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Leaves are gone but the milk is rich

Posted 11/12/2010 11:55am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.
Farm and Cheese News
fall sunset
This week feels like study in contrasts. The landscape pallet is reduced to shades of brown, red and pale yellow.  The sky turns black at 5PM.  The chickens alight to their roost by 4PM, and lay fewer and fewer eggs each day (which reminds me that we need to get a light turned on in their nest box area so we can still get a few more eggs over the winter).  The goats are increasingly reluctant to come into the milking parlor for the evening milking; some even leave part of their grain ration! This would be unheard of in the spring.  Every few days, the milk production drops by a couple of gallons, making it harder and harder to meet your demand for cheese. But.... the milk is rich... so rich that I can almost stand a spoon in it BEFORE I add the culture for cheesemaking. This is the milk that brings joy to the cheesemaker because of its taste and its yield. 

We're attending two farmers' markets this Saturday--both have now moved indoors. Urbana's "Holiday Market" is located inside Lincoln Square Mall; most of the food vendors including us are located close to the south entrance to the mall, near Art Mart.  The market runs from 8AM to 1PM.  Chicago's Green City Market has moved to a wonderful circus tent on the grounds of the Peggy Notebart Nature Museum. It too runs from 8AM to 1PM. 
We are very short on fresh chevre this week, especially plain chevre. We hope to make it up to you next week, just in time for the Thanksgiving Holiday.  If you haven't tried some of our other cheeses yet, now is your chance to branch out. In addition to chevre, we'll be bringing:
Mouton Frais-the sheep milk version of our "chevre"; talk about rich!!
Angel Food--if you're a brie lover, this is the cheese for you.
Little Bloom on the Prairie--that rich milk is working it's magic on this cheese as well
Moonglo--creamy, tangy and nutty--great for slicing on a rustic bread
Roxanne--the last of the year; get it while it's still her
Kaskaskia--wonderful grating and shaving sheep milk cheese. We'll be providing a recipe for a potato and turnip au gratin using Kaskaskia and Moonglo at the farmers' market. This dish is simple to make, yet it will impress your friends and family as an all-local side dish for Thanksgiving.
Farm to Table Dinners
This Sunday afternoon (1PM, November 14th), we welcome Stephanie Izard to our farm of "Girl and the Goat" Restaurant, Chicago. She has created a wonderfully creative menu for the meal that you can view on our website: www.prairiefruits.com  The dinner is sold out, but feel free to take a peak at the menu even if you don't have a reservation; you can at least imagine how wonderful it will all taste. 
I also want to remind Chicago residents that there is an upcoming dinner at the Marion Street Cheese Market in Oak Park, IL featuring our cheeses and other farm products.  It is Tuesday, November 16th, 6-9PM.  There are still some seats left. The menu looks very enticing (see below) and part of the proceeds will go to our "Save Olympian Farmland" campaign to stave off the Olympian Drive road project near our farm.  To make reservations, contact Marion Street Cheese Market at:
708-725-7200 or visit their website at http://marionstreetcheesemarket.com to make reservations on-line through OpenTable.

Here is the dinner menu for the evening:

First Course – Sunchoke Bisque + Sunflower Seeds + Sunflower Sprouts + Black Pepper Chevre

Second Course – A selection of artisanal cheese from Prairie Fruits Farm with seasonal accompaniments

Third Course – Goat “Cheesecake” + Marcona Almond Crust + Mutsu Apple Marmalade + Shaved Radish

Fourth Course – Sweet Potato Gnocchi + Braised Guinea Hen + Toasted Chestnuts + Shaved Kaskaskia

Dessert Course – Krotovina Ice Cream + Poached Figs + Sicilian Pistachio Cake + Banyuls Honey