Monday, October 05, 2009
Last week we spent a chilly, slightly rainy afternoon at the Deerfield Fair. We go every two or three years. It's always fun. Fritz knows some of the vendors in the commercial area, we both love going through the arts and crafts building, and there's the animal barn area with pigs (Fritz used to raise them when he first owned the property), sheep, oxen, and our perennial favorites--the fancy poultry. Pictures follow:
This team just learned they were to pull 9,500 pounds and wanted none of it.
Piggy pile--how did that tan guy get into this litter?
Fritz and sheep (above); three top prize-winning quilts (below):
Do these feathers make me look gay?
No, but these sure do the trick!
Earlier tonight I took a cheese-making workshop at the Exeter Adult Education Center. I'd had a idea that I'd like to try making my own cheese for several years when I became blog buddies with Doug Taron (Gossamer Tapestry) who had been making cheese at home for some time and encouraged me to give it a shot.
I don't know, but I may have radiated gay because as we were all taking seats at small tables in the former Home Ec room of a converted high school, a lesbian couple headed right for me and we instantly became the gay table.
The handouts (cheesemaking equipment suppliers; local sources for raw and vat-pasturized cow's milk and goat's milk; recommended book lists; recipes) were excellent. The presenters were two women who've been making their own yogurt and various cheeses for years. It turns out that their preferred cow and goat milk suppliers are both within seven miles of me here in Raymond.
They made ricotta, mozzarella and a direct set goat cheese during the evening, having us do a lot of the work with them (we were about 14 altogether). They talked about how several of their former suppliers have now begun pasteurizing the milk too much for cheesemaking, and about failures they had to deal with until they could locate suppliers who will never pasteurize or who will only vat pasteurize which is gentler on the milk and doesn't break down the protein as much as in regular pasteurization. They were very level headed, fun to work with and responsive to questions.
Everybody oohed and aahed when I pulled out my digital camera to record the desired condition of the curds at various points in the process ("Why didn't we think of that?").
Curds (milk solids and protein) successfully warmed and solidified.
Curds, drained of whey, cut and ready to be kneaded into mozzarella.
The final phase of making mozzarella looks very much like a taffey pull.
I also took a lot of notes and brought home a good deal of whey to experiment making bread with. The evening ended with us eating all the new cheese. I learned a lot, including that it isn't an impossible process and is most likely something I will get into pretty soon.
Mozzarella. Yum. Owait, I'm lactose intolerant! Crap-all-mighty.
Hope you're having an excellent week Will. Take care. Now remember to keep the 'cutting the cheese' bit to a minimum. haha!
But, on the other hand, we don't have any milk producers in my region (they grow grapes and goats here), so it may not work out...
And goats milk mozzarella doesn't sound right.
Love the piggies & love the cheese...& am crazy for the 2 of you.