I’ve spent the last several years using NetworkManager on my laptop, mostly because I needed an easy way to connect to my work’s VPN. This worked fine at home, but for whatever reason NetworkManager, Workantile’s wireless hardware, and my laptop do not get along. I put up with this problem for well over a year before finally deciding to switch back to using WICD to manage my network connections and find something else to manage VPN.
I tried a handful of different VPN managers, but I wasn’t super impressed with anything I saw. So I made a list of features that I wanted and got to coding! Gossip Stone is the result – it provides a straightforward right-click menu to connect to different VPN profiles (defined in /etc/vpnc/). For now users need to write vpnc scripts by hand, but I would eventually like to add in a connection editor so config files don’t need to be modified by hand.
Farmhouse Cheddar is cheddar with a few shortcuts. Traditional cheddar is waxed and aged for three to six months before enjoying, but farmhouse cheddar will be ready with just a few days of air drying.
Farmhouse cheddar is good for two weeks when refrigerated, but will last for up to three months if sealed in wax first. I’m not capable of eating three pounds of cheese within two weeks all by myself, so I decided to try waxing! As a bonus, this gave me valuable experience in what to do … and what not to do. Wax is flammable and can only be melted safely with a pseudo-double boiler. Be very careful! Steam rising out of the lower pot could scald you, and cause you to drop the cheese into liquid wax out of reflex. It could be messy:
I still don’t want to eat an entire cheese by myself, even after aging, so I cut the wheel into quarters first. Aging cheese makes it sharper, so every piece I peel open should have a subtly different flavor. I’ve just reached the most difficult step of cheese making: deciding how long I want to wait before digging in!
Ready for waxing!
Dip cheese into melted wax then put on wax paper to dry. Repeat until entire cheese is waxed, using the paintbrush to seal in any gaps.
Cheese can now be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Queso fresco (Spanish for “fresh cheese”) is a Central American cheese, and can be used when making quesadillas. I started with three gallons of milk, which should give me three pounds of cheese in the end. I spent the entire afternoon working on this cheese, and it still needs to press for five more hours. I’ll be staying up until past midnight just so I can refrigerate the result. Hopefully I can keep myself awake that long …
Chemicals used for queso fresco (7/3/2014) Shot glasses (left to right): calcium chloride, mesophyllic starter, lipase powder Bowls (left to right): rennet solution, cheese salt
Queso fresco curds right before pressing.
Queso fresco that has been pressed for 1 hour
Queso fresco will be pressed under 30 pounds of weight for 6 hours.