Thursday, March 11, 2010

Got milk, will travel...

Since ya'll were so adamant that you're okay with these "what I did today"-posts, here comes another one...Honestly I'd love to write some of the cultural commentary/ things I'm totally obsessed with-posts, but I just don't have the freakin' time right now. There's about a million and one things going on in my little world these past few weeks, and coming few weeks are just as happenin'.
The upside is that when you're pressed for time, dressing becomes a lot faster. It seems that the sailor/soldier jacket is the one that is becoming the uniform. Very fitting.
I scored these mocs on ebay for 5 bucks. Pretty good. I have another moc pair coming along shortly and then it's broke town for me. Which means I gotta get on that etsy-thing, 'cos our camera is about to kick the proverbial bucket.
At least, our furnishings are cheap and easy. Check out this new coffee table/chopping block. At first I was horrified, but in our clutter-tastic house another surface to rest things on is always a good thing. Can you tell we need more bookshelves too? There are books everywhere. Everywhere. I'm really into fullstops. Fullstops.

As I mentioned yesterday I've started milking again, and quickly remembered how bad I suck at it. Hopefully next time we can actually get all the milk out ourselves without aggravating the poor cow. Anne asked if I had a cow of my own, and the short answer is no, I wish, or better yet some goats, but living in the park sets serious limitations to one's ambitions in farming. Three chickens is about the limit of our menagerie.
While I think that in general our society is a little too addicted to the juice and meat of the teat-animal, and its dire environmental consequences, and am not a big consumer of milk products at all, there are a few milky things that I'm finding I can't do without.

This winter I tried to ease dairy out of my diet and go vegan, but the stumbling block proved to be butter. Cheese, I found, was easy to drop. Straight cream and milk, no second thoughts. Yogurt, pretty difficult, since as a Finn, fermented milk (piimä), cultured yogurt (viili) are very much part of good eatin', though I would not have those everyday. Still, it was all doable, until we came down to the nitty-gritty of abandoning butter. Could not. Do it.

I figure this milking thing might work out, in that maybe fresh cheese could replace butter on top of my bread. That way, at least my conspicuous dairy consumption would be local. (I'm not gonna churn my own butter out of 1/2 gallon 'o milk.) Bread, is another Finnish staple food. Can't. Live. Without. Bread.
Speaking of bread. I've been making a version of rieska, which is fermented milk-based, yeastless bread. I used yogurt and fried mine in a pan.

Milla's Modified Rieskaleipä:

1 cup of rye flour
2 cups of barley flour
1 tsp of baking powder
2 cups of yogurt and water mix (equal parts) (you can do all yogurt but mine was too thick)
mix dry stuff first, then add liquid until you have an even mixture. Divide into 8-10 balls and roll round and thin. Use plenty of flour on the rolling surface. Fry on dry, hot pan, or stick in the oven on 350 *F for about 10 minutes. Let the bread sit under a cloth for a while.
Yummy with afore-mentioned butter.
In other news, and things happening: money situation providing, I'm going to Portland next week to visit Talu! Woohoo! I hope the camera makes it there, because I plan to take many pictures of our adventures. Riding the train down will be a big adventure too.


  1. what a perfectly lovely cozy chair to cuddle up by the fire and read! i see all those books and get all tingly inside...bibliophile porn i guess. bookshelves are one thing we've never been able to have enough of, and when we changed bedrooms in our house i finally organized all our books into sections. it was quite the project and now it's so satisfying when darin says, do we have lorca, and i say check the poetry bookshelf! as for moccassins, i too scored a cute pair on our little road trip for $3 at a tiny thrift store in point reyes station where all the old new-agey ladies donate their expensive natural fashions...yeah!

    i'm intrigued by the natural cheese idea. it is so gross to me when i start to think about cheese and dairy products in the grocery store. and yet i do partake, oh so willingly. ugh. it is inspiring to witness you turning into a regular little farmlife wife. seems like a dream come true. someday i want to try my hand at milking, churning, the works, but for now i should try to consider going vegan. i think it would be a world of good for me.
    and hooray for springtime portland trips! can't wait to see your photos especially of all portland's beautiful flora!

  2. I love how you post that -I- live in paradise but you clearly do!!!

  3. your "what-i-did" posts are a little escapism voyage from urban livin' for me! so, since you get your milk straight from the udder, i'm assuming you don't pasteurize it? although i'm pretty committed to dairy - i used to be a cheese monger (yep!) so i think, with the right cheese, it can be a serious work of art - i'm really interested in trying to move over to raw products. there are all these sucky limitations on getting unpasteurized dairy in the U.S. (really bugs us cheese aficionados!). you're so lucky to be able to get it from the source - even those bottles of organic cream top milk on the grocery shelves barely resemble milk in all its goodness after being pasteurized. xo

  4. So if you don't have your own cow, who's cow are you milking?

    I envy your woodstove. My parents' heat with a woodstove back home and I definitely miss it. It's a lot of work, but worth it in the end I think.

    What will you be selling on Etsy?

  5. lovely little nook there by the wood burning stove :)

    I found a recipe for this bread, but I'm definitely going to try this tried & true one first!

    As for dairy, I'm on the train... on the train. But cheese has been my main obstacle. I don't much miss milk or other dairy products all that much. But you are so right, there is nothing like bread with butter. nothing.

  6. Aw, you look so wholesome holding your big jar o' milk :)

    Though, I must admit that being a teat-animal myself, I can't help but sympathize with the cow a lil' bit ;)

    About the melons, the seeds that is, not mine, haha, Lucas has this scheme plotted to grow the little tiger melons vertically on a trellis type thing and put them in wee slings as they grow.

    How funny that we both ended our posts last night with fresh baked bread!

  7. Just for the record, your coffee table/chopping black combo made my day. So "horror movie meets ReadyMade Mag"!!!!!! (-: Sasha

  8. i just stumbled across your blog and i love it! you have such a unique look and i really enjoyed reading your posts.

  9. everything that is going on in that room with the stove and books has wooed me. i love that space. i can almost smell the delicious wood burning.

  10. I think that making/doing your own in regards to food almost always trumps storebought items. While I am vegan, I often wonder about certain substitutes (ie, soy products). I very rarely consume soy/anything aside from nuts/fruits/vegetables/grains. For me it's an issue of which is more ethically sound: store-bought super processed margarine (I usually use coconut oil anyway--still not perfect, of course!) or locally-made butter. Ethically, I don't feel right consuming animal products, so that's why the butter is out for me and why I try to avoid using margarine anyway. However, if you aren't ethically opposed to it, I see no reason as to why you shouldn't consume local, small batch dairy/egg products. Of course, I view meat a bit differently. But your chickens seem happy as can be and if you're milking that cow yourself, then I think you should certainly consume the milk. I think the subject of veganism is a lot more nuanced that most people choose to believe.

    Also, I love that chopping block/stool. Furthermore, I hope you post about food more--I love that you make so many different things from scratch.

  11. Hi Milla!
    I really enjoy reading your blog, and appreciate your socially conscious commentary. I <3 pac nw and love to vicariously see it through your lens.

    do you pasteurize your milk?
    and your bread is similar to Indian chapati, have you ever tried it?

  12. The jacket is amazing. The books are enticing. And girl- milk & butter are GOOD for you! There is no need to ever give up dairy, especially with your heritage. And no one digests straight grains/carbs well without fat being eaten at the same time. We absolutely slather our bread with butter. Check out this stuff if you haven't:

  13. You are the most adorable thing ever. I tried to do away with dairy myself...still don't drink any milk (rice milk on my cereal), but it is difficult to go without ice cream. Gets me every time.