Friday, 19 November 2010

Colostrum, Local Cheese Makers & Home-grown Foods

After several days of torrential rain it is now dry and sunny though the mess left by the volume of water running everywhere is awful...but it is as nothing compared with those poor people in Cornwall!
 The drainage work done earlier in the year seems to be working and we no longer have water running through the cattle sheds, thank goodness and the cattle are warm & dry.

We had a heifer calf born yesterday to a cow with very little milk, so the Farmer has had to spend time feeding it with colostrum (the first milk produced after calving which is vital to the survival of the calf) with a bottle. We always keep a supply of colostrum in the freezer in case of situations like this. After thawing the colostrum is heated gently before being fed to calf; it has to be allowed to thaw naturally or in a bath of warm water, not in the micro-wave oven as whatever happens to it with micro-waves destroys its nutritional value & curdles it.

Talking of curdled milk, we have a number of very succesful cheesemakers here in the Teifi Valley and they have recently joined forces to draw attention to their excellent award winning products. We buy their cheeses regularly and always recommend them to visitors. The Teifi Valley Cheese Producers have a new website, http://www.teifivalleycheeseproducers.com/ which gives all the background information on the various makers and the very different cheeses they produce.The one we particularly enjoy is made by Caws Cenarth (caws is Welsh for cheese) and is a Brie type called Perl Wen. They also produce a wonderful soft blue cheese, Perl Las. We gave some Perl Wen to some French friends who were very impressed saying it was better than Brie!!!
One of the best meals we can put on the table consists of entirely home-grown or locally produced food, Mair's Bakehouse bread, Caws Cenarth cheese, home-made tomato chutney, soup made with home-grown leeks, potatoes & stock from our own animals & home-brewed cider...what could be better?
http://www.mairs.bakehouse.co.uk/, http://www.cawscenarth.co.uk/

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