These are neat people who try our kits and write about them- I finally got around to gathering some links. I will add more as I find time .
February, the month of love…chocolates, roses, champagne- who doesn’t like those things? But imagine if someone made you herbed chevre or some creamy ricotta in the shape of a heart? Now that’s a unique treat! I think what you need for your sweetheart (to be?) is a cheese kit and/or some heart shaped cheese!
Don’t have a heart-shaped cheese mold? Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter or muffin tin! Simply follow one of my recipes, drain most of the whey out in a colander and press your salted cheese into the heart and coat with herbs after you pop it out. LOVELY.
Find the kits around Portland, OR at New Season’s, Whole Foods (Washington too), Urban Farm Store, Mirador, Alberta Co-op, the Powell’s gift section and more! Request the heart mold and they should be able to get it from me (though maybe not fast enough for the holiday).
I can also mail a kit AND heart mold straight to you or your beloved (family members count). Order by Wednesday night and you’ll have it right on Valentine’s Day (we send by 2-3 day Priority Mail so we can only promise so much, after that, the U.S. Post Office is to blame ).
Have a love-filled month!
Happy New Year everyone! Hope you’ve had some time to reflect on 2010 and dream about 2011 and beyond…if your dreams include learning to make cheese, check out the classes I will be leading this year by following the links below. I added some new ones as you’ll see; you can learn to make feta, cultured chevre and even easier cheeses.
Classes through the Urban Growth Bounty series- hosted by the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
These are demos, so you will see the process and taste the results. 15 slots available per class. Beaumont Middle School
Mount Hood Community College Community Education- David Douglas High School
These are hands-on classes. Students are paired up and work in real Home Ec. kitchenettes! 12 slots available per class.
So…we did get a mention on HGTV after all! Orders have been insane but we’re keeping it together.
Order your kit ASAP and you can have it by Dec. 23. We will close the online shops and stop responding to emails between Dec. 18-Jan. 5 though. Yay. A break is much-needed around these parts.
Hope you have a wonderful winter solstice and happy new year celebration. A friend of mine does a “year in review” on her birthday, I think it’s a really great practice that I will try on Dec. 31! See you on the flip side- Claudia
Happy autumn all! Just a quick announcement before the holiday weekend. They can’t confirm yet, but it’s possible our Paneer and Queso Blanco Cheese Kit will be on an HGTV holiday gift countdown this Friday! They can’t tell me until the last minute but it’s already on their site for sale, http://marketplace.hgtv.com/Product.aspx?Lid=4145-10110959&From=iFP
If this happens, I assume we will be extremely busy. Buy your holiday gift kits now and avoid the rush in a few days! Enjoy good food, good people and lots of cheer tomorrow and the entire season. Claudia
With fall come cheese classes for me! The first of these is through Alberta Cooperative. It’s a free demo, potluck and intro to goat keeping! Pretty awesome.
Easiest cheese (like paneer and queso blanco)
Redeemer Lutheran Church
5431 NE 20th Ave
Tuesday, September 14. 2010- 6:30pm
I will also teach one for Elderhostel on 9/21/2010 but it is all sold out. Sorry .
The series with Oregon Growth Bounty Continues. Just a few spots are left!
Finally, a new series through Mount Hood Community College (the first of my classes where you will actually get to make your own batch of cheese with a partner, in your own kitchenette- home economics style!)
So it seems like forever that Jeff and I have been wanting to buy a home but it never seems to be the right time.
First, the market was insane and even though the banks would’ve approved us for a gigantic loan, we could not have afforded payments and would probably be in the trouble lots of people are now…
3 years later, the home prices came down a bit but we didn’t see homes we could afford where we wanted to live in Portland and I still had lots of student loan debt. We decided to wait just a little longer, pay off my loans and see what the market continued to do.
