Tom du Marcyville's blog

Ricotta Salata


It's been an ugly week people. Mass murder at home and abroad. Racism. Swarms of bad ideas and without Kurt Vonnegut to make it seem funny somehow.

It's made me get real philosophical about the world and forced me to attempt to come to a separate peace with all of the stupid cruelty that it encompasses.

Crème Fraîche: Heavy Cream Redux


Recycling.

This is something that we, as people trapped in a culture that is treading water creatively speaking, are all too familiar with.

The coolest cars on the road look like heavily Photoshopped versions of cars from decades ago when people had style. The best movie I saw this year was a dark re-tread of a cheesy cop-drama I loved as a pre-pubescent kid. My current favorite bands all sound like the distilled essence of bands from the last 30 I already loved. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the End of the American Century.

As depressing as recycling can be when used as a metaphor for the death of western civilization as a viable narrative it can be really fucking useful around the house when you need to do something with left over supplies from a truly Roman-vomitorium-style feed.

Evans Creamery

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Dave Evan’s Creamery doesn’t look like ground zero for a revolution. With its hundreds of feet of snaking stainless steel pipe and hot tub-sized vats it looks more like a large moonshining operation than the locus of hope for a crippled and depressed small farm dairy industry. Dave himself, a stout, bearded man with a serious twinkle in his eye, might even look a little like a bootlegger - until you start talking to him.

When asked how long he has been working his farm in Norwich, NY he replies with a simple, “Well, forever.” Dave grew up on the farm and was a young man when dairies around the Northeast started to disappear. Between 1980 and 2000 the number of New York dairy farms shrank from 19,000 to 7900 farms. At last count, that number is down to 7000.

Evans wasn’t the only small dairy farmer to notice. In 1996 the Northeast Dairy Compact signed into law to help regulate the wholesale price of milk. The intent was to

Woodcock Farm

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LONDONDERRY, Vt. — It's a beautiful Saturday morning in early June here at the farmer's market. The early summer clouds that had threatened rain all morning have just blown away, and the sun shines on small stands filled with vendors selling dark wildflower honey, pastured duck eggs, organic hoop-house heirloom tomatoes and artisanal cheese from several different producers.

At one stand, Mark Fisher grins while an old woman from a neighboring town raves about his herbed sheep feta. On his folding table sits a spread of hard and soft cheeses, including a

Goat Cheese Disaster.

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This is a problem that, I'm sure, few people have: too much expired goat milk. As it happens, this is a problem I'm faced with on a somewhat regular basis.

Being a thrifty and resourceful lad, I decided to attempt to turn this sow's ear into a silk purse by making a very simple goat cheese out of the unsalable, but still good, gallon of goat milk from Coach Farm.

The recipe calls for the gallon of milk to be heated to 190º and then mixed with a 1/2 cup of plain old white vinegar. In theory, this should lead to a supple paste of goat curd forming in your pot, which you then gently break up with a spoon, salt and then drain into a cheesecloth lined colander. After a few hours of draining you should have

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