Friday, October 14, 2005


Rona Sullivan was out a couple of weekends ago. We did a Traditional Cheeses workshop with Bonneyclabber cheeses. I was hoping for 6-8 people. We got that. I think that everyone had fun. I hope to have Rona out again in the spring.

Peter Dixon comes next week. That is the Italian Cheeses workshop. A small group again, but the people that have signed up seem pretty focused on making cheese. I like that.

Lisa and I are going to do workshops as well. With her ability to cook amazing food and my ability to make amazing cheese... People will learn quite a bit and eat very well. That is what it is all about, great food being made in CNY!

I'm also thinking of making gluten-free ricotta pies and tarts. I got that inspiration while reading the "Great American Cheeses" book and talking to the guy at Fortney Packaging about my Quark packaging. I think that it could be interesting...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Wine and Cheese

I picked up the grape pumice last Wednesday. Got Claire excited to go to the winery with the toys. That and she can look at the big bathtub (Senaca and Cayuga lakes). We got 2 buckets of Pinot Noir seeds and skins. Smelled great. Marty offered Reisling pumice too (they make a great one), but I'm thinking there has to be a reason that the cheesemakers used only reds. Tannins maybe?

I made four tomme wheels. I brined them a little longer with the idea that the pumice will suck some of the salt out of it. I will brine normal and then dry salt for the Cabernet Franc.

We will open the pails/crocks just before Christmas and see what I made. Hopefully it will not be grape soup.

I talked to Steve at the Brewster Inn. He figures that the cheese cave will be the next wine cellar. I think he is right. A little smellier, but a great complement to the wine cellar.

I am trying to think about the best way to tackle the white wine rind treatments. A couple of ideas. One to wash the rind like in the Appenzellar, or I read about this goat cheese where they pour the wine in the bottom of a glass jar and place the cheese on a rack above it. I'll have to do both and see which one is the best. A vidal blanc, ice wine or something in that vein will be the choice. Marty says they bottle or break into the new wines in a month or so...

A tomme is a tomme. Every cheesemaker in the US seems to have one. I am trying to do something with my tomme that is very NY. Like wine and cheese. Maybe I'll go to Beak and Skiff and wash with their awsome cider... Mmm. My mom will like that one... Apples and cheese...

Friday, October 07, 2005

Big Red

Everyone has a favorite animal. For Dave it is his cow Big Red. She is this big old "black jersey". Black jersey being a term to define an animal that has Holstein and Jersey in its make-up. She is a plain animal with a stubborn nature. She always milked slow. Wasn't a top performer, but kept condition well and until last year didn't give any troubles health wise.

Last year she injured a teat and developed mastitis in her right front quarter. After repeated attempts to save the quarter, it was decided to let it go. For the rest of her lactation, she milked well with little trouble in the last three quarters. This past pregnancy, the bad quarter seemed to bother her. She took longer to recover from giving birth (to a heifer - her first since I've known her). Last Sunday she injured another quarter. Dave didn't say anything because we had people here for a cheese workshop. He seemed upset but wouldn't say more than I think I have to ship Big Red.

After the workshop was over and Rona and I were in the house did he tell me that Big Red injured herself. She is milking on two quarters now with the bad one too injured to save. She is a good old cow. She is one of our oldest cows. We will milk her until tie-up. I don't think we are going to be able to keep her on over the winter. Of all of the troubles we have had this year, losing Big Red will be the one that stays with Dave the longest. He'll miss her.

The photo attached is not a great one of her. It was right after calving this year and she was just starting to feel better.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Imitation best form of flattery??

I'm suppose to tell myself that I am the "cheese goddess" and do that whole stand in front of the mirror after brushing my teeth and patting down the cowlicks grinning like I believe it thing. It is suppose to help the weakened self-esteam one has after being repeatedly kicked in the stomach.

I talk to other direct marketers and cheesemakers. They have all had is happen. You spend time researching and developing something that customers like and instead of coming up with something new or something complementary, some moron copies you!

First it was the fresh mozzarella. They corner me on the loading dock asking me personal marketing questions about my cheese...which do the stores prefer balls or braids... should they be 8 oz or 1#... Then I hear rumors that gouda is on again off again and now in the cheese workshop. Cream cheese and feta are made by another person assiciated with them... Cheese workshops and the same consultants that I brought out are even hired to hold workshops and work with them, right smack after my workshops...

The thing that I know is that I can run circles around ALL of their cheesemakers. I also know that while they have all of the free press and technical help complementing their grant money, pet farms (term used to describe farms that are lavished attention by agencies at the expense of all other farms) NEVER make it. They fail because they are not sustainable before or after the grant money and eventually people realize that all of their attention - their career even - was for nothing.

It just frustrates me because I really believe in a sustainable food system and think that there is enough room for GREAT food that they don't have to feel I am competition. Hell, they can swamp my markets just by the very nature of the fact that they have a vat city and hired help. I still have little faith in their ability to see the true reason behind "organic" or why they could be a real catalyst for change. There is a great opportunity there and the sad thing is that the indapendant agenda's of every person assocaited with that farm is going to be exactly why they fail.

That and their cheese is crap rubbery industrial shit that whould kill a pig!

Too many Christians are so damn greedy that they cannot get beyond this need for self fulfillment to see that faith is about working towards the greater good of all, not just themselves. If all of us work together, there is an opportunity for the establishment of a farmstead cheese INDUSTRY in this area. You know help all of us make more money...

I'll just wait. I can make my cheeses and their cheeses. In the end I will win because I am better than they are! Fools. I AM THE CHEESE GODDESS!