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JANUARY 24, 2009   

More cheese!

About a week ago I made my first batch of mozzarella, inspired by the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Today I bought a gallon of fresh local milk at the West Side Market and made more. Before stretching and kneading it, I split the cheese into two pieces. I mixed minced garlic and basil leaves into one, left the other plain.

Pizza with red peppers, sausage and cheeseThe consistency and texture of the curd and the cheese itself was different this week. I guess this variation is normal, since the milk varies, my temperature control is very imprecise, and other factors may differ from batch to batch. I like the richer flavor this week but the firmer texture of last time.

Most of the flavored cheese ended up on a pizza, joined by mushrooms, red peppers, onions and a bit of sausage someone gave us for Christmas.

Not just food

I seem to spend a lot of time talking about food—you might think that's all I think about. Well, there are worse things to think about, and earlier in that day Joanne & I did just that. We got a tip off from our son to pay attention to the news: his banker had told him our local bank (Amtrust) is in danger of going under. Sure enough, the morning Plain Dealer had an article describing how the bank is desperately trying to raise money to comply with federal regulations by the end of January.

After much discussion we decided to expect the worse and get our money out while it was still easy to do. We left only the minimum in our savings account and walked down the street to a bank on sounder financial footing (US Bank) to open new savings and checking accounts. We left the bank patting ourselves on the back for our smart, decisive action.

Now, having done a little online research, we probably wasted our time. If our old bank fails, the FDIC will step in and take it over. It will soon reopen under a different name. It appears that this would be only a minor inconvenience, possibly preventing us from getting our money for a day or two. We'd heard that it could take months for the changeover.

Oh well. I guess I'd better stick to talking about food.

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