The Opal Octopus

Reading and reviews by the Indian Ocean

Library Loot

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badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

 

This Week’s Library Loot:

two books - artisan cheesemaking, and Weir Do

First up: Artisan Cheesemaking at Home: Techniques & Recipes for Mastering World-Class Cheeses, by Mary Karlin and Ed Anderson.

artisan cheese making at home cover

 

The blurb:

Just a century ago, cheese was still a relatively regional and European phenomenon, and cheese making techniques were limited by climate, geography, and equipment. But modern technology along with the recent artisanal renaissance has opened up the diverse, time-honored, and dynamic world of cheese to enthusiasts willing to take its humble fundamentals—milk, starters, coagulants, and salt—and transform them into complex edibles.

Artisan Cheese Making at Home is the most ambitious and comprehensive guide to home cheese making, filled with easy-to-follow instructions for making mouthwatering cheese and dairy items. Renowned cooking instructor Mary Karlin has spent years working alongside the country’s most passionate artisan cheese producers—cooking, creating, and learning the nuances of their trade. She presents her findings in this lavishly illustrated guide, which features more than eighty recipes for a diverse range of cheeses: from quick and satisfying Mascarpone and Queso Blanco to cultured products like Crème Fraîche and Yogurt to flavorful selections like Saffron-Infused Manchego, Irish-Style Cheddar, and Bloomy Blue Log Chèvre.

Artisan Cheese Making at Home begins with a primer covering milks, starters, cultures, natural coagulants, and bacteria—everything the beginner needs to get started. The heart of the book is a master class in home cheese making: building basic skills with fresh cheeses like ricotta and working up to developing and aging complex mold-ripened cheeses. Also covered are techniques and equipment, including drying, pressing, and brining, as well as molds and ripening boxes. Last but not least, there is a full chapter on cooking with cheese that includes more than twenty globally-influenced recipes featuring the finished cheeses, such as Goat Cheese and Chive Fallen Soufflés with Herb-Citrus Vinaigrette and Blue Cheese, Bacon, and Pear Galette.

Offering an approachable exploration of the alchemy of this extraordinary food, Artisan Cheese Making at Home proves that hand-crafting cheese is not only achievable, but also a fascinating and rewarding process.

I’ve only made marinated feta so far, but it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I’m looking forward to slowly tackling some of the trickier cheese in this beautifully produced book.

Next up: Weir Do by Anh Do, illustrated by Jules Faber.

cover of Weir Do with cartoon happy child with a yellow bird on his head

The blurb:

My parents could have given me any first name at all, like John, Kevin, Shmevin . . . ANYTHING. Instead I’m stuck with the worst name since Mrs Face called her son Bum.

Meet Weir Do. No, that’s not a typo, that’s his name! Weir Do’s the new kid in school. With an unforgettable name, a crazy family and some seriously weird habits, fitting in won’t be easy . . . but it will be funny!

Anh Do is a Vietnamese-born Australian comedian most well known (literarily speaking) for his memoir The Happiest Refugee. Weir Do is his second children’s book, after The Little Refugee.

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