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The bittersweet end of the season

Posted 12/16/2010 10:33pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.
farewell from the girls
This is the time of year when we finally pull the plug on milk production and take a break from making cheese.  The girls have given us some great milk this year, and we thank them.  I feel both a sense of sadness and relief as we approach this time of year, every year. Sadness because I won't be making cheese for awhile; relief because I now get to rest, as do the goats.  The seasonality of goats, goat milk and cheese is perfect for northern climes such as Central Illinois. It's too cold to coax them out of the barn to milk them, anyway. I went out to the barn to visit them this morning as Aaron was trimming their hooves, and Madeline, Ava and Ingrid strolled to the fence, put their feet up and pushed their heads towards me to be petted.  I wished I had grown at least another pair of hands for all those heads clamoring for my affection. Their coats are puffed up to protect them from the cold, exagerating their plumpness. 
Our last two farmers' markets of the season will be held this Saturday, December 18th from 8AM to 1PM: Urbana's Holiday Market inside Lincoln Square Village and Chicago's Green City Market at the Peggy Notebart Nature Museum.  We'll have a respectable amount and assortment of cheeses for you to enjoy over the holidays as well as our gift size (5.5 oz.) farmstead honey and half-pint jars of the goat milk cajeta (caramel sauce).  For the best selection, I highly recommend arriving early to the markets. Cheese-wise, we'll have:
Fresh chevre--plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper and heirloom tomato
Angel Food--
think baked brie for New Year's eve
Little Bloom on the Prairie--
enjoy with some sliced apples or pears
Krotovina classic --the all-goat version of our mold-ripened pyramid with an ash layer
Moonglo (very limited amount)--just slice it and eat it on some rustic bread
Kaskaskia--sheep milk grating style cheese--great for soups, stews, pasta, pizza-so versatile!

ANOTHER GREAT GIFT IDEA FROM PFF: We'll be selling $25 gift certificates this Saturday at the farmers' markets that can be used to purchase cheese, fruits, honey or any of our other fine farm products either at the farmers' markets or at our farm next season.  They can also be used toward the purchase of our farm breakfasts next spring.  What they CAN'T be used for is our farm dinners (sorry....).  We will be posting the dinner dates in early March, so if you're signed up on our mailing list, you will ge the notice. 
Happy Holidays to Everyone.  The Prairie Fruits Farm family thanks you for your patronage.