Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sunday Morning Market at The Farm

Sunday mornings are a perfect quiet morning to set out a nice selection of our produce, eggs, bread, cheese and milk - so once again - after the morning goat milking -  I'll fill a few baskets with heirloom tomatoes, tomatillos, eggplant, squash and cucumbers.

 There is fresh GOAT - cheese of different sorts, milk and gelato in the refrigerator. Sunday is based on the honor system. So, stop by and enjoy the quiet - and gather some of the last minute market items for the week.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Blueberry and Cucumber Salad with Feta

Today we'll celebrate the blueberry and feta cheese in honor of June Dairy Month.

It's berry season, cucumber season and it's always goat cheese season at our farm.  Most markets have a nice selection of sweet berries from now through the end of the summer, so it's time to take advantage of such wonderful fruit. You want to use fruit - before it hits its peak - and right now strawberries and blueberries are prime. Blackberries and raspberries will be at their happiest more towards August.

If you don't have a nice olive oil/balsamic type of dressing you enjoy - try this one - a few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar and about 1 teaspoon of honey. Whisk it together add a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Set this aside. 

Combine a handful of blueberries, about 2 cucumbers (and right now our Armenian cucumbers are fabulous), a scallion sliced thin, about a cup of crumpled feta and some greens - (lettuces are NOT growing right now in our desert heat) of which I like Trader Joes for summer lettuce.  Add some mint leaves and then toss the whole combination (dressing too) together. 

Serve with Grano de Vida baguette, my moroccan mint tea and if it weren't so hot outside - Al Fresco would be lovely. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

28 Reasons to Love Chevre - by Chez Loulou

One of the blogs I love to read is Chez Loulou. She's an American living in France.  Of course yesterday's post - 28 Reasons to Love Fromage de Chèvre caught my eye because we carry Crow's Dairy chevre at our farmers market.  You can buy Crow's Dairy chevre any day from our farm. It's in the black fridge in the market. Here's how.

Chevre with borage flowers.

Sometimes I'm at a loss for ways to use this fabulous goat cheese but Chez Loulou makes up for my loss here.

In an asparagus omelet  
Custard with strawberries in red wine syrup 
Tartlets with walnuts 
Stuffed into roasted tomatoes
Drizzled with acacia honey

Read the rest here....

Melon Season - Charentais - Ripening Fast

People ask if we and other valley urban farmers/growers GROW in the summer. Yes we do. We don't really take a break because there are fruits and vegetables that are heat loving.

Our French melons - Charentais melons are ripening fast so we'll harvest them Wednesday and you'll start to see them at our Thursday and Saturday market. These melons are smaller, firmer and have a "gentle" sweetness. That's what makes them perfect to dress up with Crow's Dairy goat cheese or gelato - a nice summer - cool down treat.

You can even blend chunks of Charentais melon and add plain Greek yogurt or better yet - Crows Dairy Quark (What is Quark?)  - add a hint of honey and lemon juice and a tinch of cinnamon and enjoy!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Possibility of Lowering Cholesterol Levels With Goat's Milk . . .

. . . yeah, I know that sounds strange and as much as I Promote the Goat for lactose intolerant people and it's easy digestibility as well as amazing taste (as long as herd management practices are clean) I'd never thought of the possibility of goat's milk being used to lower one's cholesterol level.

This morning I'm in the house catching up on paper work, cleaning, etc and while researching the internet I ran across this piece written here.....

Michael and I devour our goats milk - easily over 1/2 gallon a day. What's left we use to make our Gourmet Caramel.  We know how good the milk makes us feel. It's as if our bodies need it.  Here's our Goat Story.

Being proponents of the liquid gold - we carry Crow's Dairy Goat Milk Products at our farm and make them available all week long in our market.  Here's what to do to buy the Goat anytime.

I took a liberty to copy the article which I've referenced above.

How to Lower Cholesterol With Goat's Milk
Photo Credit Seiya Kawamoto/Lifesize/Getty Images
Although goat milk is something of an anomaly in the American diet when compared to cow's milk, there still exists a niche for its products. Despite similar levels of cholesterol and fat, goat's milk may actually be helpful in lowering blood cholesterol levels, although further research is necessary. Unlike cow's milk, goat's milk contains medium-chain triglycerides, which may not increase cholesterol, according to a December 2000 letter in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition." Nonetheless, there is insufficient clinical data to confirm this conclusion, and you should consult with your physician prior to using goat's milk to reduce cholesterol.

Step 1

Substitute goat's milk for cow's milk in your daily diet. Goat milk has a more pungent taste than cow's milk and you may need to dilute it with a small amount of water until you grow accustomed to it.

Step 2

Select low-fat and nonfat goat's milk instead of whole fat. In some cases, whole-fat goat's milk contains more saturated fat than whole-fat cow's milk. Using the reduced fat varieties delivers the same nutrients without the excess fat content.

Step 3

Eat goat cheese, which has a texture more similar to that of feta cheese than cow-based cheeses. Goat cheese spreads more easily than brie and has a more flavorful bite.

Step 4

Avoid overeating any goat milk product. Like other dairy items, goat milk still contains fat, which you should moderate, especially if you have high cholesterol. Generally, you shouldn't eat more than two to three servings of low-fat dairy items per day, according to the USDA Food Pyramid -- less if you have high cholesterol.

What Is Quark? (Goat Milk Quark)

During the 70's I spent a summer in Germany with my relatives. They were/are farmers in a little village in Bavaria. One of my memory foods from Germany was the daily bowl of quark with fresh tart cherries served at the noon time meal.

I love it when those memory foods resurrect and when Wendell Crow (the Master Cheese Maker at Crow's Famous Goat Dairy) brought us quark, I just about died. He has mastered the art of "Quark Making" using their amazing goat milk from their herd of Nubian Goats (Rhonda is the Herd Manager - who takes special, loving care of all those beautiful creatures).

Last week two women from Switzerland came to volunteer - I showed them around and of course took them to the market and the little black refrigerator full of Everything Goat. 

Both lovely ladies also just about died when they saw Crow's Dairy Quark. I watched their faces as they did a taste test.....big's like it is in Europe....they plan to tell all their European friends that The Simple Farm carries quark - really good quark.

So, what is quark?  I like to tell people it's a combination of a yogurt/soft cheese/sour cream like taste. In Europe, quark is often used to make those delicious French cheese cakes. Quark is a staple in Germany and if you want to put a smile on someones face mix it up with Nutella like Jamie Oliver does. Use quark like you would yogurt - add granola and fruit (blueberries are our favorite).

This article here in the NY Times says to
Spread it over toast or a bagel.

Dollop it over potatoes or rich pasta dishes.

Lighten it up with a little whipped cream and a grating of fresh lemon zest and use it to fill crepes.

Use it as a filling for omelets, frittatas or ravioli - and quark is used as a filling in certain cheesecakes and strudels. 

Mix it with a little paprika, chopped chives (we have these) - makes a perfect dip or spread.

Mix our Gourmet Goat (caramel) in with the quark and top it with strawberries. Delicious!

Sunday, June 17, 2012