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Posted 1/26/2016 2:20pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

Having never made cheese in winter before, I have struck by the comfort I find in ladling curd when it’s cold, grey and snowy outside.  There is something about the scent of the fresh milky curd, the beautiful yellow cream line and the rhythm of ladling curd into forms that warms my spirits.  I admit that I was worried I would be too tired and too emotionally spent to muster enthusiasm for winter cheese making, but we’re only making one batch of cow milk cheese every two weeks, and this pace suits me fine. 

How fitting to experience a little bit of true winter last week with a light snow fall followed by a night of fog.  We awoke to a clichéd landscape of “winter wonderland” as all vertical vegetation was coated in a fine fuzz of frozen fog.  How fitting that our cow’s milk winter cheese is called “snow fog.” 

Real snow fog

Farm Product Sales and Other Important Matters Saturday Sale at Urbana’s Lincoln Square Mall (in Front of Piato's Food Court)—Saturday, January 30th 9:00-11:00 AM. Once again, we are partnering with Blue Moon Farm to offer our customers some cheese, gelato, farm eggs and few other items:

  • Chevre (previously frozen): plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper—we have limited supplies of herbs de Provence, but plenty of plain and cracked pepper
  • Goat milk feta packed in olive oil—we decided to dress up our remaining fall feta so you can enjoy a special treat over the winter. Jars contain a little less than ½ lb. feta in a bath of extra-virgin olive oil—super delicious
  • Snow Fog: this is our second batch of this creamy, unctuous cow milk bloomy rind. It’s young but quite tasty
  • Moonglo: our fall raw-milk tomme; creamy, slightly sharp—perfect for melting on a burger or just slicing and eating
  • Huckleberry Blue: This fall batch is lightly veined, but has a great smooth texture and sufficient “blue-ness” to satisfy the blue cheese lover in your life
  • Magia Negra: the firm and nutty raw-milk cheese that can be grated, shaved or sliced. 
  • Gelato: Chocolate and maybe vanilla (very limited)
  • Yogurt: quarts of plain, jersey cow milk yogurt (made with Kilgus whole milk)-very limited quantities
  • Farm Eggs:  our hens are laying despite the cold weather—we’ll bring a few dozen to sell.

Farm Events-here and far

It’s not too late to sign up for our very first winter “Dinner & A Movie,” this coming Sunday, January 31st (5-9 PM).  We’re really excited to welcome chef Ryan Lewis (Driftwood Eatery, Springfield IL) to the farm.

Ryan Lewis and his ham

His menu is shear comfort food, crafted with MOSTLY locally sourced ingredients (yes, this is possible, even in winter).  The film, “A girl From Paris” is a charming tale of a city girl who decides to become a goat farmer in rural France (sound familiar?? Except for the French venue). 

A girl from Paris

Farm CSA: Don’t forget to check out our cheese & gelato CSA.  We also have shares for Bane Family Meats meat, poultry and eggs and Delight Flowers flower shares.  We’re currently offering a 10% discount on sign-ups before the end of February. DON’T DELAY! Sign up TODAY!!

Screenings of “A Farmer’s Road” -- If you missed the screening of the documentary film about our farm, there are several upcoming screenings in central IL, Chicago and Beloit, Wisconsin.  To get the specifics of all the film’s happenings, check out the website.  The most immediate screening will be this Saturday, January 30th in conjunction with Slow Food Springfield’s local food festival: https://www.facebook.com/events/1499964723639420/. The next opportunity is February 16th as part of the Illinois Farmers’ Market Association’s Annual Conference and Fundraiser in Chicago: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-ifma-pre-conference-event-tickets-20115323474 

A Farmer's Road

 


Copyright 2016. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2016. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.

Posted 1/12/2016 10:46am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Hello folks:

In my haste to tell you about our exciting new farm meal this winter, I provided you with the wrong date. The Farm Dinner and a Movie will be held on SUNDAY, JANUARY 31ST FROM 5-9 PM (NOT SATURDAY, THE 30TH).  I apologize for any inconvenience. 

 


Copyright 2016. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2016. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.

