Tag Archives: grass-fed

Like a,…a bull in a china shop?

4 May

Our steer is currently living in our back yard (Roselle kicked him out of his stall in the barn) and he’s now paired with the goats, of whom he’s reluctantly beginning to acknowledge as his current herd. He thinks goats are weird and stinky. He’s right.

We keep them in a rotational grazing pattern to mow our lawn because it’s free food and well, the real reason is that our mower is broken. While necessity may be the mother of invention, lack of a new mower is the mother of cow plops in the yard. We’re going “green” in our lawn care operation and did I mention it’s free cow/goat food? Never mind, it’s a big yard.

However, “Cowie”, our once bull-calf, now steer who we refer to using endearments of female bovine terminology (immediately belying our city roots to county folk) is allowed to roam around while we relocate our goat/steer tractor, (the goats stand tied, they cannot be trusted – they eat fruit trees). We took a lunch break and Cowie decided to check out the kitchen garden “greenhouse”.

YIKES! Nobody panicked except me, a completely normal reaction after being trained in the unexpected/unpredictable flight response of and by equines, I s.l.o.w.l.y walked over to the doorway (well it will be one someday, anyway) and…got no reaction. He didn’t even eat or trample the vast array of lettuces, chicories, chards, Bulls Blood beets (ahem) or radishes. No bull in a china shop here.

We love our Cowie. His name is T-bone. I wish he were a heifer, because then he would get to “stay” and give us milk. Mr. Pink Guitar is adamant that we have to eat him. I want to train him to pull a plow, in which case he would be considered an “ox”. He is 7/8 Simmental, very gentle and easily trained. I will have to work on this topic with Mr. Pink Guitar.

When we told Farmer Joe about our bottle calf, he just shook his head and reminded us of what we already knew; that this calf will be with us for a very long time, until he dies of natural causes – right here at Pinkguitarfarm…

One day we will be “real” farmers, until then, our motto is: fake it ‘til you make it. Or not, we really like our brisket…

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Mozzarella with farm-fresh cow’s milk…finally!

22 Oct

Since on-farm goat cheese/chevre is a hope and dream for another day, I have been thinking about finding a source for local milk, any milk frankly, (goat,cow,sheep) raised without antibiotics or growth hormones and not ultrapasteurized. Pasteurized versus raw milk is a topic I’m not going to discuss right now, however, when milk is superheated, i.e. ULTRApasteurized thus denaturing the proteins, cheese is very difficult if not impossible to make. Last weekend, I ran into a nice lady who makes her own butter. Conversations such as these remind me of how much I love dairy and how expensive it is, and also, how difficult it is to find a local natural source. Unless, of course it finds you…

After the PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) meeting last night at our kids’ elementary school, I happened to talk to a parent about buying beef from his farm. I am interested in a half a cow for the freezer. He mentioned that they sell milk too. YIPPIE! I went over to his farm this morning and picked up some precious cargo.

2 gallons of fresh (milked within the last 12 hours, fresh) whole milk – located only about 3 miles away, I had to pinch myself. I told him that I planned on being a very good customer since my husband is an excellent cheese maker (well, the only one I know of, really) and I can’t wait to give the piglets some whey. Piglets fed whey eventually make very tasty pork, or so I’m told!

So out comes the “Home Cheese Making” book:

Which was a little dusty, and I spent this morning dreaming of “Mozzarella with farm-fresh cow’s milk”, Panir, an Indian cheese, Queso Blanco, “Whey Ricotta” (piglets are gonna have to share on this one) and Gouda. How about Caraway Swiss? Mascarpone? Lemon Cheese and Gorgonzola? I realize I’ll have to work up to Parmesan.

The other worlds that are opening up now to my culinary delight are buttermilk, sour cream, kefir, creme fraiche, yogurt, butter and ghee. It is all enough to make one giddy…

If you are interested in checking out the site where I purchased my cheese making book and got my initial “Cheesemaking kit”, click here. Check with your local farmers or ask around at your farmers market to locate a source for farm fresh milk – it’s worth it!

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