2012 November

Cheese Making Class This Saturday

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Cheese Making Class This Saturday:
Mozzarella, Ricotta, Queso Oaxaca and Italian Burrata!

Date: Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Time: 9-12

Cost: $65

 or if you are a CSA member, just email us here that you’d like to be included: CSA@morningsongfarm.com. For more info: donna@morningsongfarm.com.

We’re looking forward to this Saturday’s Cheese Making Class with Virginia Masters. She’s teaching us how to make Mozzarella and Ricotta, as well as the more unusual Queso Oaxaca and Burrata Cheeses, all from cow’s milk. This class is the 2nd in a series and includes enjoying your cheese on a barbequed quesadilla or pizza at the end of the class.  We’ll have a farmer’s market stand with cheese making kits for sale, as well as farm produce. And we’ll do a goat milking demonstration at 9:00 sharp, so plan to be here a few minutes early!  Meet our herd of baby and adult Nigerian dairy goats. Carl, the Herd Leader requests that you bring something crunchy, his current favorites include granola bars.

 Many haven’t heard of Burrata Cheese, but after making it here we think it will be among your favorites! Some people have confused this Italian cheese with Mozzarella, or even Ricotta. But it’s a cheese variety that stands on its own. Burrata means “buttered” in Italian, which hints at its richness. There are similarities to Mozzarella, but Burrata is far richer, softer and creamier.

The other cheese on the menu that is lesser known is the Mexican traditional Oaxaca Cheese. Named after the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, it is a white, semi-hard cheese which is best known for adding its distinctive taste to authentic quesadillas and empanadas. Queso Oaxaca is just hard enough to be able to be grated; similar to unaged  jack cheese, but with a consistency closer to mozzarella..

Ricotta Cheese is the third cheese of this fun day, and I’m particularly excited about the dessert recipe possibilities that this sweet curd cheese offers. Ricotta is an Italian cheese made from the liquid leftover from other cheese making activities. Because it is so highly perishable, and it uses the by product of other cheese making ventures that would otherwise go to waste, learning how to make this easy cheese at home is a must!

 

 

Harvest Ticket Nov. 13-14

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It’s certainly turned to “winter” here on the farm, although I blush to use the term when I hear what relatives in Maine and New York are dealing with. But here’s the thing about Southern California winters: they always take us by surprise. The weather is so agreeable, that when we actually have to reach for a jacket there’s a sense of an entitlement being trampled on. We’re never ready, as though the cold weather gear in the back of the closet is well, old fashioned; so last decade. When in fact, same as every year, it’s only been a handful of months since they were cast off. Try executing an attitude like that in New York. Ha! I took my daughter to Magic Mountain this last weekend and had to send her back in the house when she appeared in summer shorts and a short sleeve t-shirt. Yes, it might actually be chilly two and a half hours north of San Diego in the first week of November. Roll of the eyes aside, mom withheld the enormous I Told You So when purchasing warm weather gear proved necessary once we arrived at Magic Mountain, despite her change of clothes. This never happens in Maine. There are no teenagers becoming Warm Weather Complacent and arguing over if winter weather is going to indeed arrive this year.

We’re finishing up the last of our tomato harvest, with not even enough to put in boxes this week; so crew and chickens are getting their fill. We had considered (as we do most years) putting plastic hoops over the tomatoes, so they would continue to fruit into the darker months. But as I’ve said before, although it just kills us all to plow under beautiful, healthy tomato plants, the truth is; winter tomatoes just aren’t that tasty. Even vine ripened winter tomatoes  aren’t anything to write home about. So we decided, as we do every year, to give them up and dedicate the land to something else.

We thought we wouldn’t have any more guavas this week, but alas, the trees are giving us a final harvest, maybe even into next week. Many of you are experimenting with guava jelly, please consider sending us your recipes if you’ve found one you really love. I’ve always enjoyed the fioja out of hand, and haven’t done much in the way of cooking with this fruit, although they make a lovely smoothie ingredient.

The Acorn Squash this week is among my favorite veggies to work with this time of year. There’s muffins and soups, casseroles, pies and stir fries. Such a versatile gem! I’ll include a few recipe ideas this week, and encourage you to share yours with us as well!

Farmer Donna