Posted 1/11/2016 7:18pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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As much as I hated to see the balmy temperatures leave, I'm relieved that winter is finally here.  Although this is our "down time," we still manage to find ways to fight off complete farmer hibernation.  

This Saturday, January 16th, we will once again partner with Blue Moon Farm and offer cheese sales inside Lincoln Square Mall (Urbana). Specifically, we'll be in the food court area in front of Piato's from 9-11 AM.  We will be bringing the following:

  • Chèvre (frozen): plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Goat milk feta
  • Snow Fog (cow milk camembert: some of them are pretty ripe and gooey, but they still taste yummy)
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue (very limited supply)
  • Magia Negra
  • Kilgus Cow Milk Yogurt (whole milk with cream on top-it's divine)
  • Artisan Cottage Cheese made with whole Kilgus milk and a dash of heavy cream
  • We may also bring a few dozen eggs from our hens--they are laying despite the cold weather.
  • Gelato: Chocolate and Vanilla only

CSA sign-up: the 15% early bird discount will expire this Friday, January 15th (end of day), so if you've been thinking about it, act now to lock in the best pricing. Starting January 16th, the discount goes to 10%.  

We have started planning our 2016 Farm Dinner season.  To kick things off, we're hosting our very first winter "Dinner & A Movie" on Saturday, January 30th, 5-9 pm. We will be partnering with Chef Ryan Lewis of the Driftwood Eatery in Springfield.  The movie is "A girl from Paris."  Check out the menu and book your reservations NOW!

 


Copyright 2016 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2016. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.

Posted 12/31/2015 2:39pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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News from the Farm

This holiday season will be remembered for eerie weather.  On Christmas day, the goats were all out in the pasture; sun shining, grass green and temperatures hovering in the ‘60’s. Less than one week later, our fields are flooded and there’s a skiff of ice crystal coating the ground where the water has receded. We have been spending our holiday time lusciously: lots of sleeping, lots of reading (so many New Yorkers and Atlantic Monthly magazines to catch up on), movie watching and lots of delicious meals enjoyed in the company of great friends. 

Well, the proverbial party is over (well, sort of ...).  We have some cheese, gelato and few crackers and caramels to sell, so we’re getting off the “couch” this Saturday, January 2nd to offer these great products to our Champaign-Urbana patrons (and really anyone else who wants to travel to Urbana).  Here are the specifics:

We will be joining our friends at Blue Moon Farm (who also have lots of salad mix, spinach and other assorted veggies—warm December days made the leafy greens in their greenhouses grow like crazy) inside Lincoln Square Mall’s Food Court in front of Piatto’s Café from 9-11 AM Saturday, January 2nd—that’s this coming Saturday!

We will have:

  • Chevre (has been frozen, but thaws beautifully—you won’t be able to tell the difference from fresh)—plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Feta in whey brine
  • Moonglo
  • Huckleberry Blue
  • Snow Fog (our new cow-milk camembert made with Kilgus Farmstead Milk)
  • Magia Negra (our hard, raw-milk grating style cheese rubbed with black currant-olive oil paste)
  • Pints of Vanilla, Chocolate and Honey-Lavender-Chevre Gelato
  • Oat-Chevre crackers
  • Salted goat milk caramels (very limited supply)

Also, sign up for our 2016 CSA is open and there are only a couple of weeks left to get the best discount on pricing (15% off the full price expires on January 15th).  Don’t delay.  Stay tuned for exciting news about our 2016 Farm Dinner Season and other winter happenings at the farm.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.

Posted 12/17/2015 7:38pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

This is the time of year when the number of tasks on my mental “to do” list starts to dwindle. It’s the time when sleep deprivation fades to sleep banking (I really do need to believe I can bank hours of sleep for next spring, even if that’s totally false) and thoughts beyond the farm’s immediate needs start to wander into my brain: all the great things I’m going to cook over the holidays, all the movies I want to see, all those Caribbean islands that I day-dream of visiting.   

