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This Monday we expect several visitors.  The first is the inspector.  He needs to approve the plan for the cheese plant and design.  Next the contractors start framing the building by noon.  Facelift for the building starts sunday.  Remove old roof and siding.  Level the deck.  Remove everything from inside the buildings.  Call on steam boiler mechanic for set-up.  Propane people are less than helpful.  Pickup moulds, sinks, racking, boiler, 1000 gallon stainless steel water tank, balance tank for boiler, cheese forms and scale.  Start looking for HVAC for the cheese cave.  Must have happy cheese.  Get a design for the custom wood racks for aging the cheese.  Should be enough for Sunday and Monday.

Maryella and the Vat

Maryella and the Vat

Ping Pong Geese

Today marks opening season for the Aleutian geese.  It starts like this, 4:30 a.m. Humboldt county sheriff comes done to lay out 200 goose decoys in the dark and very muddy field.  Second, you lay motionless for four hours while 20,000 geese fly over you in favor of the neighbors field just 300 yards away.  Frustrated you collect your decoys, and head home.  30 minutes later the flock is spooked from the neighbor back to where the hunters had just left.  60 minutes later they are off and looking for the next grazing land to devore.  One thing is certain, they will be back.  But for the next three weeks, its a bad time to be a goose in Humboldt county.

Spring has sprung on Cannibal Island.  Baby goats everywhere!  Valentine’s day was the biggest day so far with 10 new babies.  But as I understand it, many more on the way.   At last count, and it seems to change hourly there were 22 new babies.  Two mama’s had triplet does which is outstanding!  They are in the top 10% Presidents Club!  Geese come in by the hundreds.  Today a huge flock of about 5000 birds landed in the pasture.  Quite a sight and what a noisy bunch!  The neighbors cannon’s go off hourly to discourage the flying pigs from staying in one place to long.  They are very destructive to grassland.  They pull the grass up root and all and fly away leaving a muddy grass-less mess.  Last year,  bird watchers counted over 50K in a single flock.

Artichoke and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

18 baguette bread slices, cut on the diagonal about 1/4-inch thick
Extra-Virgin olive oil
2 jars (6 to 6 1/2 ounces each) marinated artichoke hearts
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano)
Freshly ground
black pepper
6 ounces creamy
goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush baguette bread slices on both sides with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Bake slices until just crisp, about 3 minutes a side. Remove from oven and leave on baking sheet. (Bread can be toasted 3 hours ahead; cover loosely with foil and leave at room temperature.)

Drain artichokes, reserving about 2 tablespoons of the oil they were packed in, and place them in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add reserved 2 tablespoons artichoke oil, 1/2 cup of the parsley, Parmesan cheese, and several grindings of black pepper. Process, pulsing machine, until mixture is a coarse puree. (Puree can be prepared 3 hours ahead; cover and leave at cool room temperature.)

When ready to serve, spread each bread slice with a mound of artichoke puree and top with some crumbled goat cheese. (Bruschetta can be assembled 1 hour ahead; leave uncovered, at room temperature.)

When ready to eat, bake until cheese is melted and bruschetta are warm, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Sprinkle bruschetta with black pepper and some of the remaining parsley. Serve warm on a platter.

UC Davis Goat Cheeses

http://drinc.ucdavis.edu/goat3.htm

http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/l/lactose_intolerance/prevalence.htm

Frankhauser’s Cheesemaking

http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Cheese/cheese.html

Leeners

http://www.leeners.com/cheese-making-instructions.html

New England Cheese Making Supply Company

http://www.cheesemaking.com/rawmilkforcheese.html