Oh wow, summer is just so busy, busy, busy. I have several in-depth posts sitting here in draft mode waiting for more depth before posting — so many ideas, so much beautiful sunshine out there. One of the things occupying my mind right now is a road trip I am planning to the Olympics and San Juan Islands. Of course, I want to visit some creameries along the way so I’ve been cozying up with Tami Parr’s new book —
Tami Parr, as I’m sure you know, is the voice behind The Pacific Northwest Cheese Project and is also very active with the Oregon Cheese Guild. She is an excellent writer and she puts those talents to the page with Artisan Cheese of the Pacific Northwest. The guide covers about 75 cheese makers in Oregon, Idaho, Washington and B.C. It’s organized by state and has a great map so you can see when you’re nearing Mt. Townsend Creamery and plan accordingly. I plan to keep this in the car and the more I refer to it the more I’ll be reminded that life is good.
Tami Parr who writes the wonderful and informative Pacific Northwest Cheese Project has published a book, Artisan Cheese of the Pacific Northwest, a guide to this regions cheeses. I was pretty excited to get my hands on an autographed copy today at her signing over at Square Deal Wine Co and Steve’s Cheese in Northwest Portland (they share the shop). However, by the time Nicole and I got there, a mere hour after start time, she was all sold out!! Congrats, Tami — that is what I like to see! I think I will order my copy online and stalk her at her next signing event. You can, of course get it online or go to one of her next events but get there early!
I just had to give up my copy of Max Alth’s Making Your Own Cheese and Yogurt which I got from the library. I had to rush through it over the holiday as there are people lining up get it. Our local library system has a “hold” system and I had to wait weeks for the books I wanted on making cheese and there’s a line up after me. So, I’m overdue with this one because it was really good and I wanted to read as much as I could before I had to get back in line for it.
This book was published in 1977 and has a very entertaining history of cheese in the front section and then very good explanations of the various processes that take place during the making of cheese. There are tables and charts which give you info on nutritional content, butterfat and yields as well as other handy info. I think I will be looking for a vintage copy of this book as it seems like a really great reference book to have on hand. It is out of print and not available from Powell’s or Amazon!
While searching around for a copy I discovered that Max and his wife, Charlotte, created a number of books on DIY household projects including plumbing, masonry and repairing furniture. He also wrote books on maintaining wells and septic systems and collecting old radios and “crystal sets.” Sounds like a very handy and eclectic guy! If you see a copy, pick it up.
I’ve started lining up some cheese related books to read over the holidays and even though I was in the middle of Franzen’s memoir I couldn’t resist taking a peek at the first chapter of Year of the Goat: 40,000 Miles and the Quest for the Perfect Cheese by Margaret Hathaway and got hooked — I had to read it right to the end!
It’s a quick read covering the travels of two New Yorkers — the author and her fiance — as they cross the U.S. exploring the entire goat world in a quest to discover if they could run their own goat farm. They visit livestock auctions and explore the largely ethnic world of goat meat. They visit goat dairy farms and cheesemaking operations and see a few goat shows where the fanciest and most lovingly cared for goats get to strut their stuff with their owners. The book is full of history and anecdotes about these curious animals and also touches on the current state of small farms and agriculture in the U.S. Totally recommended reading and you can also check out their website where they blog occasionally about life on the farm and if you dip way into their archives you can read blog posts and see photos from the places they visited and the people they met.