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Appreciating snow, farm holiday happenings and more

Posted 12/6/2018 8:33pm by Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell.

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Farm News

I love snow. I love new snow, big fat snowflake snow, snow falling so furiously it blurs the horizon.  I admire the way fresh snow cleanses the landscape.  I love the way it muffles sound, like the mute on a Dixieland jazz band trumpet. I love the way it inconveniences people, forcing them to slow down, to pay attention, to change their plans.

I love the way snow accumulates on the backs of cattle toughing it out in the pasture. The pile of white stuff on their backs belies their secret to staying warm; their life warming blood retreats to their bodies’ core.  I love the imprints of new foot tracks that expose the traffic of illusive wildlife.

I like breaking new ground in the virgin blanket of whiteness, being the first to leave a human print.  I appreciate the well-stacked woodpile from which I haul a few logs at a time, keeping the wood stove fire well stoked. 

The Farm Store is Open for the Holidays

Beat the holiday shopping crowds—come shop at our farm store! Remember: We won’t be back to the Urbana Market in the Square until Saturday, December 22nd (we might make a secret appearance at the 12/15 market, but we’re not sure yet). 

Come out to the Farm and shop. We have lots of cheese for you. If you think our farm is far from town, in fact, we are REALLY close to Champaign-Urbana—literally 5 miles from each downtown. We are also within two miles of both I-74 and I-57.  Follow directions on our website if you’re not familiar.

Holiday Pop-Up Café

If you missed the debut of our winter holiday pop-up café last Saturday, come on out this Saturday.  We’re open December 8th, 12 noon to 3 PM for heart-warming old-world inspired holiday foods and drinks: 

--Moonglo Fondue en Baguette

--Seasonal Soup using local veggies

--Grilled Piemonte Sausage with house-made mustard on toasted baguette

--Beet Hummus with house-made chips or Cashew "Queso" with carrot sticks

--Chevre cheese cake, pecan buns and other baked goods

--Mexican style goat-milk hot chocolate

--Warm Glugg (Scandinavian-style mulled wine)

--Special espresso coffee drinks

--Roasted chestnuts, pecan turtles and more....

Price range for most food items is $6-10/item.  No reservations required.

Stay for the “Holiday Goat Photo Booth” 12 to 4 pm

(NOTE: The farm store and café will close at 3PM on Saturday, 12/8 so we can get the dining room ready for our farm dinner that evening. We will accommodate folks who want to take pictures with the holiday goats until 4 pm).

Bring your friends, your family or just yourselves and have your pictures taken with our festive holiday goats. This year, we are taking high quality digital photos (using digital cameras, not phones) for visitors and charging $5/photo. We’ll get your email address before we take the picture and then email you the pictures to craft your holiday cards or digital holiday photo greetings.

Please note it takes us several days to download and organize the pictures. We try to send pictures no later than the Wednesday following picture taking.

While at the Farm, try some cheese!

We have the last of our bloomies—little bloom and black goat AND the green peppercorn Moonglo in our cheese cooler this weekend. Once they’re gone, that is IT until next spring.

Here’s the current cheese line up:

  • Fresh chevreplain, herbs de Provence, cracked pepper-late lactation milk is making some super-rich chevre-stock up now and throw some in your freezer for winter
  • Goat Milk Feta: Our flavorful and tangy feta is aged and packed in whey brine. It's perfect to crumble on a fall salad or a top a hearty stew or bowl of chili.  Try it on a home-made pizza too.
  • Spiced Feta in Extra Virgin Olive Oil-just in time for the holidays, this ready-made appetizer is perfect with some crusty bread and a jar of fancy pickles. It’s all dressed up and ready to go home with you.
  • Little Bloom on the Prairie:  LAST CHANCE! This batch is has achieved that perfectly gooey ripe stage. It’s perfect for a “brie en croute” or baked with your favorite cheese accompaniments—sliced apples or pears, one of our savory sauces (pear chutney, salsa verde), chopped nuts, local honey—the possibilities are endless.
  • Black Goat: LAST CHANCE-very limited availability--an ash-coated bloomy rind cheese with a delicate and crinkly yeasty rind. This final batch of the season has wonderful yeasty aroma and a tart lemony taste.  It is ripening nicely. Try serving it with one of our house-made jams (red currant or rhubarb are my favorites). 
  • Moonglo:  Spring milk batches of this raw milk tomme (sort of like a Gouda, but not really) produce a more mild, tangy paste with hints of pineapple. The texture of the cheese is a bit more firm than fall milk batches. Melts well, or just slice and enjoy with your favorite salami.
  • Green Peppercorn-Barley Wine Moonglo: LAST CHANCE--another spring-milk experiment. Just before the curds had set in the vat, we add cracked green peppercorns.  The rinds were washed with a local barley wine. The green peppercorns give a hint of floral pepperiness, the barley wine provides a bit of sweetness; the combination is sure to delight. Try melting over roasted cauliflower or beets.  

Gelato: If you’re looking for a perfect accompaniment to your decadent holiday desserts, try our gelato. We only have pints of vanilla and red currant sorbetto left. These are the last pints of the season, as we are not making more gelato until next year. Pints only at the market ($10 each or 3 for $27); scoops at the farm during open hours.

Other Treats and Cheese Accompaniments: 

  • Jarred Goat Milk Cajeta (a Mexican style caramel sauce with cinnamon)
  • Fudgy Cajeta (caramel sauce with chocolate ganache!!)-may not be available until Dec.15/16
  • House-made jams-seckel pear, red currant, rhubarb, aronia berry
  • House made savory sauces—caponata, pear chutney, salsa verde

Other Farm Products

  • Meats, Poultry and Eggs from Bane Family Meats, Sidney IL
  • Artisan Sausages by Piemonte Sausage Co, Urbana, IL (Bernies Classic Sweet, Cantaloupo, Apple-Pecan-Cranberry and bulk Chorizo)
  • Locally milled wheat flour from the Mill at Janie’s Farm, Ashkum, IL
  • Honey from Two Million Blooms, Champaign-Urbana, IL
  • Artisan Dry-Cured Salamis from Underground Meats, Madison, WI
  • Tulsi Tea from Delight Flower Farm-tulsi is a variety of basil known for its sweet aroma and medicinal properties. With a spoonful of honey, this tea will warm you up and keep you healthy during the cold months ahead.
  • Fire Cider a special brew to keep those winter colds at bay
  • PFFC goat meat—we have one pound packages of stew meat (1 lb. packages, $13/lb.). Pasture raised, very lean and mild, try the meat that most of the rest of the world enjoys regularly. 
  • Holiday Wreaths made to order by Delight Flower Farm- http://delightflowerfarm.com/product-category/products/
  • NEW in the store: Folkmanis mountain goat hand puppet. This award-winning design is the perfect gift for the aspiring goat herder in your life. $36 each.

Weeknight Classes  Last chance to sign up for our final class of the season “Cheese, wine and spirits for holiday entertaining,” Wednesday, December 12th, 6-8 pm. Bring some friends and enjoy an evening of cheese, accompaniments and wine & spirits. We’ll show you how to craft an eye-popping holiday cheese board and pair with wines and spirits. You’ll learn some things AND have a lot of fun. Registration is required and seating is limited to 30 people per class. Sign up NOW!  

Happy Holidays, Thank you and The Farm in winter

After this weekend, the farm store will be open Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 pm through December 23rd.  Then, we will take a break over winter, letting the goats rest as their babies grow inside them.  We’ll be in touch from time to time, if we decide to bring some cheese to the Urbana Market in the Square or if we host a winter farm-to-table meal or winter farm event.  
We wish all of our patrons the happiest and healthiest of the holiday season.  We thank you all for supporting us all these years, and we look forward to serving you again in spring 2019. 

Copyright 2018. Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC. 2018. All rights reserved. 4410 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign, Illinois 61822 Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC is responsible for the content of this email. Please contact Leslie Cooperband or Wes Jarrell with any inquiries.