I can also clear my head enough to reflect on the season that’s now lapping at our heels.  Overall, it’s been a good season, and we have a lot for which to be thankful. Although we lost some of my most favorite older does, our girls kidded with very little drama and put out a respectable amount of milk.  Our able and diligent cheese makers transformed their beautiful milk into lots of lovely little cheeses.  We hired a herd manager with an Animal Science degree who raised goats as a teenager (and she LOVES our goats and is REALLY smart and creative).  We had a farm & cheese-making intern who worked her tail off, put up with living in our “rustic” RV (the famous “Goat Road Warrior” that we drove east from Oregon a couple of years ago) and blew us away with her talents. We had two hard-working women manage our long-neglected orchard and harvest a great number of delicious peaches, pears and apples.  One of them worked her baking magic on the ‘seconds,’ turning them into exquisite pastries. Our chef, Alisa, and her culinary team put out some show-stopper meals. We now bid her farewell, but we acknowledge her contribution to building a now-integral part of Prairie Fruits Farm-the kitchen!

We’re already scheming and planning for the 2016 season.  Being the eternal optimists that we are, we continue to generate grand ideas and dreams for the future.  We will force ourselves to rest and hold our dreams at bay for a bit, because we need to.  Thankfully, the darkness of the winter solstice is a strong force for slumber.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL OF YOU, OUR FRIENDS AND PATRONS

holiday goat

Holiday Markets and Farm Open House

We are attending the last two holiday markets of the season this Saturday December 19th: Urbana’s Holiday Market inside Lincoln Square Mall and Chicago’s Green City Market inside the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (we are upstairs—please come upstairs from the Lobby). 

We have a GREAT lineup of cheeses for you to share with family and friends over the holidays:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Feta in whey brine:  you can dress it up for the holidays by cutting it into cubes and marinating it in olive oil with fresh herbs and orange zest—serve with some of our farm-house crackers and people will be really impressed.
  • NEW: THE DEBUT OF OUR FIRST BLOOMY-RIND COW MILK CHEESE “Snow Fog”: We tasted this cheese yesterday, and while it’s young, we are quite pleased with its buttery flavor and delicate rind.  This cheese will be PERFECT for Christmas and New Year’s.  So, just put it in your frig until the holidays arrive, and take it out 30 minutes before serving. Serve with one of our jams and our crackers.
  • Moonglo: this firm, raw milk tomme will be perfect on a cheese board with the Snow Fog and your ‘dressed up’ marinated feta.  Serve with spiced pecans (we have those too!)
  • Huckleberry Blue: this batch is made for a winter greens salad; crumble and toss with the spiced pecans and some dried fruits.

The cheese accompaniments:

  • Crackers: oat chevre, black pepper flatbread and oat-cornmeal
  • Jams: plum, peach, tomato and strawberry-balsamic
  • Spiced Illinois Pecans (from Voss Family Farms in Southern IL)

Now onto desserts and sweets:

Gelato (sorry Chicago, no gelato for you guys):

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Honey-Lavender-chevre

Other sweets: salted goat-milk caramels

Looking for other non-food gifts? We’ll have Chippy the Goat T-shirts, Tea Towels (very limited supply) and Goat Milk Soaps made for us by Red Barn Farm.

Holiday Farm Open House: If you can’t make it to the markets on Saturday, we will be OPEN on Sunday, December 20th from 10 AM to 4 PM.  Whatever is left over from the markets will be available for purchase.  I’ll make some hot spiced chai tea (with milk and honey), and have some holiday cookies for you to munch on while you peruse the farm shop.  We'll have samples of cheese and gelato to taste too. Wes and I will be around to greet you and chat. Of course, everyone is welcome to visit with the goats  or take a stroll around the farm (there’s not much growing, but you can walk down to the prairie if you like—it’s very peaceful and serene this time of year).  Blue the dog will be here too, and will expect you to pet him.

If you can't make it the markets or the farm, we have some gifts you can order through our on-line store (soaps, t-shirts).  You could also gift someone a membership in our CSA OR you could get a gift certificate through our Credibles Program. These gift certificates can be used to purchase PFFC products, farm to table meals or classes or events at the farm. 


