Supermarkets have become a meeting place for robots. Next time you go shopping, look for them. Just like Uniblab, they walk around in slow-motion, grabbing items from the shelf and adding them to their carts without looking. It’s as if auto-pilot turns on and all self-will disappears.
I’m also guilty of this. To this day, I pick up a box of Jiffy cornbread mix when shopping. It’s fine, but I only get it because my mother used to buy it. I keep it as an emergency late-night snack. I’ve realized that a lot of the products I purchase can actually be made at home and are about 37 times better than the prepackaged version. I’m not married, I have no kids—these products aren’t even made for or marketed to me. Yet I continue to buy them.
One of my biggest pet peeves is buying ricotta cheese. I usually buy the smallest container, use half of it and put the rest in the fridge. The next time I go to use it, my ricotta has turned into a Petri dish and is now the only other living thing in my apartment.
I finally got fed up and made my own ricotta. People, I cannot tell you how truly amazing it is. It’s thick and creamy, not watery and grainy like the one I used to buy in a yellow container. Spend an extra 15 minutes and make this.
1/2 gallon milk 2 cups buttermilk 2 teaspoons of salt 2 tablespoons olive oil Fresh oregano and toast/crackers, optional
Put all of your ingredients into a pot and cook on medium heat. Stir every few minutes until the curds and water separate. It should take about 15 minutes. (If you have a cooking thermometer, cook until the temperature reaches 175 degrees.) Pour the entire contents of the pot into a piece of cheesecloth and let it strain for 10 minutes.
Place in a bowl, add two tablespoons of olive oil, mix and serve. I love this on toast or crackers with some fresh oregano. If it’s too cold, microwave the cheese for 10 seconds to soften it. Enjoy this real ricotta—you won’t go back to store-bought.
Petrit Husenaj is a writer based in New York City and the creator of the food blog My Social Chef.