Feelin' like a ground hog, winter farmers' markets and special dinner on the farm
With the New Year and holiday festivities behind us, I have retreated to the winter den that is our log home. I am feeling like a ground hog-pining for sleep, rising occasionally to cook, eat, survey the world and check out the weather conditions. If our prairie scape were blanketed with snow, it might make my hibernation tendencies easier to justify, but the cold, damp, grey skies indulge my laziness just fine. The goats share my groundhog aspirations; lots of lounging, snuggling and rising to eat their winter hay.
Wes’ winter routines are more squirrel-like. He rises every morning to feed and water the goats and check on the state of the “nest.” Invariably, there’s a broken pipe or a frozen compressor that needs to be repaired. We both know there are still a lot of winter projects to do; we’re just trying to shake off the pull to slumber.
Winter Farmers’ Market
I will be shaking off my slumber to attend a few winter farmers’ markets in Urbana (“Market in the Square) in January and February. The first market is this Saturday, January 14th and runs every two weeks (8AM to 1:00 pm, although we are going to be there for sure until noon). The market is held in the south hall (enter by Tang Dynasty), but our booth will be located at the north end of this hall (not our normal spot during the fall indoor market). We will be close to Blue Moon Farm’s booth. For this Saturday, we have a nice array of cheeses, gelato, yogurt and some other farm products (sausage, stew meat, eggs, jams, spiced pecans, goat milk soaps):
Chevre (has been frozen, so you can either thaw it to use right away or keep it frozen): plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
Raw milk feta: you may not think of feta as a ‘winter’ cheese, but it is perfect to liven up a hearty stew, a bowl of chili or even a winter salad.
Snow Fog: our cow’s milk bloomy rind (“Chaource”) is back. This batch is quite young, but it is tasty.
Moonglo: our raw milk “tomme” makes a delicious and fancy grilled cheese sandwich
Magia Negra: our raw milk, manchego-style hard goat cheese, is full of flavor-perfect for grating over your favorite winter dishes-casseroles, quesadillas, tacos, whatever you like
Huckleberry Blue: YES! Our first fall batch is finally ready for your eating pleasure. This raw milk blue is dense and creamy and very approachable.
Yogurt: I have a small number of pints and quarts of our goat milk yogurt left. It is still good and should be delicious for at least another few weeks. I will be selling it at a great discount, so first come first served.
Winter Farm Dinner “From Russia with Love”
Sunday, January 29th, 5:00-8:00 PM
Put on your faux fur coat and join for us a for a heart-warming winter feast on the farm. Chef-owner of Watson’s Shack and Rail, Mark Hartstein, will be our guest chef for the evening. He’s crafted a menu that harkens back to my own eastern European ancestor roots. He'll be featuring local foods from Blue Moon Farm, PrairiErth Farm, Seven Sisters Farm and Bane Family Meats (as well as cheeses from us). Vegetarian substitutions are welcome, but we need at least one week’s notice to accommodate vegetarian requests.
Price is $100 per person.
Proceeds from the dinner sales will be donated to Girls Rock! A rock n’ roll camp for girls in Champaign-Urbana with the goal of creating a culture of positive self-esteem for girls in our community. https://www.facebook.com/GirlsRockCU Click HERE to make your reservation
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