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.

Posted 12/17/2015 7:31pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News

This is the time of year when the number of tasks on my mental “to do” list starts to dwindle. It’s the time when sleep deprivation fades to sleep banking (I really do need to believe I can bank hours of sleep for next spring, even if that’s totally false) and thoughts beyond the farm’s immediate needs start to wander into my brain: all the great things I’m going to cook over the holidays, all the movies I want to see, all those Caribbean islands that I day-dream of visiting.   

I can also clear my head enough to reflect on the season that’s now lapping at our heels.  Overall, it’s been a good season, and we have a lot for which to be thankful. Although we lost some of my most favorite older does, our girls kidded with very little drama and put out a respectable amount of milk.  Our able and diligent cheese makers transformed their beautiful milk into lots of lovely little cheeses.  We hired a herd manager with an Animal Science degree who raised goats as a teenager (and she LOVES our goats and is REALLY smart and creative).  We had a farm & cheese-making intern who worked her tail off, put up with living in our “rustic” RV (the famous “Goat Road Warrior” that we drove east from Oregon a couple of years ago) and blew us away with her talents. We had two hard-working women manage our long-neglected orchard and harvest a great number of delicious peaches, pears and apples.  One of them worked her baking magic on the ‘seconds,’ turning them into exquisite pastries. Our chef, Alisa, and her culinary team put out some show-stopper meals. We now bid her farewell, but we acknowledge her contribution to building a now-integral part of Prairie Fruits Farm-the kitchen!

We’re already scheming and planning for the 2016 season.  Being the eternal optimists that we are, we continue to generate grand ideas and dreams for the future.  We will force ourselves to rest and hold our dreams at bay for a bit, because we need to.  Thankfully, the darkness of the winter solstice is a strong force for slumber.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL OF YOU, OUR FRIENDS AND PATRONS

holiday goat

Holiday Markets and Farm Open House

We are attending the last two holiday markets of the season this Saturday December 19th: Urbana’s Holiday Market inside Lincoln Square Mall and Chicago’s Green City Market inside the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (we are upstairs—please come upstairs from the Lobby). 

We have a GREAT lineup of cheeses for you to share with family and friends over the holidays:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Feta in whey brine:  you can dress it up for the holidays by cutting it into cubes and marinating it in olive oil with fresh herbs and orange zest—serve with some of our farm-house crackers and people will be really impressed.
  • NEW: THE DEBUT OF OUR FIRST BLOOMY-RIND COW MILK CHEESE “Snow Fog”: We tasted this cheese yesterday, and while it’s young, we are quite pleased with its buttery flavor and delicate rind.  This cheese will be PERFECT for Christmas and New Year’s.  So, just put it in your frig until the holidays arrive, and take it out 30 minutes before serving. Serve with one of our jams and our crackers.
  • Moonglo: this firm, raw milk tomme will be perfect on a cheese board with the Snow Fog and your ‘dressed up’ marinated feta.  Serve with spiced pecans (we have those too!)
  • Huckleberry Blue: this batch is made for a winter greens salad; crumble and toss with the spiced pecans and some dried fruits.

The cheese accompaniments:

  • Crackers: oat chevre, black pepper flatbread and oat-cornmeal
  • Jams: plum, peach, tomato and strawberry-balsamic
  • Spiced Illinois Pecans (from Voss Family Farms in Southern IL)

Now onto desserts and sweets:

Gelato (sorry Chicago, no gelato for you guys):

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Honey-Lavender-chevre

Other sweets: salted goat-milk caramels

Looking for other non-food gifts? We’ll have Chippy the Goat T-shirts, Tea Towels (very limited supply) and Goat Milk Soaps made for us by Red Barn Farm.

Holiday Farm Open House: If you can’t make it to the markets on Saturday, we will be OPEN on Sunday, December 20th from 10 AM to 4 PM.  Whatever is left over from the markets will be available for purchase.  I’ll make some hot spiced chai tea (with milk and honey), and have some holiday cookies for you to munch on while you peruse the farm shop.  We'll have samples of cheese and gelato to taste too. Wes and I will be around to greet you and chat. Of course, everyone is welcome to visit with the goats  or take a stroll around the farm (there’s not much growing, but you can walk down to the prairie if you like—it’s very peaceful and serene this time of year).  Blue the dog will be here too, and will expect you to pet him.


