You probably already saw these on Facebook or Instagram.. but here they are for posterity…

Li Wenwen (China) being adorable
Janya Garnbret (Slovenia) flashing all four boulders in Sport Climbing qualifications
Logan Martin (Australia) doing a front bike flip
Daiki Hashimoto (Japan) doing a crazy leg pommel horse routine in the Mens All Around
13 year old Momiji Nishiya (Japan) after winning gold in Skateboarding
Kiana Elliott (Australia) getting a new snatch PB
Tom Daley (UK) showing off his knitted medal pouch
Coach Dean Boxall celebrating Ariarne Titmus’ (Australia) win

We attempted another cheese. Feta this time. It sorta worked…

Heat milk, add calcium chloride, culture, and rennet. Cover and leave in a water bath for 90 minutes.
Cut the curd into 1 cm cubes. Let sit for another hour. Then gently stir the curds every 5 minutes for the next 30 minutes.
Scoop the curds into moulds. I added some fresh rosemary to the round one. Cover and let drain for 3 hours.

This is where we started to have problems. After 3 hours I tried to get one of the blocks out of the mould and it disintegrated in my hand. So I scooped it back into the mould and we let it sit for another 3 hours or so.

But it was still too soft. So again I consulted cheesemaking reddit and they said it was possibly because our house was too cold and the cheese cooled down before it could knit properly. They said I could just leave it for another day and see if it solidified more by then.

Isn’t it weird that you can leave dairy products out at room temperature for apparently very long periods of time and not get sick/die?? (I think so.)

So finally after TWENTY FOUR HOURS of draining it was semi-solid. So we tipped them out of the moulds.

According to the instructions that I am reading now, we were supposed to let the de-moulded feta sit on a mat to drain for another 12 hours and I’m not sure we actually did that. Maybe that was part of the softness problem?

Feta ready for brining.
Feta brining in a 12% brine solution. Which we later reduced because we found it too salty.

End result: tastes ok, but it’s very soft feta. It jiggles! Not really good for like, salad, but it’s fine in cooked things.

Scott’s spinach, pine nut and feta ravioli made with spinach from the garden and homemade pasta. Good job Scott!!

July was… variable. It started off ok, everything was open and no restrictions, then lockdown #5 happened, and then it ended again. We are certainly learning that there is no point of planning ahead, and definitely don’t procrastinate anything. Do everything you can NOW, because the rules might change a few hours later.

Poutine on Canada Day at the Catfish with my internet friends. I didn’t feel great about celebrating Canada Day, but… I really wanted poutine. :P (Cheese curds are illegal in Australia.) The cheese was good but the chips were too thin. I can theoretically make cheese curds at home now though so there will be more poutine in my future.

Had a few friends over for my birthday. We introduced everyone to crokinole.. it was a hit. Also played Wits and Wagers and ate tons of snacks and acted silly. I had fun.

Can you tell that the family got me a new lens for my camera?

I went on a photo walk with my internet friends. We didn’t plan it well, so ended just wandering around aimlessly taking pictures of random stuff in the city, mainly Chinatown. It was good practice for me.

Fun with longer exposures.

More games! We finally got to have friends over to play boardgames again. We made pulled pork and slaw and taught them Lords of Waterdeep. We had to use the expansions so that all six of us could play and it took 5ever but it was fun!

Mischa made us a beautiful loaf of sourdough. It was professional quality.

Then we went to Pyalong, which I blogged about already. The night we got back we went to trivia for Ash’s birthday/our anniversary, and then the next day we got put back in lockdown for two weeks. Sigh.

Backyard currawong.
Driveway berries. Anyone know what these are? They are pretty.

Delivery treats! I’ve been wanting to try Black Star Pastry ever since Jess told us about it ages ago, but it was only in Sydney. Then they opened in St Kilda, but only at funny hours. Then they had a pop up delivery event so we ordered their famous Strawberry Watermelon Cake, the Raspberry Lychee Cake, and the Chocolate Mirage Cake.

