oh my goodness!  This stuff could be addicting.  I made a cup of coffee on Saturday morning that was a cup of hot milk, a sprinkling of the local instant coffee, and a dollop of the dulce de leche.  That was my entire breakfast and it was more than enough.  It was also better than any latte I've ever had.  I'm going to keep those as a special treat.  I've also been told it's quite excellent on toast.  I don't have a toaster but I grill rolls and I may have to try it on one of those.

When I was talking to my oldest granddaughter about all of this, I told her that they had several recipes for cottage cheese they were going to try and see which one their tasters liked best.  They have to do that because it isn't available here so the people doing the making have no idea what it's supposed to taste like.  After they get that mastered, they're moving on to sour cream.  Again, no one knows what it's supposed to taste like so they'll have to depend on their English speaking tasters.

"What!?" my granddaughter said, "They don't have sour cream?"  What do they use on their tacos or fajitas?  I told her they really don't make those here.  There's one store in town that has started carrying refried beans and something else that's good for Mexican food but apparently people eat it without sour cream.  She feels pretty much the same about sour cream as I do about my pickles.

I think I've pretty well run out of news from the events of the past week or so.  As I said several posts ago, for being sick for days and days, I sure have had a lot of stuff going on--little stuff but stuff nonetheless.

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