Monday, February 15, 2010


Snowed all night. Looks pretty damn white outside. But that is what we are all about. Some bad stuff comes our way and we sit tight, knowing we have our butts covered. Plenty of food and water. Plenty of warm blankets. Sitting on a load of cat food for our little critters. The road may be impassable but let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

It is quite apparent to me that most of my fellow villagers do not believe this economic mess we are in will result in a collapse. I beg to differ with them but that is not the important issue. The main issue is keeping people fed and nourished and watered and sheltered. Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one. But the basic human necessities go on with relentless determination. This is important. This is the ball you do not want to drop.

I sat at the feet of a man I considered to be the smartest, most spiritual man on the planet, bar none. And he was getting ready for hard times. A 70' by 14' spring cellar. A well that has not even been tapped, right inside a building and easily pumped by a hand pump. A few thousand acres of mostly trees and caves and some fields. Good springs of water all over the place. A one road entrance and exit. The way you come in is how you go out. He called outer society SCAG and that is the street term for HEROIN. He likened society to heroin. Totally addicting and horribly conforming. He preached his message every day of the week. Whether at a formal Sunday night meeting or a chance conversation at the dinner table. He never let up and it does not look like I will either. I believe in what he preached and I prepare as he would have done. Ain't time to back down now! No way in hell. It's time to get ready for the big party. It is time to see whose message was real and whose was bullshit. I throw down the gauntlet to all of my detractors and say put up or shut up. Prove me wrong or get your asses in gear and get ready! I am tired of dissension in the ranks. Like one brother said last night, all of us here had the same father, doctrinally speaking. And now that Pa is gone, the brothers are not about to grant the same respect to another brother that they gave to Pa. But Pa was quite a man and is a very hard act to follow. I miss him.

To get off of that subject, because of the memories, I will get to the advice given to me by Andrea at . I mentioned that I was wanting to get into cheese making and she turned me on to . Leeners, as Andrea made abundantly clear, is a supplier to people who want to make stuff. They do not sell the finished product. You make that yourself. But Leeners is quite a site. We are thinking seriously of buying their super duper extravagant cheese making kit for $90. It has all the stuff for making 12 kinds of cheese, except for the milk, and you are supposed to make them in the order that they specify. The list starts out with Mozzarella and ends up with Sharp Cheddar. The Mozzarella takes about an hour to make and have to eat and the Cheddar takes 90 days counting the aging. They give you the wax and brush to seal the cheese for aging.

I can't see how we could lose on this. We will buy whole milk from the Amish but you can buy from your grocery store if you like. Some of the hard Cheddar is aged in caves in Switzerland for 18 months. That is some old cheese, and quite expensive. But we all like cheese around here and it would seem to be a very good way to preserve the natural goodness of milk for your family and friends. It is not supposed to be hard to do but it requires being able to follow directions to the letter. We can do that. And we will make that cheese to the best of our ability. I plan on taking the first stuff and passing it out to the villagers so they can see it can be done. It always helps to have an example for people to experience. But this whole thing comes from a comment by Andrea about my writing on my blog about cheese and bread. A couple emails on the side and I was in business.

On the bread end of things I decided to investigate batter breads. Batter breads don't require all the kneading. I mean, making a batter bread is not like taking on a child to raise. The Handmaiden got the spirit of the moment and made a batter bread of flour and rolled oats. Very delicious. I found one recipe that called for flour, salt, and a warm can of beer and that is all! I can see the salt and beer making bubbles in the flour dough. Salt make bubbles in my glass whenever I salt my beer. Maybe it is enough make a good bread dough. Who knows? But we now have more stuff to study and prepare and that is good. Stay alive.



Andrea said...

I'm so glad you liked the site! Leeners is definitely a keeper.

Western Mass. Man said...

What a site.
Thanks Michael.
Thanks Andrea.

Pete Smith said...

I will have to look into Leeners and see what it's all about. And I think the economic mess we are in will lead us into the collapse and I think it will be very soon.

Mayberry said...

Cheese making is an art lost to the big factory producers in this country, for the most part. It's an art I definitely want to master when I get out of this suburban hell. Andrea, you're a keeper! Linking you up on KISS, should throw a little traffic your way...

Andrea said...

Awww shucks, y'all.