Lebanese cooking class with ME at The Kitchen Conservatory!

Join me on March 26th for my first cooking class at Kitchen Conservatory! We will be cooking all things Lebanese. We will be making laban, shish barak over rice , fatoush, hummus  b’thini and baklava! For more information click HERE!

American Artisanal Cheesemakers: Introducing Baetje Farms

**cross posted at Menuism

Artisanal cheese can be found in pretty much every state in the union. I dare you to try and name a state that doesn’t have at least one dairy or creamery. Even the island of Hawaii is home to some great cheesemakers! Over my next few posts, I’ll talk about some of these great American cheesemakers, starting with my home state of Missouri. Continue reading

Filmmaker/Photographer Needed for farm project!

To all my friends in film/photography: I am in search of someone (or a group of someones) to document the start of our life on the farm. If I haven’t talked about it enough already, my husband Simon and I are embarking on a new journey of sorts. We’ve been given the great gift of a large parcel of land in Festus, MO to start a farm and cheesemaking business. We have grand plans for the farm and are looking for someone to document the process from start to finish. It is an opportunity for you to film us from the very first planting to when the animals arrive and we start making our own cheese.

If you know me, you know that I am a city girl at heart….so this is going to be a major departure from my norm….but I have to be honest ans say that I am VERY EXCITED about this new venture.
So, who’s up for the job? This would be a great opportunity for a film student to do a project…or a novice photographer to get some experience. We won’t be able to offer a salary/payment for your services. But you will get as much veg/cheese/wool that you can use as the years pass. It would also be necessary for you to be in the southeastern MO area/St. Louis area.

Drop me a line if you want to give it a shot!

The School of Artisan Food

I have been wanting to mention this amazing place for awhile now.  As you all know…graduate studies have put a damper on my posting…but this needs to be shared!  The School of Artisan Food in North Nottinghamshire….in the Sherwood Forest….THE REAL SHERWOOD FOREST….in the UK.  I hold dreams of taking classes there in 2010…..let’s hope that dream comes true.  But I hope my UK friends get a chance to get there and enjoy!

The School of Artisan Food


Baking, brewing…cooking, dairy….butchering….pickling and preserving….I AM IN HEAVEN!!!!  Why does all the good stuff open across the pond???  We need a US School of Artisan Food…..maybe they will open one here….but to be honest…I don’t mind the travel required….

Check them out!!

Culture’s First Article

Culture, a new periodical focusing on cheesemaking, the cheesemakers and thier farms..sustainability and community has launched it’s inaugural issue.  Due to be on stands and in mailboxes by Dec. 1st.  Here is a link to the magazine’s first published artilce.

Two Brothers Embark on a Winning Path:  Crafting a Lush Cheese with Bark and Beer

If you search the cheese of the week category…you’ll find we talked about Jasper Hill Farm and one of my ultimate cheeses…..Constant Bliss…worth every penny and then some.

How to make cheese

So many folks stumble upon this site when googling “cheesemaking class” or “cheesemaking supplies”. What gets me is that you really don’t need a class to start…and all you really need as far as supplies goes is a cheesecloth. So…I give to you my recipe for Lebanese yogurt and subsequently…yogurt cheese.

1 quart milk, preferably whole milk (you can use goat or sheep here too)
2 tablespoons plain yogurt (this is a starter…if you are lucky…you can get one from your great aunt Mellie who says her starter has been passed around for over 20 years….that must be some good starter!)

Heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to rise and bubbles form around the edges; then allow milk to cool to the point at which you can insert your little finger and count to ten (110 degrees F if you don’t trust your my grandmother’s method.)

Pour into an earthenware jar with a tight-fitting lid. Stir in the yogurt until thoroughly mixed; then place in a warm spot away from drafts.

Cover with a wool blanket to keep warm. Or if you have an oven…like most folks do these days…place container in an oven heated to 150 degrees F. After five minutes, turn the heat off, and let the container sit for 6 hours undisturbed; then uncover and remove from oven, and refrigerate until the following day.

Remove about 2 tablespoons of yogurt and place in a small, covered glass jar; then store in refrigerator. This will be your starter (or rawba) for the next yogurt preparation (be nice…and share it with your cousins like we did). Cover the remaining yogurt and keep in refrigerator.

From here you can make yogurt ‘cheese’. Just take some of your fresh yogurt…put it in a big cheese cloth…tie it up and hang it over your sink to drain over night….next day…cheese!  We call it labna.  You can make it into little balls…put it in a ball jar…cover with olive oil…throw in some spices if you want…and voila…cheese balls!