Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Pasteurization Explanation

This video, part of the Cooking Up A Story series, gives an excellent explanation of the different forms of pasteurization, particularly the kind used by Clear Spring Creamery, where I just wrapped up my internship.

The speaker, an organic farmer at Lady-Lane Farm, describes a form of pasteurization known as "vat pasteurization" that more small-scale, organic dairies are beginning to use.

In vat pasteurization, the milk is heated at the lowest legal temperature for thirty minutes, which preserves the flavor and the fresh taste of the milk... and according to this guy, some of the enzymatic activity that pro-raw milk folks tout as the biggest benefit of drinking the non-pasteurized stuff.

Given how many times I would be asked every week at market about our pasteurization process, this video would have been great to watch a few months ago. C'est la vie!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Goodbye, Clear Spring Creamery

Yesterday was my last day working at Clear Spring Creamery. No more milking cows, no more fencing, no more bottling yogurt, no more farmers markets, no more delicious milk.

Mark and Clare, as well as their kids, Paul and Paige, were a joy to work with for the past five months. I learned an enormous amount through their example and their guidance. They were always very generous with their time and their home, and I really enjoyed getting to know them.

I'll write a longer post later with my reflections on this summer... but for now, I just wanted to say how grateful I am that I had this opportunity.

And that I will miss the cows.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Photographic Evidence

Finally, finally, I have a picture of milking-time.

As you can see, I was in the process of dipping the udders of some cows that were finished with an iodine solution that helps prevent infection. You can sort of see a milker on the last cow, towards the back.

Also note the encrusted remains of five months' worth of cow poop on my jacket sleeves.

Only one more milking session left for me, on Friday. Time sure does fly.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kitchen Sink Granola Bars

The days are dwindling until I leave Clear Spring Creamery and begin my next big adventure... graduate school. But in the meantime, I still have a fridge and pantry filled with food that needs to be eaten. As a result, I have been doing my best to utilize everything I have, getting creative when necessary.

You can see some of the fruits of my labors above - homemade granola bars, which by definition are a bunch of random ingredients glued together with sticky substances like honey and peanut butter, cut into little squares, and then enjoyed for breakfast. Or dessert. Or afternoon tea.

Thus, they are the perfect recipe for getting rid of unwanted food items.

In my case, I used a recipe I scrounged from Food52 for inspiration. I had almost none of the ingredients in the actual recipe, so a fair amount of improvisation was necessary.

In the end, though, I was rid of my caches of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, shaved coconut, and put some serious dents in my remaining peanut butter, honey, rolled oats and baking chocolate.

End result?

They made me happy. And gave me one or three fewer pounds of stuff to take to Pittsburgh.