News and blog
Saturday evening I was called out to the garden to watch for the Discovery to fly over. Sure enough we were able to see it. It flew over last night again but I was in bed catching some zzz's.
Photos from my walks. Just finished watching the smoker get fired up, intense smoke but so cool.
6-oz Charloe, derinded
3-oz Flat Rock cubed
3 slices of Bacon
4 slices rye bread, cubed - the bolder the rye taste the better
1 small purple onion, chopped (fine)
5 Tablespoons butter
2 cups whole milk, warmed
1/4 cup flour
1 Tablespoon brown mustard
1 Tablespoon Salt
1/2 cup grated Burr Oak
2 cups dry macaroni (or 1/2 lb)
chop onion and cube rye bread, set aside, In a skillet, fry bacon until crisp, set strips aside and put the chopped onion into skillet and sauté until the edges are brown, takes about 5 minutes. Put the onions in either a dish or if you are going to just one casserole put them in the casserole.
To make the bread crumbs, melt 2 tablespoons butter skillet butter in skillet and add cubed rye bread. Stir over medium heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Leave whatever bacon drippings are in the skillet and add the butter, the breadcrumbs turn out even better. Set aside.
Boil pasta until the macaroni is al dente - it should stick to your teeth. While the pasta cooks, use a saucepan to melt remaining butter (3 TBSP), and then add flour. Whisk on medium heat for one minute to form a rough paste.
Slowly, add warm milk, whisking constantly, Stir on medium heat, 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Remove sauce from hear and stir in brown mustard, Charloe, Flat Rock, salt, and pepper to taste. Combine sauce with bacon (that’s crumbled) browned onions, and macaroni, in a large mixing bowl or into the casserole, if you are using a casserole.
If you are not using a casserole, ladle the mixture into 6 oven-proof bowls.
Top with grated Burr Oak and Rye bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Serving suggestions - crisp wheat beer, grapes or pickles
Thanks to Madame Fromage (blog) for the recipe that I addapted to fit Canal Junction Farmstead Cheese, especially the Charloe.
Out of the caves, infront of the stove, just long enough to create a mess,
A delightful cheese with an aroma and taste that hints of toasted nuts. A washed curd, washed rind cheese developed by Lead cheesemaker, Brian Schlatter from Canal Junction Farmstead Cheese; Charloe brings out the best of the nutrient dense grasslands of Northwest Ohio through a unique twist of technology and art.
Believing in regional uniqueness, Canal Junction Farmstead Cheese has dedicated itself to naming all of their cheeses after historically and locally significant names from the area. Charloe is named after the little town of Charloe just 3 miles south of Canal Junction Farm. This little town was at one time the seat of the county and a very important stop along the Miami Erie Canal in the late 1800’s.
More information to follow in late spring
Contact us at:
www.canaljuncitoncheese.com or email@example.com
419-399-2350 : 9-6 EST, M-F
So what’s in your food?
I came a crossed this today. Maybe you did when you went to check your email, but I thought why not share it with a little Brian wisdom.
So, what’s in your food? Hopefully everything that you can pronounce and you know where it came from, right? It better be, why else would you be eating it? Because it “tastes” good, it’s “cheap” come on, is that all the better you can come up with? How about this, I know what I am eating and where it came from because I believe in keeping myself, the environment clean, and I want to promote a vibrant local economy? Yep, that’s me. How local and real have your holiday meals been so far? Mine, as local as we can get. Sure it helps to live on a farm where we believe in growing our own food, but that does not give you any excuse. “But there are no fresh local greens this time of year,” Really? I just talked to Liz Bergman from Sage Produce and she told me that they should have greens through January, which by the way you can pick up at the Toledo Farmers Market on Saturday mornings from 8-noon. How about planning for next year. Have you got any lawn space? Maybe a landscaping bed, or even a balcony, yes you can grow your own food.
Below is the article by the gentleman who writes the “Eat this Not that” books. I am NOT advocating his books or what he says, but he has it right with where these few “food” items come from.
