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QUENCH

 

HANDMADE GATHERINGS

 

A YEAR OF PIES!

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: HOME DAIRY

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING BEES

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: CANNING & PRESERVING

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


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  • What better way to clear out a case of the Mondays than a giveaway?! See that lovely locally-made wooden bag dryer there on my wall? Want to win one of your own (you do, trust me)? Pop on over to small measure to enter. Link is in my profile.
  • This guy right here? While he might be growing bigger every day, the truth is that becoming a mother has helped me to grow. To be more present. To be more patient. To be more empathic. As I tell all my soon-to-be-mama friends, parenthood is the toughest work you'll ever do, with by far the biggest payoff. The lovin', and the learning, are so, so good. Happy Monday, friends.
  • Today was a good day. This view, from the top of our road, certainly helped make it so.
  • I think the 48-hour flu I've been fighting has finally succumbed to my assault of grapefruit seed extract, osha root, propolis, elderberry syrup, Oscillococinum, apple cider vinegar, rose hips, hibiscus, ginger/lemon/honey/cayenne tea, and neti pot with goldenseal tincture. I don't take getting sick sitting down. And now, a winter storm, possibly. Bring it, I say. Happy weekending, friends!!!
  • This guy.
  • I've been waiting, for a book like this, to come into my life. Whoa. Picked this up a few weeks ago at @screendoorasheville as a New Year's gift to @glennbenglish. Just started reading it myself and it couldn't possibly be more of what I need to see, right now. Completely on point, wholly attuned to what I'm presently sensing and curious about and inspired by, and infinitely humbling.
  • Warm enough today to play soccer down in our lower field, do a bit of weeding in the garden, and push a nearly-too-big 4 year-old in his
  • New year, new moons, new calendars. Right on, right on.
  • @shelterprotectsyou has been posting images of the wedding she and @sheltercollective had here in September all week. They built this altar for the ceremony, and it's still here, just past the house, on the way to the chicken coop. We pass it every day. Some days, I casually note its beauty and the way it feels like an outdoor church here in our forested cove. Other days I barely register it as I scurry about, doing this and that around the property. Today, though, in the stark, grey, drizzly setting, it was quietly regal. Happy to have had her visuals prompt me to stop, look, and listen to this physical testament to love.
  • The chickens told me they much prefer the rain this week to last week's frigid weather, thank you very much. I couldn't agree more.
  • These potatoes @tableasheville changed my culinary life. They called them hash browns, but they were unlike any I'd had before. Par-baked perhaps, smashed into halves I'm guessing, and then roasted and maybe finished with a quick fry in the skillet and scattered with large sea salt granules? Whatever the method, the result was a creamy, yellow center and a crispy, salty exterior. Quite possibly the best hash browns I've ever had.
  • This caramelized cinnamon citrus
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I Am the Cheese

I took a beginning cheese-making workshop this past Saturday at an adorable creamery about 1 1/2 hours north of here. Cynthia Sharpe is the proprietor of Oak Moon Creamery and she can make cheese like nobody’s business. 
We were making mozzarella, feta, and cheddar all at the same time, so I can’t tell you which cheese is hanging in this bag, but I can assure you that it tasted delicious. Turns out cheddar is both a noun and a verb-to “cheddar” is to take curds that have been drained, slice them, and sort of fold, or cobble, them back onto themselves, thus forming the tell-tale grain lines that form in cheddar cheese. Who knew? Cheese-makers/mongers, that’s who!
Here you can see what is called a “clean break” being cut. This is desirable and something you look for after you’ve added cultures and rennet to milk. It means the cheese is turning into, well, cheese-it’s firming up. 
Here’s Cynthia removing the curds into a flour sac-lined colander for draining off the whey. 
Some gorgeous feta, which worked it’s way into zucchini, basil, and feta frittatas made for the photo shoot of recipes in my “Raising Chickens” book. Scrumdiddlyumptious!!!! The day was perfect. It started with coffee and cream from one of the attendees jersey cow. I’d like to swim in that cream, thank you very much. It is the absolute stuff of dreams. Cynthia’s mom and pop showed up at lunchtime with delicious veggie soup, cornbread, and the most horde-inducing cake you can imagine-I snuck back for seconds! And got crumbs all over me as I drove away, smashing cake into my face! Yessir! My fellow cheese-patriots were a rowdy band of women from all walks of life. It was bliss. 


I’m now completely seized with cheese and dairy fever. I want a goat and I want one NOW! Imagine the possibilities-homemade cheese, fresh milk; however, if I do get a goat, and made the aforementioned dairy products, our friends would NEVER invite us over for dinner again…we’ll end up being the coveted dining/eating/feasting destination. There are worse things, though. Say Cheese! 

9 Responses to I Am the Cheese

  • Anonymous says:

    I think I need to get something to eat-I`m hungry after reading the article.

  • nicole says:

    I’d invite you to dinner, but you would be required to supply the cheese plate!

  • P. says:

    THE CHEESE STANDS ALONE!

    That looks like so much fun. The Hawk and his sister raised goats in Maine. Now he assessed every animal by its “dairy character.” For example, Roy the cat has “good dairy character.” Um, what?

    But anyway, fresh feta. That’s every Greek girl’s dream.

  • Anonymous says:

    What a wonderful adventure. I would so love to make some cheese! Wendy

  • sarahkeith says:

    I tried making mozzarella once after reading the recipe in Animal Vegetable Miracle, but I did several things wrong (read the thermometer wrong and used (chlorinated) tap water!) And the results was less than stellar. We ate it anyway though. I should really try that again…

  • Emily says:

    Know what you mean about wanting a goat and wanting it now. I LOVE goat cheese. It’s so rich and yummy.
    Funny thing is, we had goats when I was a little girl but never did anything with the milk because it was dirty and had always had hair in it no matter what we did. I’m sure the cheese lady has some great tricks for straining it and processing it into a great (and not hairy) goat cheese!

  • Maria says:

    Mmmmm, that looks so yummy! I’ve been trying to talk hubby into getting goats, but he thinks we should wait until we don’t have a newborn to attend to. Shesh!! What?? I’m up at all hours with the baby anyway… why not have some goats to milk while I’m at it?!

  • Anonymous says:

    Looks fabalous!

  • Anonymous says:

    Goodness, if the cheese look’s this good I don’t know if I could handel a picture of the cake!!! Ready when you’re ready!(to taste that is) MOM