1.5 years after that we’d paid off my loans just in time for the $8,000 tax credit so we jumped into a search. It was madness, everyone seemed to be thinking the same thing and I don’t like the feeling of scrambling and competing for something, I find it undignified (traffic, lines at the grocery store etc.). The houses were overpriced and they were flying off the market before we could even give them a thought. Jeff and I saw over 40 houses in two months. We’d find one, someone else was quicker to buy. Ick. The tax credit ended, we waited to see the prices adjust as well as new inventory.
Fast forward almost another 6 months, prices have adjusted and the majority of homes in our price range are short sales and foreclosures. We’re so ready, we want a little dog, a couple of chickens and the point of this unnecessarily long story…A GARDEN!! So, we’re back in the hunt, prices are good and so are interest rates, we’re seeing homes in neighborhoods we want, we’re debt free, there’s no scramble and crazy competition but now it’s about the right home for the right price.
Who knows how much longer it will be. Now I know though, that I can live the way I want, wherever I am. I don’t need to live in the country or have a ton of land to do the things I enjoy and I’m really glad I learned that.
With the help of my surprising patience I have created quite a little farm life in our apartment and stoop (NO yard whatsoever). As you know I make cheese and run a cheese supplies business. I also bake pies, ferment pickles and sauerkraut, make jam, kombucha and apple cider (some of these things more often than others) and I even compost with the help of a small worm bin.
We’re members of a local farm so we get great produce for 26 weeks out of the year. I also get to visit goats and have fresh milk just 8 minutes from my apt. This all adds to my quality of life but I still wanted to see plants grow! So, for the last two years I have planted a tiny garden in a retired curbside recycling bin. It contains two tomato plants, one cherry and one small tomato, as well as chives, dill and in separate pots, thyme and basil- as you can probably tell, these crops main purpose is to accompany the cheese I make. It’s been a good solution and has added more country flair to my apartment reality.
I encourage you to live the way you want to live now, even if it’s in a small way. Hang tomatoes from a hook, grow herbs in your window sill, use containers in a balcony- you will enjoy the fruits of your limited labor (quite literally speaking) and will hopefully enjoy living in the now instead of thinking your real life begins when you have land. We only have THIS moment right?
Check out the pictures of my farm food projects below. I would love to hear about how you creatively live a country life in an urban setting!
Urban Cheesecraft has been very lucky to be welcomed into Portland’s amazing food crafting and food loving community from the start.
I was thrilled to be contacted by Liz Crain a while back, author of the soon to be released Food Lover’s Guide to Portland. She included our kits amongst her findings! If you’re local, she’ll help you discover delicious adventures, if you’re not local, it’s an awesome guide to our city.
Share your cheese stories with other food crafters, support Liz’s book and our business and attend a unique launch party! What a treat!
Food Lover’s Guide to Portland- Book Launch Party
Fortune Tattoo, 1716 East Burnside St., Portland, OR
Thursday, July 1st — 6-9pm
Food. Drink. Music. Books.
ps. This article on UCC was recently printed in Lake Tahoe’s Moonshine Ink.
Hee hee, check out a clip of channel 8′s little piece on our first Urban Growth Bounty Class in Beaumont.
Twenty of us had fun in our home ec/art room. We made 4 varieties of paneer and queso blanco including some herbed wheels shaped in molds and a delicious pan-fried variety that we sprinkled curry powder onto. Sooo good.
Hope to see you in a class soon!
Classes at Urban Farm Store and the City of Portland’s Urban Growth Bounty Program
Learn to make fresh, easy mozzarella at the Urban Farm Store- $40 per person, in-class samples & recipe/instructions included. Thursday, February 18, 2010- 6-7:30pm
Please RSVP with your phone number at UrbanFarmStore@gmail.com. You will receive a call for payment.
I just signed on to teach a series of cheese making classes through the Urban Growth Bounty 2010 program presented by the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Check out a little clip of our first class in local news!
They also offer neat classes in beekeeping, preserving produce, organic gardening and more.