I just got this inspiring little blog from Anya, a young contributor to our magazine:
Hello my name is Anya Firisen. I am ten years old and I wanted to make cheese. I thought that cheese making was interesting because I love cheese and I love to cook. So I thought, well why don’t I try to make the cheese that I love so much. So when my Mom got my Dad a book called “Home Cheese Making” by Ricki Carroll for his birthday, I really wanted to try it for myself. My Mom said, “You and Anya can make cheese together!” When we went over to our friends’ house their mom said “I booked a cheese making class but now I can’t go, do you want to go in my place?” Of course I said yes.
Following in Stephanie’s footsteps…my favorite things in 2010!
Annie’s cheddar Bunnies – cheezits got nothin’ on these, I think Kate Arding might agree
Daelia’s biscuits for cheese – so tasty! I especially like the hint of black pepper in these…quite delicious. They are available at Whole Foods, I believe.
My earliest memories of home made food came from my Babci (Polish for grandmother) when I was around 10 years old. My grandmother used to make such specialties as pierogi (stuffed dumplings) and galumki (cabbage rolls) on a regular basis, especially around the holidays. I remember us sitting at the kitchen table pinching the little dumplings shut with floured fingers and later eating them; each with a golden fried crust and a black peppery bite (oh, and while watching the 'Price is Right' on the television).
I just heard that that Sally Jackson, owner and cheesemaker of Sally Jackson Cheeses in the Okanagan Highlands, WA has announced she is selling her animals and her business.
This comes after a recent recall of her cheeses, compounded by a separate demand that her business meet Grade A Dairy standards - something not normally required of cheesemakers making aged cheeses.
I don't know how many of you were in the 4H club growing up, but for those who weren't, there were modern alternatives.
Keyword: "pretend milk"
As you may remember from my last post, I am starting a lab focused on the study of the microbial ecosystems on cheese rinds. As it turns out, doing microbiology research requires a lot of stuff. At least that is what I am realizing as I set up my new lab… There's the equipment: pipettmen (to transfer small volumes of liquids), tubes (to hold the liquids), racks (to hold the tubes), and machines like a vortex (to mix the liquids in the tubes), freezers (to store samples), incubators (to grow microbes), and microscopes (to look at those tiny microbes). Then there are the reagents that make the experiments we will do possible, things like: growth media (microbe food), cell-lysis chemicals (detergents that bust cells open so we can extract their DNA), and enzymes like DNA polymerase (a purified enzyme that makes copies of DNA so we can study it- the one we use comes from a microbe found at vents at the bottom of the ocean!).
Please, everyone: at this time of year, be extra nice to your cheesemonger. And your butcher, baker, and everyone in the retail food industry maker. Because, as we all know, holidays are all about eating! And everyone wants the best of the best at the best price and the exact right time. It's hard to make it all happen for each and every person, but we try very hard!
Starting today, the true holiday food shopping season is upon us. If you, like so many of us, are having cheese as part of your holiday weeks ahead, try some new things and let your monger steer you towards what's great, what's going to last until you need it, what will please your picky sister as well as your own stinky cheese habit. And don't worry too much about amounts--this is one time of year that I encourage a little bit more rather than less. It always gets nibbled on, late night or midday lunchtime. And cheese is healthier than cookies.
That's all for now. Back to the counter!