Sunday, June 29, 2014

toad time

There have been brown toads all over the farm the past few weeks - I love toads and find them everywhere I look: in the corner of the barn, in the garden, or at the base of a tree

I love Beatrix Potter's frog character Jeremy Fisher, whom she depicted as a very well-dressed country gentleman with equally dapper  friends, and a taste for good cheese

Saturday, June 28, 2014

sky study #110

Rain coming in from the West

Friday, June 27, 2014

so rockin'

My neighbor Tim in a master stonemason and stone artist.  I took a bunch of shots around his farm.

This is a 1,500 boulder suspended  from a rafter


stone seats

morter-less wall

stones in waiting

beautiful out building

deer mosaic - Tim puts a red LED light on the nose at Christmas

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

in the dairy this week

Kalamata olives ready to be chopped and added to the curd

Montasio with Kalamata olives

Mt. Holiday brie with herbs de Provence

Sunday, June 22, 2014

beautiful lettuce

Laurie's perfect heads of lettuce - Holman Farm, Mission Peninsula

Cozy sniffs a bouquet from Birch Point Farm, Traverse City

Thursday, June 19, 2014

no thrill of yellow this year

The winter was so harsh this year, my beautiful forsythia hedge did not bloom at all.  

Got this at the farmer's market - yep, that's thyme in a bottle (smile)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


My good friend, chef Michelle Rodriguez, had this little needlepoint made for Boss Mouse.  I adore it, and her!  Check out my talented girl at

Monday, June 16, 2014


I did a wine and cheese event last week and an excellent local, European style bakery threw all of this bread in the trash at the end of the evening.  I have no shame, fished it all out and took it home!  Fresh, pristine and perfectly usable.  I absolutely believe if you waste not, you want not.  I love gluten!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

Super grainy pic of my Grandpa Mike Kurta Sr., my Dad Mike Kurta, Jr. and brother Steve, 1969

first jam

First batch of Summer jam - strawberry-rhubarb

Saturday, June 14, 2014

sky study #109

Sky to the East on my drive home - this was taken at 9:45PM!  Northern Michigan Summers stay light late 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cream Cup Dairy

Now that I will be making more cheese, I am sourcing milk from a second farm:  Cream Cup Dairy in Kaleva, Michigan

They have a beautiful farm

and happy, pastured cows

The owner is a Mennonite man who drives this awesome little refrigerated truck and they deliver right to Boss Mouse, which helps me a lot

The milk is packaged in 5 gallon plastic bags that sit in a milk crate and have a little pouring spout (above)  I just cut off the whole corner of the bag for faster milk dumping

I was asking David about his herd and got him to tell me the names of all of his cows.  In alphabetical order, meet some of the heifers of Cream Cup Dairy: 

Arabia, Arby, Ardele, Aztec, Bette, Casey, Cobolt, Coho, Corrine, Marlowe, Mars, Melba, Skeeto, Sora and Sprite

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Colantha Walker Dairy Festival

Traverse Colantha Walker was a cow who holds the world's record for milk production, and every year Traverse City holds a dairy festival in her honor.  Read her story here

This year I was asked to be the "Dairy Queen", which meant I got to rock this tiara and yard of cow fabric, which I wore as a sash/skirt. 

People ride in a hay-ride wagon pulled by a tractor, I rode in the antique fire truck, and many people on foot all walk the half mile path out to Colantha's grave

the precession, complete with stilt-walker man

Ellie, the Dairy Princess - we laid a wreath at Colantha's grave

There were other activities at the festival, including these Tae Kwon Do people. Looks like she kicks da bootz!

Speaking of boots, a young lady had these awesome MSU cowboy boots

Mom Kurta wore her cow T - *wow*

Today in microfashion:  balloon hat / antennae awesome

pimp my smoker

We are smoking 40 pounds of butter a week at Boss Mouse, so Dad customized my three-level cold smoker into a 6-level, to accommodate higher quantities of butter smokeage. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

pierogi power

Agnes, who was born in Poland, brought me two bags of hand made pierogi.  A friend of her Mom, who we always referred to as "bun lady" (she always wore her hair in a bun on the very top of her head) is an amazing cook and Agnes brought me up some of her famous pierogi, one bag of sauerkraut, and the other Russian Cheese - omg, I'm gonna get my Polish soul food on

Friday, June 6, 2014

nothing better than old friends

Agnes & Sue 2014
One of my longest friendships is with my bestie Agnes, who visited from L.A.

Agnes & Sue 1992
We met in 1990 when we were both at PolyGram & Mercury Records in Chicago.  We had a great couple of days and perfect weather in the Traverse City area.  She is one of the best people I know xoxo

Monday, June 2, 2014

Holmans Forever

Laurie with her mushroom-fontina pizza that we drizzled with truffle oil - sigh

Tim and his fishing crew - they came home with coolers full of whitefish, lake trout and cisco

Laurie gave me dozens of baby plants for my garden

They had to be in the ground by 5:00PM Sunday (correct moon cycle for planting) which they were - here they are in the garden