Why I am not following my dream

Around this time last year I was full-swing in the midst of my pastry school experience and I cannot deny that it was one of the best experiences of my life. Seriously.  You can read in my previous posts about why I chose to go, and how intensely I am passionate about baking. I love both the science of it and the artistic elements required to make beautiful desserts. I have grown particularly fond of cake decorating, as you may have noticed in my Instagram feed.

Julia Child says, “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”

I have to admit, this quote still rings true for me but I view it differently than I did last year. Continue reading

#8 – Organic Food For Everyone

Going into the long weekend, where many are about to feast on a turkey dinner of some sort and all the fixings, it is good to be thankful for quality food. Thankful for homemade food, and treating your body right.

Organic food is much more common knowledge now and is increasingly more accessible in grocery stores. Farmer’s markets are more popular, it seems as well, because local produce a good way to support local economy too – local farmer’s often produce organic too.

Across my blogging research, I discovered a hearty blog from the west coast, called Organic Food for Everyone – which is my Blog or Bust post #8. The blog, by the Bovay Family, is sure to answer any of your organic food theory questions. Their home page describes their content as a site that, “provides you with all you need to know about organic food: including the benefits of organic food; growing organic food on your farm, in your garden, or on your patio or balcony; and where and how to buy, cook and eat organic food.”

This site is filled with guides about genetically modified food, organic beverages, where to buy organics including pet and baby organics. It is an information packed site that will surely answer any organic questions you might have!

…Perhaps your turkey dinner will include some organics this weekend, enjoy!

Nostrala, Alpindon, and Grana, Oh My!

Kootenay Alpine Cheese farm

How food is made and where it comes from is always fascinating for me to learn about. Recently, I literally watched the cows come in to be milked on a trip to a family owned and run BC cheese farm, Kootenay Alpine Cheese Co.

Their farm dog guided the herd, with very full udders, into the barn, where the cows are milked twice daily, and receive a hay mixture / treat before each milking. It sounds simple, but this routine is a big process and amazing to witness.

Smelling the mountain air and hearing cow bells jingle, we suddenly had a craving for cheese and headed to the cheese shop for some samples.

The Kootenay Alpine Cheese company makes three cheeses named Nostrala, Alpindon, and Mountain Grana, respectively, each with a slightly stronger taste and firmer texture. After seeing the cows that produce the milk that makes the cheese, the flavour experience was certainly heightened.

Later I was able to ask Denise a few questions about her family’s farm; and I learned some interesting facts that just might aMOOse you too…

The Cows of Kootenay Alpine Cheese Farm

The cows enjoy their treat just before milking.

How did your cheese farm start? We started making cheese three years ago but have been dairy farming for about 20.

What does your family love most about your farm? We all get satisfaction from farming the way we do and we like to see it reflected in the end product.

How many cows approximately do you have at your farm? We milk ~75 cows and then have about that many again that are young stock and dry cows (on vacation from milking for two months)

How much milk does each of your cows produce in a day? Our cows produce about 60 pounds of milk each a day (24 litres each).

What separates you from other local cheese farmers? We are the only certified organic dairy in our area, we are the only ones in our area that intensively graze, we feed a high forage, low grain ration and no corn silage. We have gone away from large high producing pure bred Holsteins and experimented with cross breeding to come up with a herd well suited to organic production (high fertility and health traits and good production on forage)…. Our cheese is unique in that it is a raw milk, naturally aged cheese.

Is there a story behind the names of each of your cheeses? Nostrala means “local cheese” in some Italian dialects so we chose it to reflect our area. “Alpindon” means Alpine Gift to reflect the traditions of Alpine Cheese making. And Mountain

Nostrala cheese

Nostrala cheese served with gently salted rosemary crackers. Yum is the word.

Grana because it is a hard grainy cheese.

Where can Vancouver folks buy your cheese? les amis du FROMAGE and Benton Bros distribute for us.

It can be easy to forget where things come from when grocery shopping in the city, perhaps an out of sight out of mind concept, but this cheese is milked and made in BC! So the next time you indulge on some cheese, maybe to pair with a new wine, I suggest this organic handcrafted mountain cheese made in the Kootenays!