Category Archives: News, etc.

How the government is getting into your food (and a political rant)

So the following article popped up on Fox News last week about how the government is getting more involved in your food.

Article on Fox News

I thought I’d go through the ten items and give my two cents, for whatever that’s worth (probably not 2 cents)

#1. Meh, if they’d stayed out of the low fat BS in the first place, we wouldn’t be dealing with transfats now. More bans lead to more problems.

#2. Interesting comment on how raw milk is akin to ground beef. You’d think raw milk would kill you on sight based on how it’s treated. I don’t know how many gallons of it we’ve consumed and have yet to die. I don’t blink at eating a rare hamburger, the same goes for raw milk.

#3. Bloomburg is the worst of the nanny state ideologues, period.

#4. I just mentioned the farm bill. Enough said there.

#5. Menu labeling. They can’t say it’s GMO on the label, but they can require all the other things we don’t need to know to be on the menu. What’s this going to do? I guess we’ll get an End User License Agreement (EULA) before we dine like we do on every piece of software. Everyone reads those, right?

#6. Food trucks are awesome. I really like how some of them operate and really step out on their menu and their ingredients. I haven’t eaten menudo from the food truck yet, but I’m sure I will someday. I have eaten tacos in my bedroom slippers while driving a gator. That was a fine dinner.

#7. This is monumentally stupid. We tax working Americans. We then take that tax money, at the point of a gun, btw and give it to farmers to artificially lower the price of corn while simultaneously charging tarriffs on sugar to make sugar less competitive. Corporations then make a product that people want, using cheap corn syrup as a sweetener which makes a soda 99 cents while a bottle of water is 3 dollars. We then use taxing authority, which was never intended to be punitive, to tax the soda because soda is bad. Less laws make for better results, not more.

#8. Good, this is the free market working.

#9. This was a scary one. The new rules were onerous and left very little room for small producers, which is exactly the type of producer consumers want from farmers markets and farm to consumer setups. Knowing your farmer is the best safety system their is. Large corporations want complex regulations because it creates a huge barrier to entry for competition.

#10. I agree with the point here. If a kid nagging for McDonalds is why you stop, then you’re fooling yourself. You stop because it’s easier. Being a parent isn’t about easier. If you wanted easier you should have stayed in college and not scheduled any classes before 10am. Being a parent is about being unpopular with your kids and enforcing a code of conduct that includes what goes in their mouths. Do our kids get desert? Yep. Arsenic in low levels won’t kill you and neither will sugar. However there has to be proper balance to a diet. Even McDonalds won’t kill you although we never eat fast food as a choice. Has stopping beer ads changed the drunk driving results? Underage consumption? I honestly don’t know but I doubt it.

Making cheese

So it was time to use up some milk. I’d already made plenty of yogurt so it was time for cheese. Mozzarella to be specific. I started by sterilizing everything and getting 4 gallons of milk ready. I also had the capable help of The Princess and Bok Bok.

I heated the milk to 90 degrees then added my renet solution. 5 minutes of sitting undisturbed (actually 15, oops) and I had a clean break. After cutting and draining I had this.

Into the microwave for heating and stretching which gets the whey out of the cheese. It took about 4 rounds in the microwave till I had this. 20140106-191202.jpg
It’s like working taffy except its a bigger mess and less sticky.

Now for the salt. No measurement. It’s to taste, which is an excuse to eat some cheese. Warm and just salted its the best it will ever be. Like grandmas cookies hot from the oven vs stale Oreos. If you ever thought about making cheese. This is the reason to do it. 20140106-191415.jpg

Here we are incorporating the salt, mixing it into the still warm cheese.

The final product, with a cup of whey in each bag. Stretched into long string cheese lengths and vacuum sealed.

Arctic weather

The arctic weather that is hitting everyone is making it’s way here today. It was 61 degrees this morning and windy. I wore pants and a shirt to milk and was a little warm. By 10am it’s supposed to be 40 and by tonight it’s 12 to 8 degrees depending on who’s forecast you watch. 8 degrees is Wisconsin cold. It’s cold that I don’t like to see. It’s hard on the animals and hard on the facilities. We’ve managed to not have any issues with the cow waterer this winter, even with the freezes. The water hose freezes at night, but then thaws during the day and the cows get all their water like normal. However tonight it’s going to freeze hard, then not get above freezing all day tomorrow so there is no opportunity for the cows to get their water. It looks like we’ll be unhooking the water hose and draining it, then hooking it up to fill the trough, then unhooking and draining again. A lot of labor for water. This is all if we can even drain it properly. If not, it’ll be buckets of water to fill the water trough, meaning even more labor. Fortunately trough itself doesn’t freeze so we can water throughout the day.

Speaking of freezing, the pig waterer froze Saturday and broke in two places. We’ve switched to an alternate waterer. Pigs don’t drink much water anyway, especially since they have two pallets of watermelons to eat. That should keep them well hydrated through this cold spell.

Looks like it’ll be a day and night of stoking the boiler to keep the heat going. 8 degrees is a new low for the boiler so this should be a good test. I know the boiler will keep up. The question is will the wood and the stoker.

Breaking in a new knife, and a new man

Thanks to the generosity of one of my employees, we were able to get two deer this year, field dressed and delivered to the cooler. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Also for Christmas Spork received a knife that I had made for him. He has been awful proud of wearing a knife and has been itching to have something to cut. Its a big moment in a boys life when he is responsible enough to have a real knife and Spork is justifiably proud. With two deer on the hook, he had just the opportunity to try out the new blade. There was much discussion between he and I as we worked on skinning the first deer. You see at 9 he has never skinned a deer, or even been close to one. A cow, yes. He’s even skinned a pig, but never a deer. So we spent some quality father son time over the deer and he worked his side like a champ. He was truly a joy to work with, and I told him so. He even managed not to throw up, which was in question there off and on. Overall I was tickled we were able to share this experience and look forward to doing it again when its time to butcher the deer next weekend. It will be good to have some deer sausage because SWMBO informs me that we are running low on ground pork. These hams aren’t going to be done soon enough!