Making Cheese with Dad

I went home with my wife for Father’s Day and we did the usual thing where I went to my family’s house while she went to hers.

My dad and step-mom kept with their usual Sunday routine of going to the local Farmer’s Market and making omelettes for brunch.

I’m no omelette fan, but I had some scrambled eggs with them.

After brunch we went on a hike up to the Dish in the Stanford hills.

When we got back my dad made some pizza dough for later.

My dad had already made some plans for the day to go to a Sufi meeting.

My dad has been into eastern religions as long as I’ve been alive. I don’t remember when he started being a Sufi, but he has been for a while now.

Sufism is sort of a mystical interpretation of Islam.

It shares a lot in common with Buddhism so I’ve always described it as a mix of Buddhism and Islam in the past.

What is the religion about? That’s a complicated question. It’s about meditating and praying to figure out what God wants you to do in your life.

There’s also some stuff about dancing in circles, but my dad’s Sufi teacher doesn’t subscribe to that part of Sufism.

The meeting was fun. We talked about particulars of the mystic traditions that are a little hard to describe in writing (sorry!). I’d go to it again if it was in Davis, but it isn’t.

When we got back from the meeting my dad and I made some cheese.

My dad loves making things of all sorts, so why not make some cheese to go on our pizza!

If you haven’t made cheese before, it’s super simple. Cheese is made by adding some enzymes usually taken from animal stomachs to hot milk to curdle it (our enzymes were made by plants somehow).

The milk separates into curds (floaty cheese bits) and whey (gross yellowish liquid). We started with a gallon of milk

We took the curds out of the whey which when put together were about the size of my head.

We squished the liquid out of the curds until they were about the size of two baseballs.

And that’s pretty much it. We added some salt to the cheese and then slapped it on a pizza.

The pizza was great!

We watched some old Wallace and Gromit cartoons after dinner.

Presents fell somewhere in the day as well. I got my dad a graphic novel by one of his favorites authors (sadly he already had the one I got) and two Conan comics!

We waved goodbye and I headed over to pick up my wife at her parents’ house before driving home in the dark.

Happy Father’s Day!


Food on the Island

Previous Post About Bois Blanc Island: A Typical Day on the Island

The only picture of food from my vacation was taken on the airplane. This is WordPress, people! Not Instagram!
The only picture of food from my vacation was taken on the airplane. This is WordPress, people! Not Instagram!

Bois Blanc Island is an hour ferry ride from the closest grocery store in Cheboygan, Michigan which makes food hard to come by.

My extended family only stays on Bois Blanc for a month or two in the summer. The cottages are closed the rest of the year.

Any food left during the winter would spoil or be eaten by critters.

Every time we come to the Island we have to buy a bunch of food because there’s nothing left in the cottages waiting for us except a few nonperishables like flour and sugar.

My wife and I went to the grocery store and got EVERYTHING. Enough food for a week plus some extra.

Some things you can’t buy a week’s worth though, like peanut butter or mustard.

Inevitably we buy more food than we eat (buying less than we eat would be painful) and we end up with leftovers.

On the Island leftover food is given to your neighbors to use.

There are two places to get food on the Island, the Bar and Hawk’s Landing.

The Bar is a bar. It has food, drinks, shuffleboard, darts, a pool table, and a jukebox. Nothing unusual.

Hawk’s is a general store, gift shop, and restaurant all rolled into one.

The building for Hawk’s is split into two halves. The front is filled with tables for the restaurant. The back has the kitchen, the cash register, and the gift shop and store.

The restaurant serves breakfast and typical diner food like burgers, pizza, and fish and chips.

The gift shop sells Bois Blanc Island stuff. Shirts, mugs, honey made on the Island, poem collections about the Island, novels set on the Island, etc.

The general store sells gas station stuff like soda, beer, a few Tylenol-like things, and snacks. There’s also cereal, baking supplies, milk, and eggs.

The selection and prices are pretty bad, which is why most people bring food with them.

The only other source of food is a weekly farmer’s market.

The farmer’s market is the only source of fresh produce on Bois Blanc. Most of the stalls sell out within half an hour of opening.

Despite the lack of food options on the Island all the meals are fantastic because they’re shared with family.

-Mister Ed

Next Post About Bois Blanc Island: Bois Blanc Island Dinners