Cheese class

Last Monday Alex and I attended “The Art of Cheese”, a hands-on (hands-in?) class taught by the WSU Kitsap Extension Small Farm team, Shannon Harkness and Diane Fish. About a dozen people crowded into the President’s Hall kitchen at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds to get real experience with making cheese. Alex was the only male in the room, but once he put his apron on he blended in with the crowd. There were no less than four bloggers on hand – Shannon and Diane share the Farm to Fork blog at the Kitsap Sun, and Angela Dice who writes The Food Life for Kitsap Sun was there too. (She has a much better camera than I do!) I’ve made cheese, using several sources – Ricki Carroll’s Home Cheese Making is a must for every cheese maker’s shelf. My results have been uneven, so I was excited to take the class … Continue reading


This is for my new hairdresser Sara, who wanted to know where she could get less processed milk. In most-local-first order: Black Jack Valley Farm, Kitsap County’s own dairy in Port Orchard, now a certified raw milk dairy. Karen’s four Holsteins give excellent milk. Call her and she’ll arrange a pick up or drop off in your area. This is no kidding the best milk I’ve ever had and I’m very attached to it. Dungeness Valley Creamery, Sequim (Clallam County). This diary also sells raw milk from a herd of about 100 Jersey cows. Available at Fresh Local. Raw milk is not pasturized (heated) or homogenized (dispersing the cream throughout the milk). Remember learning about Louis Pasteur in school? He developed the technique of heating milk to kill some of the bacteria that can cause it to spoil faster and also cause illness. Fresh Local labels raw milk with the … Continue reading

Dairy day

Last week my regular milk delivery got stuck in the snow. I went down to Fresh Local and picked up two gallons of Dungeness Creamery raw milk. Then I went out of town for several days for Thanksgiving. So today I picked up my weekly two gallons of Holstein milk and still had two gallons of Jersey milk left. Tonight I processed last week’s milk. Butter: Jerseys give a lot of cream. A few days ago I poured the milk into a couple of large containers and let it sit overnight. Tonight I skimmed the cream. I put it in the blender and processed into butter (and buttermilk). I’ve been thinking lately about how to do my everyday cooking tasks without the appliances I plug in to assist. If I had to pick one to keep, it would be the blender – it chops, mixes, and purees. Also I’ve churned … Continue reading


Just now I am getting two gallons of milk per week from Karen Olsen of Black Jack Valley Farm. Alex and I drink about a gallon a week. It’s sweet milk and very fresh. I react to some raw milk, I’ve found it very difficult to process, but Karen’s milk is very delicious and digestible for me. I don’t know what the difference is, but I’m very happy about it! So we have one gallon a week to eat straight, leaving me with a gallon a week to learn on. This is raw milk from Holsteins so it doesn’t have a lot of cream. However I noticed some cream rising to the top. I checked Darina Allen’s helpful book Forgotten Skills of Cooking for how to skim it. She suggested that if I didn’t have an antique cream skimmer (which I don’t), I could put it in a square container … Continue reading