Friday, April 06, 2007

Climax, Creasy greens and other delights

The mailing address for Goat Lady Dairy is Climax, N.C. We are not actually in Climax. The Tate family say that they live near Gray's Chapel, a small intersection with a Methodist church and an elementary school (no post office). They are uncomfortable saying that they live in Climax. I probably would be tired of hearing the comments. Climax is not even in Randolph County. It is in southern Guilford County.

Locals say that Climax got its name from the railroad. It is at the top of a long, uphill grade on the local rail line. South of us is the town of Erect, also on the rail line. There is a local saying: you've got to start at Erect and go through Climax in order to reach High Point. If you look at a map, it is true.

A bag of creasy greens showed up in the fridge today. This is a wild green that grows around here, but it is getting rare. It looks like a weedy watercress. Ginnie is excited. She breaks off a leaf and offers it to me. I wash it and pop it in my mouth. I chew it and quickly spit it out. Yuck! It is extremely bitter and peppery. She laughs and says it is better cooked. It is like spinach or arugula. She says it is very healthy. The old timers drink it as a spring tonic. "It will cure what ails you." It did cook up well. Tasted like spinach. Sammy was excited to see creasy greens. He likes 'em too.

Pokeweed or Poke Sallat is another wild green that is popular in the area. This has not shown up in the fridge, so I have no idea what its like. I file it under crowder peas in my mind.

Enough about greens, I've got cheese to talk about.

We're making pasteurized and raw milk cheese today. Pasteurized curds that were set on Sunday are being drained today. The fresh curd is pumped gently out of the pasteurizer and poured into draining socks and left to drain for 24 hours. These curds will be transformed into chocolate truffles, soft chevre in many flavors, as well as chevre rounds. Some of the curds will also be frozen for use next winter.

On the raw milk side, we made Providence, the wash rind cheese. This is my favorite cheese to make. I think it is because I am so impressed with the finished product. This is the goat milk version. I got the cut the curd on this batch. Oh boy! Curd cutting and stirring the curd by hand just make my day. I better have Steve send some to me when it is ripe in three months. The cow milk version is one of the best cheeses I've had in a long time. It is a shame that Steve doesn't sell it via mail order or distribute it beyond the local level. This cheese would be well received by a larger audience if he wanted to get it out there.

Happy birthday, Little Carrie! She's spending the evening at her parent's house in Greensboro.

Nathan Tate is flying to San Francisco tomorrow. He'll be spending his spring break with buddies from college. I asked him to stop by Cowgirl with some cheese. I hope they like it. I'd love to get Peg and Sue's opinion. Too bad they can't sell it. I gave Nate a few tips on hiking trails to check out. He'll have a car so he can go anywhere. He wants to spend some time in the redwoods so I told him to go find some trails in Marin or Big Basin. He'll be happy either way.

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