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Drought to Deluge: No better time for cheese than NOW

Posted 8/30/2012 10:25pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

The buzz around central Illinois these past couple of days isn't the drone of the cicadas or katydids.  It's all about the impending deluge of rain we're expecting this weekend as remnants of Hurricane (now "tropical storm") Isaac make their way northward along the Mississippi watershed.  It's hard to contemplate that two plus weeks ago we were begging for a few drops of the wet stuff.  Now, we are battening down the hatches, shoring up the walls along the goat barns so they don't flood, harvesting all the tomatoes before they are jostled from their vines and digging the potatoes that have been resting underground so they don't rot. Some forecasts are calling for upwards of 6 inches of rain over a 24-hour period. Some say the heaviest rain will fall just south of us, dropping "only" 2 to 4 inches here.  While we do need rain, we don't need this quantity over such a short period of time--pretty please??

We're hoping, at least, that the rains hold off for the farmers' markets on Saturday morning. We're attending both Urbana's Market at the Square and Green City Market that day.  We're also hoping the rains peter out by the time they get to Chicago, so you Sunday Farmers' Market shoppers at Logan Square can come out to get your weekly groceries of local foods including our cheeses. We haven't been to Logan Square for awhile, so we are especially eager to greet our customers there.  We're not going to let the weathermen deter us from setting up our tents and putting out our cheese wares. In fact, we've got a great line up of cheeses for you this weekend:

  • Plenty of fresh chevre--plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper (still no heirloom tomato, but it will return)
  • An assortment of bloomy rind cheeses-let us surprise you!
  • Sheep milk feta-perfect for a feta-watermelon salad
  • Moonglo
  • Roxanne
  • Huckleberry Blue (it's getting a bit sharper and more crumbly, but it is still delicious)
  • Mollisol Pecorino

Urbana market goers can stock up on pints of gelato this week:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Margot's Mint
  • Stracciatella
  • Lemon Verbena-Thyme
  • Espresso (it will wake you up!)
  • Hazelnut
  • Ginger

Sorbetto Flavors include:

  • Concord Grape
  • Watermelon
  • Pear-Rosemary-Thyme

Put on your raincoat, slip on your rubber boots, grab an umbrella and come to the markets this weekend to relish in the rain and the rainbow of local foods!