Oh and by the way (warning going to be very offensive here) I keep seeing these bumper stickers on vehicles. Out of a job yet? Keep buying foreign. The ones that I have seen have the UAW logo on them. Ok, I confess, I’m not a perfect person and I do buy foreign but I try to buy American as much as I can. So how come when I see these they are pulling into big box stores where you know that most of what is in that store came from foreign? I just don’t get it. Well I do, “It’s cheaper” cheaper for who, your immediate pocket book? Sure but long term. Come on people we are a nation that should not have unemployment as high as it is. You may have to work at a job that requires physical labor or maybe you don’t make as much as you want, or maybe it just plan sucks. Well guess what, it is in perspective because let me tell you something. My job falls in all of those categories at times. You know what? I make the best of it. I remember earlier this year there was a blurb in the paper about farm jobs. The gist of it was because of the high unemployment and the immigration issue coming to head, there were jobs out there that unemployed Americans could have gotten, but because you are a proud and not so humble nation anymore you let them to “lesser” people. Really? If that is what you think then get out and don’t go looking for handouts because I do judge. There is no reason you can’t provide for yourself and family. Ok off my soap box now
Have a lovely New Year
From the cave, where is sucks right now because of the temperatures outside.
THE FAST-FOOD HAMBURGER
The great American staple. Don’t worry, burgers really do come from cows—but have you ever wondered how those giant chains process and distribute so much meat so cheaply? And . . . are you sure you want to know?
The Truth: Most fast-food hamburger patties begin their voyage to your buns in the hands of a company called Beef Products. The company specializes in taking slaughterhouse trimmings—heads and hooves and the like—that are traditionally used only in pet food and cooking oil, and turning them into patties. The challenge is getting this byproduct meat clean enough for human consumption, as both E. coli and salmonella like to concentrate themselves in the fatty deposits.
The company has developed a process for killing beef-based pathogens by forcing the ground meat through pipes and exposing it to ammonia gas—the same chemical you might use to clean your bathroom. Not only has the USDA approved the process, but it's also allowed those who sell the beef to keep it hidden from their customers. At Beef Products’ behest, ammonia gas has been deemed a “processing agent” that need not be identified on nutrition labels. Never mind that if ammonia gets on your skin, it can cause severe burning, and if it gets in your eyes, it can blind you. Add to the gross-out factor the fact that after moving through this lengthy industrial process, a single beef patty can consist of cobbled-together pieces from different cows from all over the world—a practice that only increases the odds of contamination.
Eat This Instead: Losing weight starts in your own kitchen, by using the same ingredients real chefs have relied on since the dawn of the spatula. If you’re set on the challenge of eating fresh, single-source hamburger, pick out a nice hunk of sirloin from the meat case and have your butcher grind it up fresh. Hold the ammonia.
BETTY CROCKER'S BAC-O BITS
We’ve all been there before: A big bowl of lettuce or a steamy baked potato is set before us and the sudden desire for a bit of smoky, porky goodness pervades. We try to resist, but we grab for the bottle anyway: Mmmmm . . . bacon.
The Truth: Not quite. If it’s Bac-Os you grab for, just know that there’s not the slightest whiff of anything pork-like to be found in the bottle. So what are those little chips you’ve been shaking over your salads? Well, mostly soybeans. The bulk of each Bac-O is formed by tiny clumps of soy flour bound with trans-fatty, partially hydrogenated soybean oil and laced with artificial coloring, salt, and sugar. The result is a product that’s actually less healthy for your heart than the real thing!
Eat This Instead: Hormel makes a product called Real Bacon Bits, and as the name implies, it’s made with real bacon. And gram-for-gram, the real bacon actually has fewer calories than Betty Crocker’s Bac-Os. If Hormel can make a nutritionally superior product using real bacon, then why would you ever choose the artificial one that’s loaded with partially hydrogenated soybean oil?
When you buy bean dip, you expect it to be made from beans. And when you buy guacamole, it seems reasonable to expect it to be made from avocados. But is it?
The Truth: Most guacamoles with the word “dip” attached to the label suffer from a lack of real avocado. Take Dean’s Guacamole, for example. This guacamole dip is composed of less than 2 percent avocado; the rest of the green goo is a cluster of fillers and chemicals, including modified food starch, soybean oils, locust bean gum, and food coloring. Dean’s is not alone in this offense. In fact, this avocado caper was brought to light when a California woman filed a lawsuit against Kraft after she noticed “it just didn’t taste avocadoey.”
