Cheese Making Recipe of the Month
When farmers used to bring their milk to the dairies by horse and wagon, the trip resulted in milk that was much too acidic to make the aged cheeses. Cottage cheese was the perfect solution.
As usual, Jim (our technical advisor) has given us complete step-by-step directions for making the cheese of the month, as well as a brief history of it.
The Cheese Queen Rules in Her Maine Kingdom!
By the way, Ricki hates it when we say stuff like this - she really is a fairly humble cheese maker!
That said, however, when she travels, she seems to meet new and old friends everywhere;
Ricki and Jamie took a trip to Maine recently to see Jamie's son graduate from college. At a farmer's market near Bar Harbor, they ran into old friends, Bob Bowen and Anne Bossi of Sunset Acres Farm and Dairy in Brooksville. (They raise goats and sell their own Chevres, Bloomy Rinds and other specialty cheeses, including their popular Demi-Brie.)
Ricki has known Farmer Bob and his wife for over 30 years, so she and Jamie changed their schedule to catch up and enjoy a visit at Bob and Anne's award-winning farm. www.SunsetAcresFarm.com
While they were talking to Bob at the farmer's market, they noticed a stand selling a brand of yogurt they had tasted in the past (and remembered well!) Ricki says she never forgot how good it was. (Her eyes literally light up when she talks about it!)
It turned out that the farmer, Lucian Smith and his wife, Maggie, sell their organic yogurt, milk and smoothies as Mount Desert Islands Dairy which is part of the Smith Family Farm in Bar Harbor.
News From Fellow Cheese Makers
Regarding Norwegian Cheese
This note from Lynn Bartlett in North Dakota surprised us!
I talked with you a while ago regarding Mysost, Primost and Gjetost; you included some of what I had written on my blog- ndhomekeeper.blogspot.comfor your blog entry about the cheeses. More About Whey Cheeses
This was the weekend the Sons of Norway had their annual Norwegian camp at a local retreat center. Last year at the camp I talked with the lady heading the camp -- she was born and raised in Norway -- about the Gjetost she brought for the camp participants. She told me it was made of the whey from goat's milk. I was determined to make some of this cheese, since we raise dairy goats and also milk a Jersey cow.
Last night I made a batch of Gjetost for the lady named Kari, and this afternoon brought it over to her as a thanks for giving me the desire to make the cheese.
Well, I was in for a shocker, as she informed me that Gjetost is no longer made with pure goat milk whey and cream, but is now a combination of goat and cow products. Even a pure Norwegian in her 70's who grew up in Norway no longer will eat pure goat cheese! She politely refused my gift!
She then told me that even the Gjetost she purchases from a Seattle company is not made from only goat milk products, but a combination of cow and goat. I guess she said it was labeled with a different name than Gjetost, but it was quite a surprise for me! Current Norwegians prefer something other than Gjetost, and it is no longer popular in Norway. They much prefer the other types of whey cheese. So much for my gift!
Thanks to Kristin Benini for this cute note:
Just wanted to let you know you changed my life! You see, a friend ordered the 30 Minute Mozzarella & Ricotta Kit and we used fresh raw cow's milk from another friend to make Mozzarella. I had been toying with the idea of getting a few dairy goats and this was enough to seal the deal. I now have an adult Nubian doe and two mixed breed kids. I made my first batch of Mozzarella this afternoon, after owning the doe for exactly one week.
My life is now scheduled around milking Donki the goat and making delicious food for my family. Thank you so much for making it easy!
Sad News from Michigan with a Happy Ending
It is very discouraging for us to hear this kind of news:
I'm writing to request that our information be removed from your website page listing sources for "good milk." (Milk Maidens, LLC) The MMPA (Michigan Milk Producers Association), a large dairy co-op, has forced our farmer (as per their limiting and controlling contract with him) to discontinue his herd share program with us. We are very sad for our farmer, as he will no longer be supported directly and appreciated for the wonderful work he does in raising his cows in a healthy and humane way. And our over-150 members who participated in this program will now have to go without this wonderful, healthy, tasty milk from what were, for a while, their own herd of cows.
When we expressed our sympathy, we received this:
Yep it is sad news, and yes you may definitely put our email in your column. Smokes of the whole Organic Valley fiasco where they're going around canceling contracts with small farmers all over the country who are doing herd shares or selling unpasteurized milk from their farms.
On a more positive note for our herd share members, we've found another farmer not too far from us who also works with the MMPA, and who after talking with us about our needing another source, has said that he is willing to CANCEL his contract with the MMPA in order to take on a larger herd share program! He said that in the future he can probably also offer us (from his grass-fed cows) raw cream & butter, as well as grass-fed beef and eggs from free-range chickens. He also apparently has a cheesemaking license, so, hmmmm, raw cheese? Obviously you know how good that is!
Using Whey & Moving to Oregon
From Ty Clark at Envi Dairy Goats:
In researching Proscuitto de Parma, I came across 2 big differences from American standard hog farming: slaughter weight and feed. In America, we process at 250# as "optimal weight" of animals that have eaten… well, whatever they get fed, with the limits allowing a great deal of difference.
In Italy, parma region specifically, there are hog farms downhill from the famed cheese factories. The whey is DIRECTLY fed down to the hogs, and those are allowed this intensely rich diet until a whopping 420#, allowing a longer aging piece of meat, which allows for a more interesting flavor.
Our dairy is being planned with a catch for all the whey, to be fed back to the animals. We have also been told to feed it back to any of our farm animals, chickens goats turkeys yaks buffalo horse cow, etc, the natural minerals and bacteria are good for all.
But nothing beats Mysost.
And please mention we are moving to Bend, Oregon, and hoping to set up dairying again, this time making it commercial!!!
I am moving BECAUSE I think I can do a better job with my cheese there, caves vs A/C and reefers, high grade browse and forage, land leases from the government, I am hoping to be one of only a handful of browse based dairies in the US, if all goes well.
Please send your cheese making news & photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We Have Three New Books and More on the Whey!
The Farmstead Creamery Advisor
The Complete Guide to Building and Running a Small, Farm-Based Cheese Business
By Gianaclis Caldwell
If you are thinking about starting to sell your own cheese, this is the book for you. It has literally everything you will need to know and more.
The Raw Milk Revolution
Behind America's Emerging Battle Over Food Rights
By David Gumpert
Usually, we don't carry books unless they are at least partially about making cheese. However, in this case, we are making an exception. David Gumpert has written a fascinating account of the battle being fought in this country over our right to choose what we eat.
The Summer of a Thousand Cheeses
By Russ and Peg Hall
The Halls set out to discover everything they could about "The New American Cheese." They even learned to make cheese themselves. The result is a book crammed with good information about the cheese renaissance we are all experiencing.