April 20, 2015

Do you know about the 'other'?


What 'other' am I referring too? It could be the other uses of homemade cheese, besides slicing and eating. (Hint: please read to the end for the real other,)


In my last post I shared a recipe for cheese that I'd made at least six times, always with perfect results. Then late one night I made it to have for the next day, and it didn't work. I don't know exactly what I did wrong, though I suspect I added too much liquid, and it never solidified. I even attempted to cook and add more agar agar, to no avail. It tasted exactly right, but had the consistency of a dip. I didn't want a big tub of dip, but I hate to waste food. Too bad it's not a ruined cake recipe, I thought, so I could turn it into cake balls.


No problem, though, I turned a large share of the unwanted dip into delicious mac 'n cheese with cherry tomatoes. I had been planning to try this with the solid cheese, but that will have to wait until I make the cheese again. But, no, this other use for the cheese is not the other from the title.


With another portion of cheese dip, I made a rich and cheesy stew. First I soaked and cooked lima beans. Then I cooked potato, carrot and broccoli chunks in a small amount of water until they were tender.


When the veggies were tender, I added in the lima beans and their cooking liquid, some diy gravy mix, and the cheese dip. I loved eating the result., but this is not the other I'm talking about.


THIS is it. It's the 'other' folder next to your message folder on facebook. Have you ever opened it? I'd heard of it, but had never noticed it particularly until recently, when, in conjunction with an activity related to my upcoming high school reunion, I sent a message to a fellow classmate on facebook. Facebook informed me that because we weren't friends, the message would go to her 'other' folder. OK. I sent the message, wondering if she would ever see it.

Curious about the mysterious other folder, I looked at my own fb message folder, and clicked on the greyed-out 'other'. It opened to reveal a long list of messages I never knew were there. The first few messages looked kind of sketchy — the first was from someone named 'Ronnie' with a last name I didn't recognize, and began with, "You look fabulous. Send me your recipe. I'm living in Tampa..." You can only see the first sentence or two, and I didn't open any of the personal messages, because they looked weird, and I had a bunch of other stuff to do. However, seeing the name Ronnie sparked a quick Internet and fb search for an old, dear friend named Ronnie who had been a close friend long ago, and with whom I'd lost touch as we each moved so many times. When I couldn't find her, I searched for her ex, hoping it would lead me to her, and learned he had died two years ago — a discovery that made me very sad. I'd looked for her unsuccessfully many times in the past, so wasn't surprised that nothing had turned up.

Anyway, having discovered my other folder, I asked my husband to check his. He found a message from someone we knew in Madison, asking when we had moved, and how we were doing. The message was two years old, but Ken immediately wrote back and we are now reconnected through fb. After I saw the real message in my husband's folder, I returned to my other folder, and this time I opened the message from Ronnie. OMG is the only appropriate expression to describe my reaction. The message was dated Jan. 2014, and was from my friend! She had remarried and was using the last name of her second husband, which is why I didn't recognize it. We are now back in touch.

There were lots of real messages in the other folder, reminding me of bake sales, workshops, political events and other assorted activities, but the message from Ronnie was a stunner. Over the past few days I've asked lots of people if they've ever looked in their other folder (I think you have to be on a computer rather than a phone or tablet, to see it) and they all said no. Have you?

20 comments:

  1. I checked mine a few years ago and found I had won a competition from Natural Balance Foods who make Nakd bars. I checked with the company to make sure it was genuine and it was - I had entered it months earlier.

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    1. Well, that must have been a pleasant surprise! I hope you found it in time to claim your prize. :)

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    2. I did just find it in time. I got lots of bars, a tshirt, a badge and a bag

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  2. I'm not on FB, but experiences like this make me think I should join it. There are so many people I miss and love. That's so wonderful to reconnect, it's the best of what FB offers for sure :)

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    1. I originally joined fb because I was creating graphics at work for various departments to use on their public fb pages and I needed to see how they looked. I didn't become serious about using it myself until I moved from my hometown of 30 years to move to the top of the map. If it wasn't for the ties and support of friends on fb, I would have been pretty unhappy those first couple of years. It really is like a little window into the lives of people you don't see very often — or at all — but to whom you still feel connected.

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  3. I don't have fb, so I don't have an "other" folder. But, I'm so glad you reconnected with Ronnie! What fun! And you do look fabulous; I could have told you that.

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    1. You are too much! Some day we will meet. :)

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  4. Holy crap; there are messages in my "other" folder from 2010!!! I'm reposting your blog to warn others.

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    1. Now this is what I'm talking about! Your response is exactly why I wrote the post. Hope you found something interesting in there. :)

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  5. Excellent save! Both the mac 'n cheese and the soup look fantastic! I had not heard about the "other" folder. Luckily when I checked to see if there was anything there that I had missed, all I found was spammy stuff. I'll keep an eye on it from now on though. Thanks for the heads up! (Sorry if this posts twice. I'm not sure if the first one went through.)

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    1. When it comes to saving food-fails, you are my inspiration — not that you have so many fails, but when you do, you always manage to find a creative save. While I'd have rather had the cheese, the fails were excellent! I should have another look in my other folder — you never know what you'll find.

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  6. OMG I had never looked in my other folder before. Now I did and I found a message from an uncle dated 2 years ago asking me where I was and how I was doing. Yikes, I never knew there were messages in there.
    Apart from that the mac and cheese look delicious and it so happens that I also do have some homemade cheese (experimentation) that has not firmed up. The taste is great but it's just all gooey consistency. I was thinking of make a pizza with it but now I have some other ideas too. :)

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    1. Like I said, OMG is the only response to finding the messages! I hope you wrote back to your uncle!

      Pizza was my first thought, too, but then I'd have to make a crust. The mac and the stew were both delicious and easy.

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  7. I'm always amazed at your saves, everything looks so good, no one would know if you didn't mention it. It also reminds me I still need to give your cheese recipe a try. And if I mess it up (a high probability), it can be saved. :-)

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    1. It's really wing it vegan who inspires me to not waste food flops. She's the master of food saves! And also the cost of cashews. Sheesh.

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  8. That's a great story! And nope, I've never looked in my 'other' folder but you know I'm going to have to going and have a look right now. Between all those great dishes and the message, that cheese really had amazing powers. That's no flop in my book!

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    1. I wonder if you found anything interesting in the folder. Now that you've connected the cheese to magical powers, I'm thinking I should make it again soon. :)

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  9. yay for new discoveries. i knew of that folder long back but forget to check it and then discover random messages when i do.
    most the disasters in my house are around gluten-free baking. i just crumble it up and add it to my next sandwich bread dough :)

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    1. Come to think of it, I haven't checked it since I wrote this. I think I'll go take a look.

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