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.

Posted 12/13/2015 10:49pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Greetings and Happy Holidays!
I'm happy to announce that our 2016 CSA is now ready for sign ups.  We have made a number of changes to the offerings for the new season:

  • More variety and options for both cheese and gelato
  • A meat/poultry/egg share with Bane Family Meats
  • A flower share with Delight Flower Farm

Although you can find our products locally at farmers' markets, on the farm and at retail outlets, becoming a member of our CSA affords you special/discounted pricing, "members-only" cheeses and gelato flavors and a very special "members-only" farm to table meal.  Depending on our fruit season, we may also offer members-only U-pick hours too. I encourage you to check out the details and BECOME A MEMBER. 

For those of you in the greater Chicagoland area, we are working on expanding our CSA offerings to your area. Stay tuned for forthcoming details.


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.

Posted 12/13/2015 10:42pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Greetings and Happy Holidays!
I'm happy to announce that our 2016 CSA is now ready for sign ups.  We have made a number of changes to the offerings for the new season:

  • More variety and options for both cheese and gelato
  • A meat/poultry/egg share with Bane Family Meats
  • A flower share with Delight Flower Farm

Although you can find our products locally at farmers' markets, on the farm and at retail outlets, becoming a member of our CSA affords you special/discounted pricing, "members-only" cheeses and gelato flavors and a very special "members-only" farm to table meal.  Depending on our fruit season, we may also offer members-only U-pick hours too. I encourage you to check out the details and BECOME A MEMBER. 

For those of you in the greater Chicagoland area, we are working on expanding our CSA offerings to your area. Stay tuned for forthcoming details.

 


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.

Posted 12/11/2015 11:37am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News

The green grass is growing and the mud is ankle deep (and caught between our dog Blue’s toenails). If the sun wasn’t setting at 4:30 in the afternoon, I could swear we bypassed winter and moved right into March.  The warm dry days this week gave us the perfect window to clean out the doe barn. After two-plus months of breeding season, housekeeping was overdue.  While the goat girls complained loudly about staying outside all day (I really don’t know why because the air temperature was close to 60 degrees—perhaps it was a bit too windy for their liking), once they were let back into the barn, they delighted in rolling in the new clean straw.  It warms my heart to watch the older and pretty plump does rolling from side to side to get the perfect scratch pad on their backs. 

Overall, their energy level is receding with the day length, and it’s a struggle to get them onto the milk stand in the evenings. We’re pushing them a little bit longer and hoping they don’t go on a milking strike, so we can have a little more milk for our final batches of chevre for the season.  Sometime next week, we will go to once-a-day milking, and that will hasten their dry off.  In years past, we’ve been able to milk up to Christmas eve, but that is not in the cards this year (too many of them kidded in February this year!).  The scant milk they’re producing now is so rich in butterfat that our chevre tastes almost like crème fraiche.  Yum.

Farmers’ Markets and Holiday Sales

This Saturday, December 12th, we’ll be attending Urbana’s Holiday Market inside Lincoln Square Mall (8 AM to 1 PM). We know you are all doing a lot of entertaining this time of year, so why not impress your guests with an all-local cheese board from Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery. We have all the components.

Cheese:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Feta packed in whey brine—it’s tangy and crumbly!
  • Try some Goldenrod: on sale this week too; we’ll take $2 off the price of each triangle (get some for the fondue recipe)-LAST WEEK FOR THIS VERY RIPE STINKER SO IF YOU LIKE IT, COME ‘N GET IT!
  • Moonglo---tasting very nutty right now. Delicious shaved over roasted root vegetables or a hearty winter stew
  • Huckleberry Blue: slightly sharp and perfect for crumbling over a winter salad of mix greens, candied pecans and dried cherries.