Eat This Instead: Avocados are loaded with fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Trading the good stuff in for a bunch of fillers is cheating both your belly and your tastebuds. Either look for the real stuff (Wholly Guacamole makes a great guac), or mash up a bowl yourself. Scoop out the flesh of two avocados, combine with two cloves of minced garlic, a bit of minced onion, the juice of one lemon, chopped cilantro, one medium chopped tomato, and a pinch of salt.
Bonus Tip: Unlike packaged-food manufacturers, fast-food and sit-down restaurants don't typically rely on chemicals to enhance flavor. Instead, they pack in sugar and sodium, calorie counts be damned. Beware of The 10 Worst Fast Food Meals in America!
FRUIT ON THE BOTTOM YOGURT
It seems like the ideal breakfast or snack for a man or woman on the go—a perfect combination of yogurt and antioxidant-packed fruits, pulled together in one convenient little cup. But are these low-calorie dairy aisle staples really so good for you?
The Truth: While the yogurt itself offers stomach-soothing live cultures and a decent serving of protein, the sugar content of these seemingly healthy products is sky-high. The fruit itself is swimming in thick syrup—so much of it, in fact, that high-fructose corn syrup (and other such sweeteners) often shows up on the ingredients list well before the fruit itself. And these low-quality refined carbohydrates are the last thing you want for breakfast—Australian researchers found that people whose diets were high in carbohydrates had lower metabolisms than those who ate proportionally more protein. Not to mention, spikes in your blood sugar can wreck your short-term memory, according to a study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Not what you need just before your urgent 9 a.m. meeting with the boss!
Eat This Instead: Plain Greek-style yogurt, mixed with real blueberries. We like Oikos and Fage brands—they’re jacked with about 15 to 22 grams of belly-filling protein, so they’ll help you feel satisfied for longer. And blueberries are another great morning add—scientists in New Zealand found that when they fed blueberries to mice, the rodents ate 9 percent less at their next meal.
Bonus Tip: Daily e-mails (or tweets) that contain weight-loss advice remind you of your goals and help you drop pounds, according to Canadian researchers. We're partial to our own Eat This, Not That! newsletter, and to the instant weight-loss secrets you'll get when you follow me on Twitter (twitter.com/davezinczenko).
Pork bacon’s got a bad rap for wreaking havoc on your cholesterol. But is turkey bacon really any better?
The Truth: Stick with the pig. As far as calories go, the difference between “healthy” turkey bacon and “fatty” pig is negligible—and depending on the slice, turkey might sometimes tip the scales a touch more. Additionally, while turkey is indeed a leaner meat, turkey bacon isn’t made from 100 percent bird: One look at the ingredients list will show a long line of suspicious additives and extras that can’t possibly add anything of nutritional value. And finally, the sodium content of the turkey bacon is actually higher than what you’ll find in the kind that oinks—so if you’re worried about your blood pressure, opting for the original version is usually the smarter move.
Eat This Instead: Regular bacon. We like Hormel Black Label and Oscar Mayer Center Cut bacon for some low-cal, low-additive options.
REDUCED-FAT PEANUT BUTTER
Nothing makes a PB&J feel less indulgent like a scoop of low-fat Jif. It’s low fat, so it must be better for you . . . right?
The Truth: A tub of reduced-fat peanut butter indeed comes with a fraction less fat than the full-fat variety—they’re not lying about that. But what the food companies don’t tell you is that peanut oil—the fat in peanut butter—is a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat that can actually help fight weight gain, heart disease and diabetes! Instead, they’ve tried to cash in on the “low-fat” craze by replacing that healthy fat with maltodextrin, a carbohydrate used as a filler in many processed foods. This means you’re trading the healthy fat from peanuts for empty carbs, double the sugar, and a savings of a meager 10 calories.
Eat This Instead: The real stuff: no oils, fillers, or added sugars. Just peanuts and salt. Smucker’s Natural fits the bill, as do many other peanut butters out there. We especially like Peanut Butter & Co. Original Smooth Operator and Original Crunch Time.
