Falling in love with sheep cheese

The Whidbey Island Chapter for Slow Food offers a variety of activities from jam workshops, to farm tours and potluck dinners. Since we are a foodie at heart in love with eating slow food, it seemed like a good fit and a way to meet like minded people.

My favorite Slow Food Whidbey event so far is the tour of Glendale Shepherd Farm. I had seen the folks at Glendale Shepherd at the Bayview Farmer’s Market and even purchased some of their cheese, but the tour, which included a wine and cheese tasting made me a sheep cheese fan girl. Walking their farm up and down toward the high cliff coastline looking over to the mainland was beautiful. Their 60 milking sheep have space to roam and graze on land with fantastic water views. Happy sheep make for happy cheese is what I learned.

While the Island Brebis is the cheese that has given them a claim to fame winning awards in the past, but the Tallulah is my favorite.  Tallulah is a mild cheese with a creamy center and on the outside boasts a nutty rind.

There was mention that the sheep were soon coming to the end of their milking time, which means Tallulah is coming to the end of the season. I will definitely be heading to the Bayview Farmer’s Market each Saturday to make sure I have the opportunity for another taste.

In just a couple of months, winter will arrive and the markets will close until May. It seems so far away, the end of October, but I know it will be here before we know it. And then, all my favorite things will be gone until spring.



Blackberries are here and so is the jam

img_3713This morning I woke up and picked four quarts of wild blackberries growing in our front yard. They’ve just started coming ripe enough to pick and after my jam making class with Slow Food Whidbey Island, I thought I’d give my first batch a try.

It was pretty labor intensive the first time around, more so for the clean up because my damn glasstop stove is such a pain in the ass to clean. I really, really miss my gas stove, but that is another story for another day.

While I’ve hopped off the no sugar/no bread wagon since moving to the islanimg_3378d, I was amazed at how much sugar one batch of jam takes. I know there are recipes with less sugar, but I thought I’d start with the basics and then experiment once I got the process down. For this batch, I decided to strain out the seeds for half of the berry puree. I wanted seeds for texture and for show, but I wanted the sweetness of the blackberries to come through.

My first batch was successful enough. All the jars sealed and the jam set up as expected. I couldn’t wait to taste it for breakfast the next morning.

One day I’m going to have to get back on my no sugar/no bread wagon, but not today.



The anniversary dinner

Six years ago, followed by friends and family, my husband and I came to the island to get married. Most Texans don’t choose Puget Sound for a destination wedding, but we did.

A few days before our guests arrived, we met Josh’s parents at The Oystercatcher for dinner in Coupeville. This weekend, we returned to celebrate our anniversary and pinch ourselves that we now live here.

I’m not going to compose prose to tell you about our meal. I’m just going to leave this nice little gallery of images for you to peruse. I just hope you aren’t hungry.