I’m Going to Miss the Cows …

I’m Going to Miss the Cows …

My milk delivery came yesterday. The thing with buying milk from a real cow is that it’s not always the same. This week I pulled nearly a quart of cream off the top of my gallon, and the cream is thicker than it’s been before. Almost like English cream — slightly lumpy. This might be alarming except that I know my cows (well, I know my cow-lady). I took the leftover cream from last week and mixed it in with the creme fraiche I already had going (I bought a tub at the local gourmet store to use for starter). So I’ve got nearly a quart of cream and a pint of creme fraiche … yum.

Since we’re going into a milk-drought for a couple of months, I think I need to make another batch of yogurt. I’ve been making it in pint canning jars, and the seal on the lids means the yogurt keeps really well in the fridge. I’m also starting my annual obsession with green sauce — happens every year about this time — suddenly I want green sauce on everything. And if I can get through the milk-drought on my own yummy yogurt, that might help me get over having to drink commercial milk.

Coincidentally, there’s a piece in the SF Chronicle’s food section about some women who have started a yogurt business in San Francisco. The article emphasizes what Michael Pollan critically names “nutritionism” a little more than I find interesting — eat real yogurt made by a person because it’s delicious, and yeah, it’s good for you, but don’t go getting all hung up on that. I think the obsession with probiotics is as dumb as any other food obsession. And quotes about how eating these ladies’ nice yogurt as a snack makes people feel “virtuous” sort of make me groan — own your eating people. Eat good food, enjoy it, and don’t try to turn it into medicine or make it all about health. Okay. Rant over.

There was also a cool piece in the NY Times food section about eating local in the winter on Martha’s Vineyard. Like all tourist destinations, there’s two cultures — the cash economy and the barter or local’s economy — and this article is a great portrait of how a bunch of people manage to live in the most sustainable way possible by growing and catching their own food and trading with one another. Plus, I want that greenhouse.

We do some of that around here — I tend to pay for things with money, because I don’t hunt enough, raise enough of anything to trade — but the Mighty Hunter does a lot of trading — especially with the Famous Chef — the MH sends him game, the FC sends back wine, or olive oil, or cheese. It works great … it’s not as local perhaps as the Martha’s Vineyard system, but it engenders community nonetheless.

2 thoughts on “I’m Going to Miss the Cows …

  1. Hello Charlotte. Have you thought of writing a book about Living Small explaining how to do all of the things that you describe in your blog? I know it seems blindingly obvious but to people raised on Convenience Food and The Like it would be very useful…
    You could be a prophet, almost
    Anyway, you continue to inspire me…
    Thank You – Julia

  2. Well who knows? I’m talking to a new agent about taking me on … maybe I’ll see if we can come up with a proposal for a cheerful book about LivingSmall to make up for the dark manuscript I’m sending her about surviving Patrick’s death. It would be sort of fun — as for practical tips — the creme fraiche is easy — I think I started with about half a pint of cream from my raw milk delivery, and about half a pint of creme fraiche from the store. Whisked them together, then leave the jar out on the counter until it starts to thicken up and smells “nutty”. The yogurt — I use the instructions on this site: http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Cheese/yogurt_making/YOGURT2000.htm
    They are absolutely foolproof. And the Jersey milk makes the most gorgeous thick yogurt … yum.

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