Friday, August 13, 2010

1st Mary Jane Farm Meeting, Making Mozzarella

Hi everyone! Sorry, it's been about 4 days, Zach finally got a chance to figure out the posting problems we were having.
We had our first Farm Meeting on Wednesday. Zach and I started a local chapter inspired by the Mary Jane Farm Magazine. We are the Iron Oaks Farm group. When you sign up as chapter leader they send you bumper stickers, membership certificates and an idea booklet to share with your members.
The Magazine was created by Mary Jane, a lady farmer of more than 24 years. She's published several books and, of course, a magazine, all geared toward encouraging a simpler life style with emphasis on organic living, hobby farming and re-skilling. The magazine also encourages women, in particular, to encompass these values and to become self sustainable.
Though our particular group was mostly women, we invited the men-folk as well.

For our first meeting we made 30 minute Mozzarella from the Ricki Carol book Home Cheese Making. The recipe was perfect because it gave everyone an introduction to cheese making so we could all get comfortable with the process and exposure to less common ingredients like rennet and lipase. (See 6-10-10 post Making Mozzarella.)
Each person brought 1 half gallon of whole, (not ultra pasteurized) milk. And because the recipe takes a whole gallon we worked in teams of 2, then split the finished product.

Stacey, who is our most accomplished cheese maker of the group, brought an awesome milk from Whole Foods with the cream separated at the top, and stored in an adorable, recyclable glass bottle. Her cheese, along with Camille was the best of the evening. I recommend Calders Whole Milk, hands down.

We also had hors d' vors with a mozzarella or Italian theme. Including grape tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella skewers with a pesto sauce, a roasted red pepper dip, caramels dipped in dark chocolate with sea salt and a cream cheese, mozzarella, ham and green onion cheese ball. It was a cheesy kind of night. We also had delicious goodies like humus and no bake cookies, two of my favorites!
We added a little spirit to the evening with a bottle of Pinot Grigio, which according to Hello Vino, pairs well with Mozzarella (a site that recommends wine paring with most any food)
The evening was filled with laughter, munching, stories about chickens, ideas for future meetings and a sense of accomplishing something together. Success!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for having me over and all the delicious munchies. I looks forward to many more farmgirl meetings!


Camille said...

Had a blast! Was great fun and great company! Thanks so much for your hospitality. Can't wait til the next meeting!

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