Bonus Tip: The average American drinks 450 calories a day—a quarter of the calories you're supposed to consume during an entire day!
Hello and welcome all supports constituents and general all around cheese lovers. It’s been an interesting summer to say the least. First off, we sold out of all inventory that was supposed to get us through until this September in June. Which has left us scrambling to get cheese aged out to perfection for you, but unfortunately I can’t hurry the days up and faster than you can. Then sales have picked up and I ran out of aging space and racks. So more investment to be able to handle more sales. Top that off with the fact that it has been a hot summer which makes the cows miserable and then they don’t produce as much which has left me with not as much milk as I would have liked to make cheese out of. Hmmm, life sure is funny how it flows. Like a river, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, sometimes with turbulent rapids others smooth as glass. It’s times like these that really let you see what you are made out of.
So I thank each and every one of you for supporting us over these last few months when all you may have heard was, “It will be mid fall or late fall” or “Well that batch did not turn out so good” or “the weather has been playing havoc on the aging”. For this I say, Thank you for sticking with us. It means everything. Keep asking it will come out eventually.
Below are estimated times when the cheeses should be available for sale in the near future.
Miami Erie Canal (Mid September)
Wabash Erie Canal (Late September early October)
Flat Rock (Mid October)
Charloe (early September)
Mule Skinner has been moved for the current time to a winter time only cheese due to the weather and make up of the milk
Burr Oak (early September)
Canal Junction Blue, I am going to class at VIAC at the end of September to learn blue cheesemaking. Maybe, just maybe I will have a better handle on it. Hopefully though I will have some early September
From the caves,
On Sunday, we here at Canal Junction were featured in the local paper in the Living section. It was a great article done by a wonderful reporter. Thank You, Georgia for the article.
From that article there have been questions as to why I am not selling at any local markets or stores. Before you go off on me let me say that I have to keep a business head on me. I can not let emotion rule me, or the business. Banks don’t care about emotion. But please don’t take this as all I am trying to do is make millions. If I wanted to do that I would have stuck with my original plan to work for the Wrangler clothing company in their marketing division.
First in order for me to attend a market I have to be able to pay for the time that the person spends there even if it is me. My time cost something. If I am at a market there is something back at base that is not getting done. If I send someone there I pay them, a fair wage. Then you have to figure in the time it takes to get ready and also the cost of the product being sold. So would it be nice if I was at the local market? Sure, but I have to put the business brain on not the emotional one.
Second, selling through local stores. I actually did when we first started. For those who are not into retail you may not realize this. A retailer is not about selling product, it is about moving a certain amount of product off that shelf to make money. Retailers are not product sellers, they are shelf space renters. Those who have product at eye level pay more for that shelf than those at the bottom or top of the shelving. Each linear foot of shelf space in a store is equal to a certain amount of money. If you (the one who is putting a product on the shelf) can not move the required amount of product through that shelf the retailer will replace it with something that will. This is the game that I am NOT in. I am not a big, standardized cheese plant.
Am I against dealing with local retail? No, but understand I am not a distributor, I am not a huge corporation, I can not deliver to all your stores, my cheeses come in random weight packages, and it is a living product that requires more care than something in a vacuum sealed bag. It is alive and needs nurturing. Cheese tastes the best when it is cut right off the original chunk that it is in.
Which brings me to my next item. We are now offering the cheese cut to order here at the farm. For those who have gone to a cheese counter where there are cheeses galore you know what this is like. For those who have not had that experience allow me to try and put it into words. At a cheese counter there are many different cheeses setting there. Displayed as the whole, maybe cut in half to see the interior, you can sample it before you buy it. When you want to purchase it you tell the cheesemonger how much you want. They cut is right off the chunk, wrap it up in paper that nurtures the living product inside it, weight it and then you get to enjoy the best tasting cheese around. This is what we are now offering. We still have the pre cut packages but for those that want it fresh, you have that option. My personal opinion is to have it fresh, it just tastes better.
Do not forget, we have retail here at the farm. Hours: Tuesday 1-6, Thursday 10-6, Saturday 8-noon
Helping you to understand more about what we do here,
The Head Cheese, Brian