What To Do With Your New Scamorza

When people ask me (and they do), “What should I do with my new scamorza?” this is how I answer.

  1. You should slice it into quarter inch medallions and fry it on medium heat in either olive oil or butter. Both sides should caramelize nicely, and you can just eat it plain, or with salad greens, or with a little pesto drizzled on it.
  2. You should make pizza with it. Shred it thick, rind and all, and put it on top of some bread dough and tomato sauce. Do not adorn this pizza with anything else, the cheese has a nice flavor all by itself, and doesn’t like fraternizing with other toppings (except tomato sauce of course).
  3. You should smoke it. No, not like a cigarette, like salmon. Put it in a smoker, and give it a smoke flavor, which goes well with the cheese. This is called “scamorza affumatica”.
  4. You should make “cheese bacon” (e.g. something resembling Saganaki). Slice some and put it in a cast iron frying pan on super low heat, cooking it in its own fats. Flip it when it seems to be holding together, and brown it on the other side. If you want to be crazy, flambe it!
  5. Use it like cheese. Make a grilled cheese, or macaroni and cheese, or put it on a cheese plate for use with crackers. It’s a very nice all-purpose cheese.

Hope you like scamorza as much as I do!

Meditation on Simplicity II

Simplicity is important.

Simplicity precedes equality. Such that is simple is comprehensible by all members of the community, not only those with a tolerance for complexity.

Simplicity breeds peace. Such that is comprehensible can be accountable. By understanding how, and where, and by whom something is made, I can make some judgment about whether and how to be a part of it.

Simplicity enables integrity. By integrity I do not mean truth so much as I mean completeness. Such that is complex is difficult to test for integrity.

Simplicity foments community. Such that is simple can be exchanged, improved, replaced, given, received, and even bought or sold. It can be understood, assisted, and supported or prevented.

Meditation on Simplicity

I am surrounded by things that are complex to the point of barely being comprehensible to me.

I do not mean to presume there are principles involved in the manufacture of said things that are beyond me intellectually. However I do mean to affirm that as I look around my home, I could not easily make most of the things I see.

This computer. The baking soda in the scones this morning. Glass, plastic, and metal. Paint. Our heat pump and our refrigerator. The phone, and all the systems that make the phone go, including the electricity and all that makes it go.

Around home there is, of course, much that is made at home. The scones this morning, and the shire cream we spread on them, and the milk from which the shire cream was made. Most of the art, some of the furniture, and all of the children. The back porch, the front porch, all of the barns. The quilts and the eggs and the cheese.

But what I really yearn for is a life that is filled with, and dominated by the kind of simplicity that gives me at least  a chance of knowing why, and how, and where, and from whom something comes into our family, and to take responsibility for it all the way back to the sunshine and earth from whence it came.

Next Best Thing

The next best thing to having David Petty here at Right Field Farm is listening to him every Sunday Morning, for Sunday Morning Music. He’s signing I’ll Fly away today, which is one of my favorites, but’s probably one of everyone’s favorites.

It started out mostly as music, but it’s turned into my favorite podcast, and a perfect one for Sundays- David calls it, “the next best thing to sleeping in church,” but I think he’s selling it short. Way better than sleeping in church.

Fatheads. Feh.

This has all turned into one of those farces,
Where most of the characters lead with their arses,
No one out front, because one, all, and each,
Insist that their marching be managed by breech,
Backward is forward and good stuff is bad,
Downward is upward and happy is sad,
No one as awful as all are together,
Which prompts us to ask if, when, and whether,
Anyone’s worse than the people in charge,
I certainly can’t fathom it, not by and large,
But I won’t complain, since their job is so hard,
Especially for people with heads made of lard.


To the extent possible under law, David Brunton has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Fatheads. Feh.. This work is published from: United States.

Named Names

The Senate is deadlocked, the poor House is stuck,
Would go to my job, but I’m fresh out of luck,
The news in the paper is not that exciting,
Senators Reid and McConnell are fighting,
For those of us currently in unemployment,
The unpaid vacation is lacking enjoyment.
Can’t read the news because none of it’s good,
Can’t start a project, because then it would,
Be back to the office, with work to be done,
The project unfinished, and that isn’t fun.

So I sit and write lyrics for children to sing,
Mocking our “leaders” for this stupid thing.


To the extent possible under law, David Brunton has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Named Names. This work is published from: United States.

Children’s Song

Congress and president, Senate and House,
Elected officials as strong as a mouse,
Legislate bickering, execute strife,
Agreement elusive and argument rife,
Unconstitutional powers abound,
Yet those in the charter, they cannot be found.
Republic is shamed and Democracy hurt,
Once high ideals are dragging in dirt.

Now back to your chambers, don’t make me ashamed,
Or in the next little ditty your names will be named.


To the extent possible under law, David Brunton has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Children’s Song. This work is published from: United States.

String Cheese on a Rainy Day

Mozzarella is one of my favorite cheeses to make, in part because it’s ready on the same day. It takes a few tries to get right, but fortunately we make it quite a lot since we got Melody, and even more since I’ve been on furlough. Today we are making it into string cheese for snacks.

Stretching mozzarella.

Stretching it one way.

We start with milk from Melody, but it should work well enough from a different cow or a store or a yak or a water buffalo or a friend.

We cool the milk to ninety degrees or so, and add some fresh yogurt. It sits for an hour or so until the milk has a nice yogurt fragrance. Some of the lactose has been broken down into lactic acid, which is why this recipe doesn’t use citric acid, and why the resulting string cheese tastes so good, and why it is incidentally lower in lactose for anyone who’s counting. Some rennet (according to the instructions on the rennet, not the instructions on a recipe) goes in, and it sits for another hour.

Now we cut the curds into half inch cubes and let them settle. We slowly warm them up to about a hundred degrees, stirring so the curds stick don’t stick together. We drain the whey and return them to the hundred degree heat from whence they came for around three hours. At the end of this part of the process, we have a nice, fragrant mass of curd.

Stretching mozzarella

And the other.

The curd mass gets cut up into cubes and dumped into a big mixing bowl. The cut up curds have hot (160 or 170 degree) water poured over them, after which we smoosh them together with wooden spoons or salad tongs or spatulas, depending on what we’ve got handy. Then we streeeeeeeeeetch and fold, stretch and fold, stretch and fold. This part looks fun, in no small part because it’s fun. Also, since I’ve been asked a few times how far this would stretch, I counted this time. I folded it twenty-nine times, and stretched it fourteen inches each time, which means, by my count, that the curds are somewhere in the range of a hundred thousand miles long, or enough to circle the planet about four times.

At this point we stretch out a long rope, cut the rope into lengths, and dump the pieces into a bowl of icewater for a few minutes, followed by a bowl of saltwater for a couple hours:

String cheese marinating

Marinate on that during furlough.

Our yummy string cheese is now ready to eat, just like storebought except without all that hassle of, y’know, going to the store.