Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Honeysuckle Lane Cheese

Springtime in Arkansas is beautiful. My children and I took advantage of a beautiful day and drove about an hour from Little Rock to Rose Bud to visit a raw milk cheese maker.  For about two years I've been telling Ray (Sr.) at the Argenta Farmer's Market I wanted to visit and see how the cheese is made.  
Raymond and Ray Daley - I asked them to say "cheese"
The farm, Honeysuckle Lane, got its name from the honeysuckles that grow on the lane that leads to their farm.  Sadly the flowers are not yet in bloom.
Ray Sr. lives about 20 minutes from the farm and drives to Rose Bud about one a week to help make cheese.  Raymond Jr. lives close by, is a police officer, and milks the cows twice a day - he's a busy man!  In peak cheese season they make cheese twice a week.  The milk not used to make cheese they sell to be pasteurized.
Once inside, we saw a huge vat of curds and whey...just like Little Miss Muffet's.  The paddle needed to stir a bit longer so we took a tour.
Inside a walk-in refrigerator we feasted our eyes on CHEESE!!  This below cheese has been cured and cut to half pound portions and is waiting to make it to your table.
This is a picture of the full "horns" that are curing for 60 days.
This is one of the Daley Dairy babies.  They raise Jersey cows, that provide the most milk fat - which makes yummy cheese.
I also saw the milking parlor but didn't take pictures.

Back inside it was time to drain the whey.
I asked how they knew when it was time to pull the plug and separate the whey, Raymond Jr. showed me.  "It's when you can squeeze it and it sticks together like this."
Once the whey was drained, they began sort of packing the curds.  I say sort of packing because like most foods worth eating, it takes time and is a bit of a process.  They weren't cramming the curds together but the process was methodical and obvious they had done it a few hundred times.
My 7.5 year old son got a real kick out of saying, "They're cutting the cheese, Mom!"
After 15 or 20 minutes they flipped over the big blocks of cheese to let more whey drain and gravity to do its thing and push the curds together.
At this point we said goodbye because my toddler wasn't nearly as interested in the process as I was.  I could have stayed a LOT longer.  As I understand it, the Daley men will stack the cheese cubes, then cut them into one-inch cubes using a press.  Then the cheese goes into molds to make the horns (shown refrigerated, above).

Before leaving we were sure to take home lots of cheese.
Honeysuckle Lane cheese can be purchased from the Local Food Club, Little Rock Athletic Club, or at the Argenta Farmer's Market (opening Day April 14).

See also GreerAR by the Day's blog post on her visit to the farm.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Math for Spring Break

1.  If Louisville is beating Michigan State 31-25, by how many points is Louisville winning?  How many three-pointers would Michigan State have to make to be the leader?

2.  Your grandparents live in eastern Kentucky and have tickets to see the University of Kentucky play in CAT-lanta.  If the cities are 389 miles apart, how long will it take for them to arrive (assuming they can drive an average of 60 miles an hour)?

3.  The University of Kentucky has had 14 Final Four appearances.  University of Arkansas has had six.   University of Louisville has been there eight times.  How many more times has UK made it to the Final Four?

4.  Momma ate a half pound of Dove chocolates today.  How many calories did she consume?  Please don't answer.

5.  If it rains a half inch an hour, and rains for 12 hours, how many inches of rain did we get?

6.  A kid's meal at Chipotle costs $4.  How many kids could go with us if you had $20?

7.  The play place at Rock Creek is free.  How long can your mother endure little girls screaming inside the glass entrapment?

8.  A loaf of bread has 20 slices of bread.  Two slices are heels.  Daddy used 2 pieces for toast.  How many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches can we make without using the heels?

9.  Momma did laundry everyday.  Monday she did one load, Tuesday was 3, Wednesday was 2, Thursday was 3.  How many loads of laundry will she need to do on Friday if she needs to do 10 loads a week to keep up?

10.  Bananas are about $0.50 a pound.  About three bananas make a pound.  If you have $1.50 in your pocket, about how many bananas can you buy?


Monday, March 12, 2012

Holocaust Survivor Tells Story

A Holocaust survivor will tell her story at the U of A Community College in Morrilton (Tues., March 13, 10:35 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., UACCM's Fine Arts Auditorium) and at Conway High School's James H. Clark Auditorium (Wed., March 14 at 7 p.m.). There's no charge and these talks are open to the public.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Russia in Color from 100 Years Ago

from boston.com:
With images from southern and central Russia in the news lately due to extensive wildfires, I thought it would be interesting to look back in time with this extraordinary collection of color photographs taken between 1909 and 1912. In those years, photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) undertook a photographic survey of the Russian Empire with the support of Tsar Nicholas II. He used a specialized camera to capture three black and white images in fairly quick succession, using red, green and blue filters, allowing them to later be recombined and projected with filtered lanterns to show near true color images. The high quality of the images, combined with the bright colors, make it difficult for viewers to believe that they are looking 100 years back in time - when these photographs were taken, neither the Russian Revolution nor World War I had yet begun. Collected here are a few of the hundreds of color images made available by the Library of Congress, which purchased the original glass plates back in 1948.

Go here to see the incredible images.

HT: Simple Mom Weekend Links.

Indian Captive {a living book}

My husband found this Newberry Honor at the library and thought it would be a fun read aloud for me and my second grader. For whatever reason, after about the third chapter he lost interest. I think because other "more action oriented" books vied for his attention and he is able to read faster to himself. However, I was hooked and wanted to know "the rest of the story." So I read the remainder to myself.  It is a sweet story.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Free Wilberforce Bio in PDF by Piper

John Piper's downloadable biography on the one and only, William Wilberforce. Amazing man, amazing story. 76 pages long.

PDF here.

Thanks to Holly Bertram for the tip!