the stars must align- part 2

If you were to read back in the September posts of 2010 you would find my "the stars must align" post. Well today I am happy to report that a few more are falling into place.
-Boötes: Business Plan & correct licenses-
Boötes has just aligned as we are in the planning phases and getting bids for the garage/make room. We are getting everything in order to present to the banks. Scheduled for this week is the appraiser and we will see how that goes. This is make-it or break-it time.

Not only has Boötes lined up but so has...
-Mensa: Milk supply ready by spring-
After the Intermountain Dairy Sheep meeting Dale is very pumped and ready to get him operation going by mid April. He has already had others offer to buy his milk but he let them know that we are taking it all. We have also found a hormone free grass fed cow's milk dairy that is also in Mt. Pleasant. They are willing to sell us all their milk when we are ready. We made "what's her name" with it as well as our bleu and so far it is fantastic. The milk is very rich in beta carotene due to the fact that they are grass fed. Something we haven't seen in other local cheese- makers products.


bleu cheese- 68 days old

It has been a few weeks since I have updated our bleu cheese. He is doing well but I wasn't super happy with the looks of him so after watching how they prepare Stilton I decided to do some minor surgery on him... just to make him look a little prettier. Here he is before and what you can see is that the chunks are very firm around the edges so I shaved them down just a bit to soften the edges.

I then took my supplies and began salting him down with a little water and using the cheese brush to scrub and smooth out the edges even more.

Now that he is all scrubbed and salted Joel suggested I poke holes in the top & bottom to make sure there is proper air flow to the center. If you see bleu cheese with long veins running down it is due to this process and allows air to penetrate the middle. Anywhere there is air present bleu mold will grow.

He is now aging again in the basement and keeping the humidity level up is the biggest challenge since Utah is so dry but I tend to him every day. He will be ready for eating by the end of February. And yes, I did sample a small shaving and what I found so far is it is quite firm in texture but possibly more moist on the inside. The flavor is there and it does taste like bleu cheese but what was the most impressive was the numbing of my mouth the second it melted. I know a good bleu cheese makes your mouth numb but this was right at the onset so not sure how that will turn out... interesting stuff! Let me know if you'd like a sample.


2nd annual Intermountain Dairy Sheep Producers Association

Welcome to our 2nd annual meeting for dairy sheep producers! Last year there were 15 people who showed up from Utah, Idaho & Wyoming. This year we had about 27 so hopefully each year it will grow.
Dale Peel set up the meeting this year and it was held in Logan, Utah. Utah State University is located here and this is where Joel took his cheese course. The location was perfect and we are hoping to have it there more often. We all arrived on the Wednesday evening before the actual meeting and we were lucky enough to take a tour of the schools cheese-making facility. This is where Joel took the cheese course (highly recommended). These are the stainless steel canisters used to hold milk throughout the process. This is their fancy cheese pressing machine. We aren't quite to this point yet but maybe someday.
The following morning we had a breakfast and meet and greet. This is where we got to just talk with friends of the industry. I made 6 quiches for the breakfast and we got to have lamb sausage. It was a great meal. We then adjourned to the classroom and heard from several different specialists in the field of sheep, genetics & land pasture maintenance. So much valuable information. We broke for lunch where we had fresh lamb sandwiches and I made Roquefort blue cheese mac n cheese. We also had those who could bring in samples of their cheeses. It was so much fun trying all the different types of cheeses. Joel brought Whats Her Name and it was a hit and one of the cheese-makers who analyzes cheese and invents new cheeses wanted to take a sample of Whats Her Name. Not sure what he wants to do with it but they were all impressed with the color we are able to get even with a cows milk, very golden. In the end we really loved Logan. It is a quaint little city with a highly regarded college up in the mountains. Oh and we did get snowed in so we had to go right back to the hotel after a futile attempt of trying to leave and a trip home that normally takes 3 hours took alomst 6 and saw 25 accidents along the way. What a fun trip! Logan, Utah Temple