Monday, November 9, 2009

Brown gold

Really farm fresh eggs from Maine - look at the size of some of them - you couldn't even close the egg box

Chowdah time!



Amy + I had the best clam chowder we have ever had in Portland, along with Allagash beer - heaven!

It's best raw

Fresh Little Falls cheve



Raw milk


Wonder friend Amy and I just returned from a weekend back at the farm, caring for the animals, making cheese and spending a day in beautiful Portland, Maine. We spent time with my good friends at High View Farm, who supply me with the sweetest, fresh raw milk you can get. I made a 10 pound wheel of Swiss, and some fresh cheve goat cheese with the Little Falls goat milk that we milked ourselves. Raw milk is difficult to come by in most States, but is so superior in nutritional value and taste it is worth it to try to find.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Welcome home

I was almost home after driving back to New York in the rain all day yesterday, and when I got on the Jersey Turnpike I saw a huge, full end to end rainbow. I pulled off the road to freak out.

the 2009 Common Ground Fair

The annual Common Ground Fair is held in in Unity, Maine every September. It is hosted by MOFGA, the Maine Organic Farmers + Gardeners Association, which Little Falls Farm is certified by. The fair was great, a full throttle organic hippie blow-out. Crafters, the best farmers market you've ever seen, canoe builders, contra dancers, herbalists, bee keepers, compost toilet manufacturers, livestock, organic crop fields, a kids area, live music - if you ever have a change to go, take your shoes off and dive in - it's a 20,000 strong love fest with the good people of Maine. My favorite parts were the animals and class-A people watching.

The masses of fair goers

















With the ladies of High View Farm, the lovely Darcy + Lisa





I love mule





This guy was straight out of Star Wars - I love merino sheep




I love ox




I love Scottish longhorn cattle




I love cows




Does this make my head look bulbous?





Herbal headress




Old timey style contra dancing




Look at her dreads




They dig a big pit, light a fire in the bottom, lower a cast iron kettle of beans into it and cover it back up to cook. They were giving them away for free!




Goodbye Common Ground

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

...guess the name of this one

The temperature gauge in the composted manure pile here at the farm reads 130 degrees. What should I call this post?

I love it when you call me Big Peppa

The biggest wheel I've ever made - a 10 pound Montasio with black peppercorn, made with the magic raw Jersey cow milk from High View farm

Fall at Little Falls

Meet my colleagues - baby goats, smiling goats and big white pigs! Not unlike my other job in New York.



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

the super secret caves

I visited my friend Zoe at her new job at the state of the art and ultra clandestine cheese aging caves at Jasper Hill in Greensboro, Vermont. Japser Hill are well known, high end cheese makers and have built the first aging cave of it's kind in the U.S. This place is enormous, literally like an underground airplane hanger built into the side of a hill. You can hardly find the place, it's on an unmarked road, doesn't come up on the GPS and there is no sign out front once you get there. Inside, you had better know somebody or you don't leave the tiny reception area. Zoe, who they stole away from her affineur job at Murray's Cheese in Manhattan, is their U.S. sales rep and is loving her new life in Vermont.
This is one of the seven caves there, and Zoe said it was the smallest.

one man's trash...

Zoe and I walked out to a pasture to visit the pigs that are kept at Jasper Hill Farm. Outside of their area were boxes of discarded cheeses that they weren't able to sell for one reason or another. There were stacks of them, some looking perfectly beautiful (and edible!) They would be fed to the pigs, who eat a steady diet of whey and expensive cheese.

Monday, September 21, 2009

cousin Em

I spent two days with my cousin Emily and her fine new husband John who live in Montpelier. Emily and I had a fun day at the Ben + Jerry's ice cream factory tour. She is beautiful and funny and we had a great visit.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

blossom dinner

The chefs at cheese class cooked dinner for the group one evening - we enjoyed weird foraged mushrooms, baked zucchini with ricotta that we made ourselves, and stuffed squash blossoms.

Three Shepherds Farm

In back of the cheese making building is a community garden and apiary. I loved these bee hives, which were protected by a solar powered electric fence. There was a bountiful frame of hops growing that smelled amazing.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

bigger cheese

The first stop on my Fall '09 cheese tour was advanced cheese making classes at the Three Shepherds Farm in Warren, Vermont. We made more complicated cheeses like Camembert and classic Blue. My teacher Larry has a great cheese making facility. The class was me, three chefs and a crazy man who traveled from India named Bala. The cheese room is cold - here's me in my down vest and white stormtrooper cheese garb.


Friday, September 18, 2009

back down East

It's beautiful in the Northeastern states this time of year. Perfect Fall weather, the colors are just starting to turn, crisp air and mellow people. I am so glad to be here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

got any herb, jack?

The last cheese - Monterrey Jack w/herbs d'Provence

just for Easter....meet Bunny Lee

I met a lonely rabbit on a neighboring farm who wasn't getting much attention, so they asked if I wanted her. I took her back to Little Falls, got her a few goodies at the pet store and made her a house out of a beer box. She is extremely affectionate and cuddly, and so cute you can't stand it. I named her after the old Jamaican musician Bunny Lee.

Provolone

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pretty lady

My good friend Amy's favorite goat, #18

Flatbread

There is a great restaurant in Portland called Flatbread (http://www.flatbreadcompany.com/). They have a huge wood burning oven that looks like a yurt, and it bakes up the best pizza I have ever had. The place is a big lofty space on the waterfront with handmade furniture and great locally brewed beer.


Goat cheese, mozzarella, and parmesan with green beans, beets and balsamic drizzle. Oh my God.

I love classic rock

There is a really good classic rock radio station in Portland called WBLM. They call themselves "the rock n' roll blimp", which is hilarious. It's all I listen to here, and I confess openly to loving Foreigner, Heart and old Rod Stewart. Yes I do.

montasio with black pepper

Instead of using a mold, I tied up and pressed the curd in cheesecloth to shape this one.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Rot-o-lantern

When I was up here last Halloween I carved this Jack-o-lantern - it's still here!

traditional cheddar

Making traditional cheddar cheese is complicated, but worth the extra time. My very favorite cheese in the world is a good cheddar. The wheel here was made with High View Farm raw milk and will be waxed and aged for 6 months or longer, if I can stand not eating it.

Pressing


Salting


Heating


Draining

Sunday, April 5, 2009

fairy dusted

As if the farm isn't magical enough, the soil here is very rich with mica, which lightly coats everything from the road, to the your shoes, to your car tires in fine silver glitter.