Author Topic: newbie saying hello from Illinois!  (Read 1120 times)

Offline yngfarm

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newbie saying hello from Illinois!
« on: May 02, 2009, 06:53:10 AM »
Hello!  I am starting to lurk around here and thought I ought to introduce myself.  I live in Illinois and am beginning to make cheese.  I have had once success and one failure, so I am either a natural or this doesn't come easy to me :-\ 

Anyway, I am a soapmaker, homeschooler, small-farm wife.  We have goats, sheep, chickens and a further variety of interesting and somewhat shocking animals hanging around.   I have become quite interested in "artisan crafts."  I hope to tackle many interests one by one.  This board looks like a good place to learn!

Offline John (CH)

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Re: newbie saying hello from Illinois!
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2009, 07:20:20 AM »
Good morning yngfarm and welcome to this forum!

Lots of info on cheese and on cheese making here, sadly after 1 year only about 50% of my cheeses work well, part of it is I'm not meticulous and part is I keep making different cheeses, I mostly post in the soft cheese boards.

Offline yngfarm

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Re: newbie saying hello from Illinois!
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2009, 07:57:43 AM »
Hi, John!  I am looking to conquer a couple cheeses at a time.  I fight being impulsive on a daily basis.  I want to really understand the process of making soft cheeses well before moving on.

Offline Tea

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Re: newbie saying hello from Illinois!
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2009, 03:52:49 PM »
Good morning yngfarm and welcome to the forum.  I am also a soapmaker and I am homeschooling 4 at the moment with another coming up in the ranks.

What cheeses have you made so far?

Offline yngfarm

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Re: newbie saying hello from Illinois!
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2009, 06:04:50 AM »
Hi, Tea!  So far I have made 30 minute mozzerella and Queso Blanc.  I was unimpressed with either.  I have made yogurt for years now, so I think making cream cheese is a mere cousin to that.  I am really looking forward to making Queso Fresco and Feta soon.  Hopefully by the end of the year I will be making some hard cheeses.

My fifteen year old son is interested in this as well.  He is a science nut and wants to mess around with bacteria and mold ripened cheeses.  He was told last week at Pastoral Cheese in Chicago that he has a very accurate and mature taste buds.  I don't know if I will be able to live with him now;)  That clinched the deal for him!

Offline MrsKK

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Re: newbie saying hello from Illinois!
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2009, 12:47:31 PM »
Welcome!  I look forward to getting to know you better.

Want to expound upon the "interesting and somewhat shocking animals" you mentioned?

Offline yngfarm

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Re: newbie saying hello from Illinois!
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2009, 06:20:16 AM »
MrsKK, a raccoon owns us for starters and mainly.  We saved her from a sure death last year and raised her.  She lives in our barn and is free to go anytime she wishes.  For anyone who is thinking of wagging a finger and lecturing, I know.  As a matter of fact, I am quite sure I may know maybe better than most.  Through the course of my life, I have raised four coons that have all successfully reentered the wild.  This is a little different.  She has taken over the barn as hers.  She has cleaned out every bird nest and has made the starlings leave which puts her high on our list.  We regularly slip wormer into her goodies.  All the dogs respect her (including...yes...a coondog).  She is fiercly jealous, and if she sees my daughter or I playing with other animals out in the pasture or yard, she runs out and attacks them and guards us 'til we scratch her back.  And don't think of splashing in her pool!  She steals eggs from the chickens, but so far leaves them alone.  Also, she is VERY present for every birth on the farm and loves to come down and stroke horns and wool at feeding time.  All the animals seem to adore her?!

We have a skunk family who has been with us (some part or the other) for a couple of years.  We live with them and they with us.  We never make contact with them and they always seem to leave mid summer to take their chances on the open prairie.

Lastly, we have rats (the domestic kind).  The kids just love them.

We have had animals around forever and just don't blink an eye at what comes our way.  My husband should have gone on to vet school.  The local vets call him from time to time over sheep and goat matters (they don't cover this so thoroughly in vet school our friends say), and he sometimes performs his own surgeries on livestock.  He went through college on a judging scholarship.  Alas, the pet food industry lured him into palatiblility enhancers and nutrition.  It is always fun vistiting new people and looking over to see Kevin going over their pets with his hands, checking gums and eyes, feeling down their loins and asking people what exactly they are feeding, AARGG >:(!

That about covers it!

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: newbie saying hello from Illinois!
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2009, 05:30:28 PM »
Hello yngfarm and welcome to the forum.

Offline MrsKK

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Re: newbie saying hello from Illinois!
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2009, 07:01:38 AM »
Wow, Yngfarm!  those are some very interesting and unusual "pets"!  I love it that the raccoon strokes the horns and wool of the sheep and goats during feeding time.  How sweet is that?

Animals really enrich our lives, don't they? 

Offline John (CH)

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Re: newbie saying hello from Illinois!
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2009, 08:25:45 PM »
Well yngfarm I am certainly envious, you have a very different life to my massive suburbia. Enjoy!