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!
Some of you may have heard about the Museum of Modern Art's recent show on modern kitchen design. It's a lovely show, with several interesting and important objects like architect Margarete Schuette-Lihotzky's Frankfurt Kitchen.
I ran across it by accident this weekend, and of course, I had to stop in and check on the cheese. Naively, I thought there'd be a lot of it on display.
12 December 2010
Still in California.
Tonight I “dined” at a cheesy (not the kind we usually discuss here) little kitsch spot that shall remain nameless to protect the innocent. I say innocent because no one could ever possibly, in all earnest, display the item I am about to describe to you, without having only recently emerged from a cultureless exile, like a cliché town where Kraft Singles microwaved on top of freezer-section pie is considered normal.
I have been yard-saling all day, a giant step in the ascension of the inner gypsy's takeover. "Priced to sell... everything must go." Sadly, I am surrendering my beloved fondue set, but the possibility of my coming back from Italy and other European sites, after three months, without something very special to replace it with is slim to none. Ok, none.
The fondue set sparked a really fun memory of a cheese fetish gone awry, a New Years' Day celebration with 14 guests and no recipe... no resource for shopping... and no idea how to handle the ill-conceived fondue for 14. Since my life has become about packing, storing, moving, hauling, tossing, and Craigslisting, there has been little time for cheese. After the yard sale today, allison and I bolted for Pizza Shack for a mozzarella fix. That's how desperate I'm getting. But again, the payoff is Tuscany, a mere four weeks from this moment.
In my travels up and down stairs and around tables at the restaurant, I get lots of questions about our cheese list. I’m often surprised by the cheeses people steer towards, and by which cheeses never get ordered. I can’t seem to unearth predictable patterns, and perhaps that’s due to the wide range of knowledge levels out there. The one standby rule, which is my favorite, is that EVERYONE likes ALL of our cheeses once they take a bite. Never have I had to make the terrifying, rejected-food-walk back to the kitchen with a cheese plate.