People ask me questions sometimes that make me really sit back and ponder life in general.
Most Common Question: “Why do you farm?”
My answer is simple, yet complicated.
I love cows! I love chickens! I love animals…period!
Then of course, there is the food stuff! From canned, stewed tomatoes to home grown sweet corn, making cheese to eggs for breakfast…without the farm, I wouldn’t have those things like I do.
Question: “What is it about your farm that keeps you where you are?”
There are a ton of reasons on this one. One of them isn’t the taxes, I do need to specify that!
There is an easy answer to this one! It’s the sunrises/sunsets. It’s the views. It’s the private pond….and so much more!
There are many more questions and a whole lot more answers…..But I think this will give anyone a good idea on why I love farming. I think it will also give you a fair idea on why I love being here!
Of course, Mr. Farmer has one very big reason……this land has been in his family for 6 generations! The deed reads out like a genealogy report!
One day on the weekend, I usually get time off from all of the farm chores and such…
Too bad I never know enough to stay in bed or even relax for that matter!
Today has been no different. Still up at the crack of dawn, having my coffee and thinking about what to do. I decided that today would be a great day to make some cheese. So, I started thinking about what variety to start with first.
Mind you, we also needed to go to the butcher shop to pick up the two steers that we had taken up for the freezer…that meant I need to carefully plan it all out.
I knew that I wanted to make mozzarella. I have a recipe that takes about 30-45 minutes. Now that I knew I wanted to do mozza, I figured…what the hell, I might as well make Ricotta and fix lasagna for dinner. But, in the meantime, I also had another batch of butter to make. Not wanting anything to go to waste, I decided to make buttermilk cheese too!
At 7 am, I started the mozzarella. By 7:45, I had shiny balls of cheese to go into the fridge.
Then I made up a batch of butter, saving the buttermilk off to the side to make the buttermilk cheese…which needs to hang in muslin for about two to three hours (just the right amount of time to go pick up, deliver and store away the beef from the butcher shop)
Since I have already had several requests on how to make the Buttermilk Cheese, here is the recipe:
Fresh buttermilk…drained from after processing heavy cream into butter.
In a pot, directly heat the buttermilk to 160 degrees F.
At that temperature, the curds will separate from the whey. If not, increase the temperature to 180 degrees.
Line a colander with butter muslin; pour the coagulated buttermilk into it. Tie the corners of the muslin into a knot and hang the bag to drain for 3-4 hours, or until cheese reaches desired consistency.
Place the cheese in a bowl, salt to taste. (I knead mine to mix in the salt or other flavorings. It also gives it a much creamier consistency.)
Store in a covered bowl in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Leaving the newly formed curd to drain, we took off to the butcher. Then delivered two half to customers, loaded our freezer full of awesome cuts like delmonico steaks and then returned to finish up the cheese.
I hand mixed the buttermilk cheese and pressed into a bowl. I allowed the small bowl to chill, while I prepped to do a batch of ricotta.
While the ricotta was draining, I got out the buttermilk cheese for a snack with crackers and pepperoni.
When I was done fixing the plate of goodies for Mr. Farmer, I now needed to take care of the ricotta.
I am looking forward to making lasagna tonight with the ricotta and the mozzarella cheeses! Hmmm, it is going to taste delicious with that homemade, canned spaghetti sauce I have in the pantry. Maybe I will even get ambitious and make a loaf of homemade bread to go with it, slathering it in fresh butter and garlic from the garden!