Water Torture



There is nothing more aggravating than waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of water dripping. It is enough to make me get out of bed. If necessary, I will head to the shop in my tennis shoes and bathrobe to get tools to repair it. Just to get a good night’s sleep, I might even walk out to the main and turn off ALL the water until I can stop the leak. However, if it isn’t a drip from the sink…


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It Starts Innocently Enough…

I am diligently working my way through all the ways I can use the milk we are now getting from Bossy. It is something I really need to stay on top of, because if I don’t, my back refrigerator will be full of half-gallon Mason Jars with no room left over for anything else.

We started milking on November 1st, and since then I have made buttermilk, butter, and have shared a half-gallon of skim milk. The next step is making a batch of Fromagina – which according to cheesemaking.com is most closely described as a cross between Fromage Blanc and Mascarpone. I love both cheeses, so it makes sense to give it a try. Last night I heated my milk to 86 degrees and placed the pot in an ice chest which my friend Ayn gave me to use for making cheese and yogurt. The culture was added, the specified two minutes passed, then I stirred it in. I covered the pot, closed the lid and let it sit for the requisite 12 hours. Perfect. Directions followed to a ‘T’.


The First Drop

This morning, I lined my colander with cheesecloth and spooned the thick mass into it. Then I tied it up and hung it from the faucet – the only place to hang it until the Country Boy can put up a better draining hook. As I move around the house cleaning, I can hear the steady drip of the whey landing in the pot underneath. Who know? I might try my hand at making whey cheese next! At first, it gave me a thrill knowing where the drip was coming from, and that it meant I just might be on the right path to reach my goal. But the longer it goes on…

As I dust a table, I begin to wonder if this style of torture was developed because someone was woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of water dripping… or were they making cheese and hung it up to drip before they went to bed? I can just picture in my mind someone tossing their covers off, stomping across a stone or dirt floor, out the door and trying to see in the dark just what the rain was bouncing off of to make that noise. Or…searching for a way to keep the dripping whey from pinging against an old pot. As soon as they think the problem has been resolved, they head back to bed. And just as they begin to doze off again, there it goes. Another plink. And this time it sounds even louder than before…

I can feel their frustration. I have been blessed….or cursed…with great hearing. I can be two rooms away, and still hear the metallic plink, or the liquid plop. Just as I go in to see if there is a way to stop it, the dripping stops. I think, “Good. Most of the liquid is finally drained.” I go back about my business when….




My mind then wanders back to my scenario, to the moment when the lightbulb goes off in their head. They have been looking for a way to get back at that nasty neighbor. Maybe they could rig up a drip system outside this neighbor’s window. Hmmm……..

In spite of the irritation, I am still going to continue making cheese. It is on my ‘list of things to learn’, and considering I love cheese, I just have to find a way to make it through those hours of constant dripping. Maybe it is time to revisit the idea of an outdoor kitchen with the Country Boy. Let’s see…cost of kitchen vs no plinking and plopping…..

Well, folks. That one is a no brainer. Now, to plan my approach so that he has no choice but to see it my way. If any of you have any ideas on how to get The Country Boy to see it my way, PLEASE comment below. I am going to need all the ammunition I can get!


(by the way – the Fromagina turned out delicious!  If you want to learn to make cheese, this is a great one to start with!)

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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