Never underestimate the power of social media. Oh sure, Twitter, Facebook and the like can lead to the dissipation of our time and energy in unproductive pursuits. I myself have fallen down a few social media rabbit holes, only to emerge hours later, bleary-eyed and with no recollection of how the day passed. But those times are few and far between, and I generally feel my time on social sharing channels has been well spent. After years of strenuously resisting it, I am a convert. It is without question the best way to promote my work on All Day I Dream About Food. I can’t imagine writing a blog and getting anyone other than my own family to read it if I didn’t use social media.
Even as a convert, I am always a little slow to adopt the newest, latest and greatest things in social media. Case in point: Instagram. I’ve only just really started using it with any sense of purpose and even that is rather spotty. When it first became available for Android last year, I signed up right away, took a few fun shots of my kids, played with the filters a bit, and forgot about it. I certainly didn’t think to take pictures of all the food I was making and eating – it simply didn’t occur to me. I don’t have many followers on there and I don’t even really know how to grow my audience. For me, Instagram was simply a fun way to make lousy camera shots of my kids look all cool and vintage-y.
And then a few weeks ago, I happened to post a quick shot of some homemade mascarpone. I linked it to my Facebook and Twitter accounts and I was floored by the response. Everybody and their dog was asking how to make homemade mascarpone. Huh, maybe there is something to this “food on Instagram” thing after all! And of course, I am more than happy to oblige with the recipe. Having made my own homemade cream cheese, I knew that homemade mascarpone was possible. I came across a number of instructions online, all of which were almost identical. In the end I followed the instructions from London Bakes, who got hers from A Pastry Affair, who got hers from a bunch of instructions on the internet, all of which were almost identical. It seems that there is one accepted way to make mascarpone and everybody’s doing it. Now you can too, because it’s ridiculously easy. Even easier than making your own cream cheese. And it’s ridiculously good. I can’t see ever buying storebought again.
Even though I don’t use it to advantage, I really do love Instagram. It’s so fun to play with, I find I don’t even care if anyone else is paying attention or not. It’s a great way to jazz up pictures of my kids, and the filters can really make a difference to a grainy, blurry camera photo. It’s convenient too. I almost always have my phone on me, whereas my big, heavy dSLR sits at home. With my kids growing so fast, I don’t want to forget those spontaneous moments when we’re all having a great time. And just because I feel like it, I am going to share a few of my favorite Instagram shots. If you’re on Instagram too, I’d love to connect!
Homemade Mascarpone Cheese
- 2 cups heavy cream not ultra-pasteurized
- 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- In a large saucepan, heat cream over over medium heat to a low simmer, until it reaches about 190F (I found I had to go to about 195F to get a gentle simmer going).
- Stir in lemon juice and continue to cook for 5 more minutes, keeping it right at about 190F. You may have to turn your burner up and down to keep the temperature constant. Mixture will thicken to the consistency of gravy.
- Remove from heat and let cool. Mixture will continue to thicken.
- Line a sieve with a clean tea towel or several layers of cheesecloth and set over a bowl. Pour cream mixture into sieve and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.
- Transfer to an airtight container and press plastic wrap flush to the surface. Can be stored in fridge for about a week.