To complete your all-local cheese board, try our farm-house crackers (rosemary flatbread and Scottish oat biscuits this week) and local-fruit jams to accompany those cheeses.

Gelato Flavors this week:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Holiday Spice
  • Honey-Lavender-Chevre

Looking for some great local gifts? How about a bag of salted-goat milk caramels, hand-crafted goat milk soap or our Chippy the Goat Tea Towels? If you can’t make it to the market on Saturday, the farm is open for business and visitors Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 5 PM, and our online store is open 24/7.


Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.

Posted 12/3/2015 8:24am by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

new header

Farm News

As the milk line on the dip stick of our bulk tank goes down, down, down, we’re awash again with milk of a very different stripe (yellow cream line is more like it).  We cleaned up our milk cans (the ones we used to use to transport sheep milk from the Plank Sheep Dairy in Arthur IL), and Wes travelled under fog of night Monday to pick up raw cow milk from Kilgus Farmstead in Fairbury. 

Early Tuesday morning (well, it felt early as the winter hibernation mindset has already set in around here), we made our first experimental batches of cow milk cheese (a couple of bloomy rind versions, of course) with their rich Jersey milk.  Pouring over my stack of French cheese books, and consulting several recipes for traditional camembert and lactic curd ripened cheeses, I settled on a game plan with educated guesses about culture and rennet quantities. 

Not having worked with cow milk before, I wasn’t sure whether the milk would behave more like goat or more like sheep.  Starting with the modified traditional camembert recipe, the curd was set and ready to cut by early afternoon.  As the curd knife plunged into the firm gel in the cheese vat, I knew I wasn’t in goatland anymore.  The cut curd cubes had a spring in their step, affirming the strength of the cow milk proteins and fats.  While we could see no obvious cream layer, the pale yellow hue of the curd was evidence that the cream was trapped inside.  Early Wednesday morning, we ladled the lactic curd experiment; the curd’s texture reminded us of a hybrid between the dense-but-fragile chevre and the gelatinous black goat curd.  We’ll be tending these bloomies over the next few weeks, and if we like the results, we’ll be bringing them to the last farmers’ markets of December.

New Cheese Recipes

This Saturday, December 5th is “Fondue Nation” Day—a day to celebrate the wintery tradition of dipping bread, veggies, meats (whatever strikes your fancy) into rich, melted cheese. I have adapted a traditional fondue recipe using two Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery cheeses: Goldenrod (our cider washed-rind cheese; already gooey and slightly melted, nice and pungent) and Moonglo.  In celebration of the Jewish Festival of Lights (Sunday, December 6th is the first night of the holiday), Hanukkah, I have adapted a “Feta-Yogurt” sauce recipe to accompany your latkes (savory pancakes that can be made from potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach or zucchini).  Ditch the pint of sour cream and make this simple tangy sauce; your guests will be begging you for the recipe. You can view them on our website or pick up a copy at the Urbana Holiday Market on Saturday.

Farmers’ Markets and Holiday Sales

This Saturday, December 5th, we’ll be attending Urbana’s Holiday Market inside Lincoln Square Mall (8 AM to 1 PM). We will have plenty of cheese:

  • Fresh chevre: plain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper
  • Feta packed in whey brine—get some for the Feta-Yogurt sauce
  • Angel Food: very last of the goat milk bloomies—very limited supply so come early
  • Goldenrod: on sale this week; we’ll take $2 off the price of each triangle (get some for the fondue recipe)
  • Moonglo---the other cheese for the fondue recipe
  • Huckleberry Blue: perfect for crumbling over a winter salad of mix greens, candied pecans and dried craisins.

While you’re at it, pick up some of our farm-house crackers and local-fruit jams to accompany those cheeses.

Gelato is back in full force:

  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Hazelnut
  • Holiday Spice
  • Honey-Lavender-Chevre

Looking for some great local gifts? How about a bag of salted-goat milk caramels, hand-crafted goat milk soap or our Chippy the Goat Tea Towels? If you can’t make it to the market on Saturday, the farm is open for business and visitors Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 5 PM, and our online store is open 24/7. 



Copyright 2015. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2015. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.