The unseasonal heat in the US has resulted in cows being let out to pasture two months earlier than they usually begin to graze, and means a higher milk yield from cows across the nation. On the flip side, the cows are in danger of too much good food:
In Texas the results of the weather are more dangerous. Much-needed rain that has fallen across the northern parts of the state has increased pasture growth for grazing cattle, including an increase in clovers and weeds. Ingesting too much lush vegetation can be fatal to the livestock, causing incidences of bloat and a condition known as grass tetany. Grass tetany occurs when cattle feed on lush plants that throw off the balance of nutrients in the animal, usually in the form of a magnesium deficiency. Ranchers are already reporting cattle deaths because of this overeating, a problem that Baker knows all too well after Pennsylvania's rainy season last year.
Kristy Mucci, Associate Editor at Food52, recently tackled homemade mozzarella, and has brought us her recipe and tips here:
I am by no means a cheesemonger. Before we talked about writing this post, I'd only ever made ricotta. So, being thorough, I decided to make mozzarella enough times to feel comfortable sharing a method. I've been practicing in the FOOD52 kitchen, and in my own kitchen, for months (I like to be really thorough). For a while I thought I could make it happen without rennet, but I tested my theory and know better now. You need rennet. You also need citric acid powder. Luckily, those things are easy to locate. If you can find non-homogenized milk, I suggest you use that -- and please, stick to whole milk. The rest is really easy and fun, and if I can do it, anyone can.
Back in January we heard rumors that cheese advertising aimed at children in Ireland was to be banned, and a new draft code just published by the Irish Broadcasting Authority confirms these predictions. The Irish Times has the story:
The authority is inviting public observations on the draft Children’s Commercial Communications Code over the next two months. Once submissions have been taken into account and a final code written, it will be legislated for and is expected to come into force next January.
Its focus is on how foods high in fat, salt and/or sugar are advertised to children. It has been formulated by an expert group which also took account of submissions made in a first round of consultations last year.
If you were worried that you'd die without your friends and family knowing just how much you like bacon, there's hope in the form of this bacon coffin from J&D's Foods:
You ate bacon, you decorated your body with bacon, your car with bacon and your home with bacon. And now, you can peacefully rest wrapped in bacon.
Bacon Coffins are finished with a painted Bacon and Pork shading and accented with gold stationary handles. The interior has an adjustable bed and mattress, a bacon memorial tube and is completed in ivory crepe coffin linens. Classy. Bacon. Coffin.
FACT – Approximately 56 million people die per year worldwide, 2.4 million in the US alone – 99% of which loved bacon.
These mouthwatering wafers are a cinch to pull together and make for a scrumptious snack or garnish for soups and salads. Best of all, they can be made ahead of time and frozen—perfect anytime you need a nibble!
In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the softened butter and shredded Comté. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cayenne. Stir the dry ingredients into the cheese mixture and mix until well combined. Add 1-2 teaspoons of water, just until the dough holds together when pressed in the palm of the hand.
Sliders inside a gorgonzola bacon cornbread muffin and slathered with chipotle mayo - what's not to love about this recipe? Perfect for pre-dinner nibbles, or serve three to a person for a complete meal. Fresh chives baked into the cornbread give it even more flavor and add color.
Ellen Cushing of the East Bay Express offers an article on what happened to the health-food revolution. Organic food and school lunch reform had its roots in the Bay Area, but somewhere along the way the movement veered off in favor of ultimate comfort food and indulgences made with whole, local ingredients such as uber-cheesy mac 'n' cheese and artisan cheese slathered, local bacon and beef burgers.
Farm-to-table is all the rage - and we love it as much as anyone else - but sometimes we forget that what we see in restaurants is an all-too-perfect version of our food. Patrise Shuttleworth of the Houston Press shares her own farm-to-table personal narrative that reminds us of the less delightful side of farming.
Well okay, I understand the birds and the bees. A farm is a great life lesson in the real, uncensored birds and the bees. What no one tells you is that male goats emit a particularly foul odor that is very close to what goat cheese tastes like. It truly catches you by surprise the first time, and then it just becomes sickening. As a lover of goat cheese, I swore I would/could never eat it again.
Farm Power Northwest is building two new methane digesters in Tillamook, OR. Methane digesters are an expensive investment, but a win-win-win situation for all involved: they create methane gas to heat homes while keeping methane from releasing into the atmosphere and make manure more viable for farmers' fields. Instead of relying on farmers to invest, Farm Power Northwest will build and maintain the methane digesters and pool local farmers' cow waste.
“It’s like our own little natural gas well except we’re not taking it out of the ground,” said Daryl Maas, a co-founder of Farm Power Northwest. “We’re harvesting it from manure.”
Cocoa, a female goat from New Jersey, has been frequently spotted around Manhattan with her owner. She was seen a few weeks ago eating pizza, and has since then been spotted eating gelato and strolling (leash-less!) in Central Park. There's some concern that perhaps Cocoa's getting a little too much attention:
Cocoa now has a Twitter feed. "1 week ago I was just another jersey girl crazy for a good slice...it's all happening so fast...the book deal, the interviews…," @Pizza_Goat writes. This is your moment, Cocoa. Try not to get overwhelmed.