What a great honor to be chosen as a taster for “Birth of a Cheese”! My name is Kris Blondin, and I own a little restaurant/deli called STINK Cheese-Meat in Tacoma, WA. Stinky cheese, stinky wine, stinky beer and stinky French cider are some of my most favorite things in the world to consume. I also have had the pleasure of writing about these tasty treats for a local publication. Needless to say, I was very honored to be chosen as a taster.
The other morning while out for a walk with the dog, a friend of mine pulled over in her car on the way to work. After waving hello, she called out “Did you see that snake back there on the road?” I walked over to her, mentally wondering if it was dead or alive, a firm grip on the dog just in case. Together we went to look at the snake, which was beautiful and very much alive slithering across the road.
Respectfully keeping our distance but at the same time trying to urge the snake towards the safety of the field, we tried to work out what type of snake it was. I took a photo on my phone and, after discussing various options and watching it slide effortlessly into the long grass, we parted ways, each going in our separate directions to work.
The North American Jersey Cattle Association, which represents the interests of all things to do with this handsome breed of dairy cow, held its annual conference and cheese competition last week.
The event, based at the spectacular (picture Indoor African theme park) location of the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, saw a healthy attendance together with well over seventy entries in the cheese competition.
Each entry was judged individually by three teams of judges comprising Jane Cisler of Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. Paris Knox of W.D. Hoard’s and Sons, Dr. Bill Wendorff, Gina Mode and Marianne Smukowski all from the Center for Dairy Research and myself.
The Nuts and Bolts of Building a Creamery…
or the pea traps and drains, as the case may be. That is the phase of construction that is underway now at Pennyroyal. There are three systems of drains and piping that are being installed before foundations and the floor slabs can be poured. The first is the domestic waste system, which handles water from the bathroom and takes it to our septic system. The second is the largest, and will capture all the process water which will be pumped to a water treatment system. The third system is a whey diversion line, which will allow us to collect whey to use as animal feed.
28 June 2011
What’s a little healthy summer competition between colleagues, especially two newcomers to Northern California, the artisan cheese, sustainable farming, and organic produce Mecca?
Now, I don’t want to mention any names, but a certain someone is getting a little fruity in the kitchen lately, and his initials are Will Fertman. That’s right, Will. I’ve seen your posts with your peaches on your pizza and other such Cali-Foodie adventurous combinations, and I must say: I like it. It jump-starts my competitive nature, but I do like it. I’m just wondering what the folks back home on the East Coast might have to say about peaches on a pizza...
So here’s some food for thought. Tonight’s entrée-sized salad at Lauren Berley’s Sonoma home:
I work in a library and I read whenever I am not asleep. Travel and good food are my particular reading specialities and the two combined have provided me with great adventures as I travel! I am, and always have been, a blue cheese girl; umami is my favorite taste sensation. So whenever and wherever I travel, I head to the blue cheese section of the cheese shop first. When I unwrapped the cheese that had been sent to me I sighed with sheer delight!! Those lovely blue veins, that wonderful smell, that slightly grainy feel of the cheese on your tongue. I was in heaven. This would be my dream taste testing.
Anne Maxfield, the Accidental Locavore, was brought up in the early days of Julia Child, however back then what she really thrived on was the bounty of prepared foods. Onion rings in a can, on top of macaroni and cheese from a box, with those cute Vienna franks (also from a can) and there was a great dinner! Parents going out? Frozen pot pies, or even better, a TV dinner…bliss. Why whole grains and fresh vegetables, when there were cans or frozen foods?
I am pretty much what you would call a cheese freak. I eat it, cook with it, write about it, make it (at home and with cheesemakers on their farm). Because that isn't enough, I even monger at a cheese shop on a part-time basis. So yeah... you could say that I am a bit obsessed. So imagine my surprise when given the opportunity to help a master craft a new American classic? Now that is priceless...
I opened up the box to find a nice sized wedge, wrapped in foil, and surrounded by a couple of cold packs. There was also a card on top from Point Reyes, welcoming me to the panel, and giving some of the details of what criteria they were looking for. Although it was extremely difficult, I waited about an hour and a half in order for it to come up to room temperature. I unwrapped the wedge, and found a nice piece of blue cheese.
When I got the call from Will officially inviting me to join the cheese tasting team, I was giddy. Having worked in some incredible cheese shops in the past, I have missed having privileged access to artisanal cheeses made with true attention and care. I quickly arranged for my neighbor to receive the package while I was away at work and started planning when and where I would do my first tasting.