With my 30s staring me down, I’ve been thinking a lot about motivation.
4 more days…
There has been a lot of post floating around lately about exercise – what’s the “right” way to do it, how much is a too much, when you should rest… much like my No Shit Diet, I think exercise should be a personal choice.
I posted this on Instagram yesterday:
It sums up my thoughts pretty well. When you exercise, do it for YOU. If you want to do it twice a day or twice a week, make sure it’s because that’s what your mind and your body are telling you to do. Just because someone is banging out an hour of cardio and an hour of weights every day doesn’t mean you need to! Conversely, you don’t need to do yoga 3 days a week and that be it just because someone else has found that works for them.
Play with your diet. Play with your exercise. Find what’s right for you. Find something that motivates forward progress. Have fun!
In true fashion, Kat was in my head again as she wrote her post this week. I love this post for more than just the cheese recipe (though that IS a big factor 😉 ). Kat is the perfect example of marching to her own drum and not letting others define her.
But I’m going to step off my soap box now and let her tell you about all that…
Homemade Ricotta and Thoughts on Identity
I saw a really old man, moving really slowly, but moving/jogging along the BeltLine. He must have been in his late 70s, and his feet were shuffling. He really made me think about whether I’ll do that at his age, in that condition. (Editor’s note: I saw a women running with a TRIPLET stroller. I was amazed.)
Why do we keep going? Because we love it? Because we identify as runners and that’s just who we are?
It also hit home this week when I attended the defense of a prospectus (the first 3 chapters of a dissertation) for a PhD student. The question that made me think quite a bit was, “Do you see yourself more as a scholar or a researcher?” Society is always trying to get us to define who we are. Why can’t we just be?
Ironically enough, she is doing post-structural work, which is not even supposed to need to have structures to define being (or, that is my understanding of it).
I think it would be nice to just “be” sometimes, but also find myself wanting some sort of structure as to what it is that I am, especially this summer, when I’m not an attorney, and I’m not a student. (Editor’s note: I get that – having this surgery made me re-think my gym rat identity.) In the in-between, what identity can I cling to? Runner?
And then I realized I can choose more than one, or I can choose none. In a chaotic world, it seems natural to want to choose something… but you don’t have to and it’s okay to change! Just be yourself and life your life authentically. Yes. Reminding myself of this.
You are not your career. You are not the activities that you do. It matters so much less in the long run than what kind of person you are.
Change happens. And change is created. I played with a recipe this week inspired by the fact that we have the power to create and change things into something we really want or crave.
So I turned Milk into Cheese. (Editor’s note: I swear I’m just moving in with you so I don’t miss this stuff.)
This week I made homemade ricotta! I hadn’t done this in quite sometime, since I went to Hawaii in November and played with a recipe with my sister. I made some changes to it, and I like my version MUCH better. It’s a little sweeter, perfectly creamy, and has a wonderful consistency.
- 1 gallon of whole (or raw) milk
- 4 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 T white vinegar
- ½ tsp citric acid
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
Bring the gallon of milk to 190 degrees (medium high heat). Stir continuously so the milk doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom. Then prepare your strainer. Wet cheese cloth and place it over a fine strainer.
Once the milk is fully up to temperature, mix the salt, vinegar, lemon juice, and citric acid.
Keep it at 190 degrees for about 5 minutes, then turn off the heat. At this point, the milk will look like it’s curdling and everything is separating.
Now the hard part… waiting. Just let it sit there at room temperature. Don’t touch it for at least 20 minutes.
Pour the entire pot over the cheese cloth and strainer. Let sit for 10 minutes at room temperature, then put in the refrigerator, and continue to let it strain and cool for 30 minutes.
That’s it! One gallon of milk will make about 3.5 – 4 cups of cheese.
When you taste it, your first thought will probably be how FRESH it tastes! It’s really awesome!
Use this delicious homemade cheese in lasagna, with berries for dessert, in cannoli, or on top of crackers with marmalade or jam! Wonderful addition to fresh summer recipes!
Note: This works best with raw, unpasteurized milk. However, it’s almost impossible to find because it’s illegal to sell for human consumption in most states (including Georgia). Alternatives? Find Organic, Pasteurized, Non-homogenized (cream on top) Whole Milk. AVOID Ultra-Pasteurized… it WILL NOT come out right, and it will not taste the same or have the same texture. It’s hard to find, but you can do it for amazing homemade ricotta!
Side note: I really want to get some different plates! Black is terrible for picture-taking! (Editor’s note: Now you are a “real” food blogger.)
To clarify: I’m actually excited about turning the big 3-0 (especially since it involves a trip to wine country). I just think it’s bizarre… didn’t I turn 21 last year?!
Who do you feel like you are?
What fun kitchen experiments have you done lately?