Friday, February 27, 2009

On Manure, Mutton, and Roquefort

Now that's quite a title, isn't it? I'm sure to lose readers with that one..... Stay with me though - you'll see how it all makes sense.

Lambs love to climb on anything they can find. Their only choices at our place are on top of a bale of hay or on top of "ye olde manure pile." They don't care that it is manure - for them it is entertainment to the ninth degree. The manure is composting right now and will be spread on our fields and garden next year for soil enrichment.


One of my very most favorite things in the world is Roquefort cheese which is made in France from sheep's milk. It is very expensive and rather hard to find around here. But about once a year, usually around my birthday, I treat myself to some really good Rouquefort. Seems like I'm not going to be able to do that anymore because the US Government has raised the tariff on real Roquefort by 300%. You can read about it here. I have yet to find a domestic blue that has that exact taste.....

More foodie/sheepie news..... It seems that mutton is all the rage in Paris. In the States, the market for mutton is changing with the influx of immigrants from the Middle East who actually prefer mutton to lamb. At our local livestock auction, older sheep have been selling for a decent price due to this change in the demographics. This isn't to say these mutton sheep are old and worn-out - the better mutton is from a sheep that has reached full size and is only a few years old - not little lamb size. We here at our farm actually prefer mutton - it has a much nicer flavor and you actually can taste what you are eating.

Is anyone else enjoying Mark Bittman and Mario Batali's Spanish food adventure being shown on PBS now? It's on every Friday night here and it is quite a hoot.

If you are here for the fiber and yarns, you'll enjoy this. I'll be at Webs teaching classes tomorrow - there is still a bit of room if you want to spend some fun time learning with me and you are relatively local. Call them. Info on sidebar.

7 comments:

Lora said...

I loved Mario Batali's Spanish road trip. I watched it several months ago...have you seen the companion book? It's very nice, lots of interesting information about Spain, and a bunch of fabulous recipes.

Leslie said...

So very sad about the Rouquefort, we to buy it for special occasions. In our hunt for a great Blue, we've found a really good one that is made in Oregon by the name of Rogue River Blue Cheese, which can be bought online @ http://www.roguecreamery.com/.
http://www.artisanalcheese.com/prodinfo.asp?number=10825.

Best of luck!

Nanci said...

Well mutton as you know was the food given to soldiers during the second world war and my dad swore that he would never ever eat mutton again in his life after that. It was years before I had lamb or mutton. I agree mutton does have the flavour.
We get big choices of Rouquefort cheeses here in the Toronto area as there are many many specialty cheese shops. yes, the good stuff is like hunting for morrels!

peacefulacres said...

Funny, I didn't even notice the familiar smell. I thought they were in the Swiss Alps!!!! :D

Laura Timmerman said...

Kristin, maybe the farm could expand into cheesemaking.

Linda S said...

There is a company in Vermont called New England Cheesemaking Supply or something similar that sells the supplies and offers classes. I took a class at an organic farm in IL and one of the other attendees told me sheeps milk is really delicious. Roquefort certainly isn't a beginner's cheese, but we made feta and it was wonderful. We used goat milk for all the cheeses we made. A new hobby for your "spare" time. ;-)

Jennifer and Steve said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH for linking to our fiber mill in action post! I wondered how we got so many hits that day. :) Muchos gracias. Enjoy your weekend! Jennifer