Its been a long time since I sat down here at my desk and rambled.... its long overdue. The reason why it has been almost half a year since I blogged is not difficult to guess... its TIME. Our cows began calving in February and March and I went from making cheese once a week to 14 - 16 hour days seven days a week! I have enjoyed myself thoroughly, even though I am pretty exhausted. Its been fun to take my ideas and turn them into food... even more fun to watch some of my cheeses age out, and see how they tasted!
We now have a full plate of cheese available... fresh cheeses, raw milk aged cheeses ( my personal favorite!), snacking cheeses, yogurts, and even puddings from time to time. Never a dull moment around here!
A new cheese cave is interesting to watch.... and control. I keep introducing the molds I want and watching my cheeses change as I do. I have experimented with different methods and have decided that my favorite is the old English style of traditional cloth-bound cheeses. Not only are they beautiful, but the moisture is retained and the exterior mold well controlled. It takes a bit of time to wrap each cheese but I enjoy the process and love the results.
My blue cheese cave is beginning to bloom well. Three new blue cheeses inhabit it, and keep me busy. I think that L'Enfant Bleu is my favorite... a tomme style blue with just a sprinkle of blue inside. Our Lil' Blue Chevy made a nice transition into Old Blue Chevy..a deep blue laced cheese with a pungent kick ( too strong for my taste buds.. more Andy's style of cheese!) .. but exceedingly creamy and awesome smeared on a nice piece of rustic style bread. Now.. to work on a more blue marbled cheese.
The summer has been different from last year's heat and drought... so far it has been mild ( yesterday excluded!) and lots of rain. This has brought on its own strain of challenges. Andy and I are often reminded of how little we still know about farming and animals... and both are ready to teach us new lessons. We lost two cows due to the combination of heat and rain. One slipped in the mud, and we never could get her up.. first the mud from ten inches of rain made her slip and then the heat was more than she could handle in her comprised condition. Another cow ( one of our heifers that was born on our farm, and had just had her first calf) drowned in the pond... no idea how or what happened other than a guess as to why she drowned. It is so frustrating and sad for us when we loose an animal... when we try everything we know, do everything we can and still we loose them. Working with animals is so unpredictable.
I think we are about a third of the way through the market season. We have been bottling milk, making chocolate milk, yogurts in lots of different varieties and enjoying yogurt with granola every morning for breakfast. This sure made my life easier.. no more eternal questions of "Mommy.. whats for breakfast?" Andy and I are usually up way before the kids so when they come on down to the barn we are in full swing work mode.. so yogurts make a quick breakfast a no brainer. We keep lots of it on hand so the kids can just grab one out of the fridge and off they go to chores! Then... Andy and I get a wake up call about grains and sugar.... so time for some re-formulations. And just when I had everything down pat! Last week was our first grain-free, sugar-free week. I played around with different stevia's and xyitol and found an organic stevia extract that tastes great in our yogurt and chocolate milk.... so on the fly we launched a new sugar-free line of yogurt and chocolate milk. Like I said, never a dull moment.
Life without grains and sugar is an adjustment... but one I am looking forward to. Our future health depends on it. The habits we teach our children will last a lifetime, and I don't want to hand them habits that will reduce their life expectancy and/or quality of life later. In short... grains and sugars create rampant inflammation in the body, which creates an environment perfect for cancer, autoimmune issues, weight gain, insulin imbalance, and a host of other problem. If you would like to learn more about the effects of a diet full of simple carbohydrates there is a great movie that puts it all into perspective... Cereal Killers.
I am going to begin posting about our journey in food along with recipes and tips that we find helpful. If anyone out there has grain free sugar free recipes that they would like to share.. please send them to me.. I will post them online... If for no other reason.. this project will help keep me focused and on track. Ya'll help me out! Keep me accountable!
So... week one... we are feeling great. I had a small bout with low carb flu symptoms... but I really think I just wasnt eating enough. The last several months I have not been eating enough period.. often skipping meals just because I am too busy and then late at night.. its just too late to eat. Bad habits I need to break. Not having the option of a quick meal of toast and jam when I am starving (sad to admit how often Andy too ate that for dinner) it is forcing me to think about meals. Breakfast now consists of our stevia yogurt ( 16 oz per person) with a handful of macadamia nuts tossed in and a few berries. Lunch... we eat a lot of salads loaded with greens, meats, cheese and dressing made from either olive oil, balsamic, and spices.. or we take our plain yogurt and add ranch seasoning ( Soup N More makes a great one that mixes right into a 32 oz container of our plain yogurt!). Dinner has been a grilled or pan fried meat and garden veggies smothered in butter or roasted in lard... roasted cauliflower rocks!!!! Desserts/treats ... our stevia sweetened chocolate milk! This week I will work on some more treats....
So, in closing.... PLEASE share with me your go to meals/treats! I will post them here weekly! Jump on this train to health with us!
Artisan Cheesemaker. Lover of all foods dairy..