Cooling off, dipping in and eating
Sometimes, you just have to stop what you're doing on the farm and take off for an adventure. It was Nat's birthday today, one of our cheesemakers, so we got everyone to finish up early (well, sort of) and we piled in our vehicles with fixins for a cookout in tow and headed west to Moraine View State Park. It's a beautiful wooded oasis that sits on a glacial moraine about 40 miles west of Champaign. There's a small, clear spring-fed lake in the middle of the park. It's perfect for a swim.
As an easterner who grew up practically living in some body of water in the summer (ocean, lake, pool--whatever), it is hard for me to NOT slither my body into open water all summer. We arrived at the park and started to unload our coolers and set up the grill for a cook out. The sky to the northwest looked a bit ominous, and we soon learned that a fairly large thunderstorm cell was bee-lining it for Moraine View State Park, but the water beckoned me and I was compelled to get in. The sensation of slightly cool water enveloping your skin is hard to beat. After a few laps in the refreshing lake, the food was ready. We all sat down to a small feast of summer salads (including a multi-colored tomato salad with all the rainbow colors of our heirloom tomatoes, some fresh basil and our sheep milk feta-of course) and burgers and brats from Triple S Farm. As the sky darkened overhead, we could see what was coming, so we sang "happy birthday" really fast, and then headed for the cars as the large raindrops covered the picnic table. Within ten minutes, the storm had passed. We emerged from our vehicles, headed back into the water and then ate a few birthday chocolate fudge cupcakes. It was a grand adventure.
I have captured a stormy sky that passed over the farm late last week on our camera and created a little slide show for you to enjoy. You can find under our website heading "The Experience" then click on Anatomy of a Summer Storm. The color of the sky is remarkable.
This Saturday, August 11th, we're attending three farmers' markets: Urbana, Green City Market and Srpingfield. We have lots of great cheese for you this weekend, including our summer tomato chevre and our American Cheese Society's Award-winning Black Sheep. Our Angel Food and Little Bloom on the Prairie are still on a little summer holiday, but they promise to return to the cheese line up next week some time. We do have plenty of Ewe Bloom and Black Goat to satisfy your needs for bloomy rind cheese. We've got lots of our tangy and slightly salty feta with which you can adorn your salads. AND,,, don't forget our raw milk cheeses, including Roxanne, Moonglo, Huckleberrry Blue and Pecorino Romano.
Urbana shoppers will be treated to the main gelato maker himself, Stewart Pequinot--hawking a variety of flavors including:
- Lemon Verbena-Thyme
- Blackberry Cream
- Margot's Mint
- Nectarine Sorbetto
- (and probably a few others)
I know many of you are eagerly awaiting the release of the tickets for the fall dinner dates. They will be going on sale on Monday, August 20th at 5PM. Hopefully, most of you will be back from summer vacations by then, with your hand poised on your mouse. Stay tuned for more details sometime next week. Also, we had a great turnout for farm open house and blackberry picking. If we have enough berries next Wednesday, we'll do it again. I will let you all know next Tuesday.