To be honest, we didn’t like it that much. They were TOO light. Mostly cream and flowers. The watermelon cake probably tastes better in the summer when watermelon is in season, because at the moment it was kind of bland. The chocolate one was good but not life-changing. I would prefer to have our wedding cake from Ganache instead.

Glad I got to try it but probably won’t go back.

I ordered us a hotpot feast from Little Hot Pot Heroes for a treat dinner. It came with the pot setup, broth, all the ingredients, 7 types of banchan and some drinks. I got an extra broth so we can make our own soup next time. It was a fun activity and pretty tasty. I liked everything except the rectangle ham pieces.

Does anyone know what type of banchan this is? It was super crunchy, like much more crunchy than cabbage. I loved it.

I accidentally bought these masks with stupid phrases on them. They were folded and had a sticker on the package so I thought they were just plain. :( I literally yelled out loud when I took them out of the package.

So I attempted to terrazzo them with acrylic paint and textile medium. I think they turned out ok, at least somewhat wearable. Unfortunately when I washed them some of the paint came off of the parts with letters underneath so they’re not perfect. Oh well. Still better than “SMILES ARE CONTAGIOUS”. Cringe.

No pictures but lockdown #5 lifted right in time and we were very lucky to be able to have more than ten guests for Scott’s Nana Jean’s funeral. They had a nice funeral service and then the close family went out for lunch afterwards. It wasn’t a good occasion but it was nice to see everyone, like a sad Christmas.

Afterwards Scott and I squeezed in a quick walk at Birdsland where we saw lots of purple swamphens, ducks, bronzewings, and a darter. Then I went to training and then out for a Vietnamese feast with my weightlifting friends. It was a very big and exhausting day.

Unpictured things/things rolling over into August:

  • The Olympics started and I became a professional Olympics viewer. I watched SO MANY SPORTS. Including, all of the weightlifting, gymnastics, athletics, trampoline, track cycling, BMX, skateboarding, sport climbing, diving and tons more that I am forgetting.
  • I screwed up my elbow and now I have to do weird rehab like things with weights dangling on rubber bands.
  • I trained terribly during lockdown #5. I wanted to cry many many times. Thankfully for the first time ever they re-opened gyms right away when lockdown finished, so I got to go back for a glorious FIVE SESSIONS before lockdown #6 started. :/
  • We went to Braz and Lisanne’s going away party. They are moving back to Canada. :(

Part 1 here.

Spoiler: It didn’t really work out.

We were supposed to let the cheddar dry out on a mat for a week, flipping it twice a day. It started out ok but then suddenly developed a lot of black and white mould spots. I consulted cheesemaking reddit and they told me our house is too humid. I suppose we already knew that but didn’t realise it would be such a problem. They said we could scrape off the mould and continue on.

Waxed cheddar. Waxing was… an ordeal. Ask Scott about it. Then we just left it on a shelf for 5 more weeks. Sometimes a few drops of liquid would come out of it. Probably not a very good sign…

Finally this weekend we cut it open. It looked ok!! Not quite normal cheddar texture, more like havarti.. but I was just relieved that it wasn’t a puddle of slime inside. There was a little more liquid around the edges in some spots. Scott read that that is indeed a bad thing.

Unfortunately it tastes pretty gross. It starts out kind of ok but then finishes yuck. Kind of acidic/sour, and bitter. We ate a few pieces but then didn’t want any more.

We re-sealed the big chunks again but I have a feeling it’s not going to improve anything.

Thank you to Scott for being a great photography assistant for all of these shots!

Six shots stacked.

I forgot about taking multiple pictures of the same thing for stacking until the very end, whoops.

Tried a bit of light painting. Plus a plane in the background.

(BUTT)

I would like to try again. I’ve booked some time off for the new moon in September, hopefully we’re not in any kind of lockdown then. We kinda need to go even further away, Melbourne was still so bright we couldn’t really take any pictures in the south direction.