Monday, August 30, 2010

Where has Summer gone?

Isn't it hard to believe it is just about September? It was not a good Summer in the garden. We had low production levels, in spite of our new raised beds. Even the tomatoes were in short supply. I just replanted lettuce, green beans and beets for Fall crops. Hope springs eternal.

We did pick a few apples yesterday.  This is the first year our trees had fruit.  That was a big day!  I made a pie. 

My cheesemaking classes are still going strong. We finished another 5 weeks in Hermann last week. I always meet the best people in my classes :) I just wrote a piece about how much I learn from my students. Here in the Hermann area, so many have spoken to me about cheese their grandmothers made. I've done some research to find out what kind of cheese they are speaking of.  I believe it is Kochkasse, a cooked German cheese.  I think cheesemaking draws an off beat group - one of the reasons I like it so much.  I meet artists, people who wish to be more self sufficient, foodies and those with goats or cows.  My kind of folks!  

Try a late season treat - fresh mozzarella with fresh basil, layered with tomatoes, drizzle a little olive oil, fresh ground black pepper, a dash of salt and then enjoy with warm bread.  Oh my!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A New Feature - Followers!

If you would like to keep updated on the inpursuit of cheese blog, please join the followers list.
Thanks!  Janet

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Good Day at the Fair!

Today was the big day - the cheesemaking demo at the State Fair. I talked a bit on my Missouri cheesemaker friends and then went on to make a fresh mozzarella. The first one wasn't all I had hoped for but the second one turned out fine. Several people stopped by for the demonstration. It was an honor to be at the fair.

My husband and I enjoyed the day and went to all the sites including the rabbit barn. What an array of beautiful animals. Then we watched the dogs doing tricks. Amazing. Then on to the Childrens' Barn, my favorite place.  Burros, cows, sheep, pigs, a goat or two, even a puppy and kittens.  I don't think you are ever too old to go to the childrens' zoo.  I remember,  at the height of my goat career, people would always share stories about their experiences with goats at the petting zoos.  Some good - some not so good!  You can imagine the tales. 

We had to share a funnel cake before we left. Oh my.   Diet tomorrow (which is what I always say) :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Just to let you know, I had a total flop yesterday! I was going for chevre and for some reason I forgot and put in 1/4 tsp of rennet. I thought, oh well, I'll go ahead and drain it in a bag. It drained but it did not have the texture I was going for. So this morning I added some left over whey and used my mixer to blend in the whey. I made a big mess in my kitchen at 5:30 a.m. this morning, not a good way to begin the day. I was certain I had made a nice treat for my chickens. As I was going to carry it out to them I though hmmmmmm that looks interesting. I added some salt and tasted it. It is very close to cottage cheese! One of those happy accidents - good for me, bad for the chickens! They have a lot of whey from last night's class, so they'll be happy anyway. The Wed. night group had a full night of cheddar making. All went well. There are always different results. A few degrees of temperature can make a big difference.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Car update

Not good news.  The carpet had to go.  It was foul beyond belief! I found a replacement piece at Wally world.  $10.  So I am not expecting high quality there.  However, the seat, the console, the trim all have to come off.  If you spot me on the highway simply salute by holding your nose.  I'll get the message. 

Basil, basil and more basil

You guessed it - the post is about one of my favorite herbs.  It rhymes with Hazel.  I have an abundance at the moment and I am loving it.  Pesto on everything.  The best thing in the whole world - fresh mozarella, basil and my cherokee purple heirloom tomatoes.  Beyond compare!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A great finish

Last night brought the first cheese class in Hermann Missouri to a close.  It was a great night.  We made mozarella, had a wine tasting that was sublime in the Hermannhof Cellars.  Billy Grace provided a steller wine tasting.  Thanks to Billy and to all who attended the classes.  I meet the greatest people when I am teaching cheesemaking.  Its great to know there are still people who appreciate the simple things of life, who put forth extra efforts to make something special.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Missouri State Fair Bound

Come and join me at the Missouri State Fair, August 21.  I'll be doing a cheesemaking demo and highlighting some of my favorite Missouri cheesemakers.  Hope to see you there. Details coming soon.


I read not too long ago that perfume manufactures are trying to figure out a way to add a scent module to computers so there would be a means to replicate a fragrance when you hit a button.

BE VERY GLAD this has not come about or you would be experiencing the events of the last week, via smellavision. The milk in the back of my car has certainly ripened. Today I have to drive to the city, so it should be an interesting trip. I am allergic to strong fragrances so I can't plant a fake pine tree forest in the trunk. Hopefully, I have 99% of the problem solved. That other 1% is what is worrying me!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It was bound to happen

Cheesemaking is a wonderful skill to have and most of the time I am so pleased I learned this art, along the way.  However, there are days that I question my sanity (about cheesemaking and a few other things)! I made the trip to get milk for my cheesemaking classes which is a bit of a drive.  I made it all the way home with the milk, no problem.  I go over gravel roads, down steep hills, back up the other side....I've done this for over 2 years,  hauling milk in my little yellow Focus.  UNTIL Monday.  Got all the way home and moved the milk crate forward in the back of the hatchback so I could get a grip on the crate.  You know what's coming!  I heard a little ping followed by a whoosh and I gallon of buttery Jersey milk was in the wheel well where the spare tire goes.  I immediately said a few things I regret now, then removed the tire, sopped up all the milk, washed the tire and felt pretty sure I had the problem solved.  I propped open the hatchback just to make sure.

Got in the car on Tuesday to go to work and immediately the sour smell was all around me.  I stopped and bought Fabreeze.  Now I had 2 bad smells going at the same time! I stepped out of the car and the odor seemed to penetrate my clothes and my hair.  I felt like a walking cheese curd.   Last night I used baking soda.  Someone else said vinager.  You know if you haven't done a science experiment in awhile = you can make a volcano in the back of your car - in the place where the spare tire ususally goes.   I cleaned this up and got out my Dr. Bronners peppermint soap.  That helped quite a bit.  I drove to work today with the windows up which is am improvement.  Of course it has been 100 + degrees which has not helped my situation one bit.  I had equipment in my car, so I locked it leaving the window down enought to let some of the remaining funes escape.  When I got to the car after work the odor was very much present, so I investigated a bit further.  I flipped up the seat and guess what?  I was making cheese there, too!  Finally got rid of the curds and whey, washed it all out again and now I am praying to the God of all that is HOLY that my car will be smelling at least 75% normal tomorrow.  Hope springs eternal.  My husband wants to sell it!  Oh ye of little faith.   I'll keep you posted on this development.  Life in the fast lane.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Learning new skills

The budding cheesemakers in the Hermann, Missouri class are already in their 4th week. This is the week to make cheddar, America's favorite cheese. It is so wonderful to watch people as they learn, gain confidence and create something that is totally of their own making. In a room full of 18 people, everyone doing the same thing at just about the same time, there are 18 different results.  I checked the Brie they made last week and we are getting white mold development.  Beautiful!

I'm looking forward to doing a demo at the O'Fallon Farmers' and Artists Market on Saturday, August 14th, 9:30 a.m. I'll be making cheese on the spot and talking about the basic principles of cheesemaking. Stop by if you can.