Milkcrafting 102 this Saturday

We are super excited to be preparing the menu and cheese makes for this weekend’s Milkcrafting 102 class. This is the 2nd class in the 3-part series, and the class in which we teach anyone who wants to learn how to make our award-winning Mariposa Bijou mold-ripened goat cheese. Here’s the full text on the class. As of this morning, there was exactly 1 spot left. If you want it, go here. Its okay if you haven’t taken 101 yet.

The Institute of Domestic Technology: Milkcrafting 102

Mariposa Creamery, Altadena

Saturday, November 12, 2011, 9:30am – 2:00pm

9:30am                 Check in & continental breakfast

Snack                  Monkey & Son coffee served with fresh goat’s milk

                             Oatmeal scones served with chevre

                             Service will take place in the Solarium

9:45am                 Introductions

10:00am               Feta make using pasteurized goat milk from Summerhill Goat Dairy

Taste                  Fresh goat milk vs chevre vs mold ripened vs feta

                            (a lesson in flavor development)

11:00am               Mozzarella make using Organic Pastures raw cow milk

12:00pm               Lunch

Meal                     Salad of seasonal greens, garden arugula and feta cheese

                             Roasted red pepper soup with crème fraiche from The Press

                             Vegetable dish TBD based on locally available ingredients

                             Pizza with class-made mozzarella, basil from our herb garden

                             Famous Press Restaurant chocolate chip cookie, served warm                

1:00pm             Demonstration of making Mariposa Creamery’s award winning                                              Mariposa Bijou, a mold-riped goat cheese in the spirit of the typical                                        cheese of  Provence

Taste               A selection of mold-ripened goats and camembert-style cheeses                                 with both classic and unexpected wine pairings; discussion of                                     basic pairing and tasting methodologies

2:00pm                 Graduation

We will provide a tour of the goat farm and answer questions about goats and urban dairying immediately after class for any interested students.

Saturday Workshop: Goat Keeping for Dairy in Los Angeles

I have this fantasy that 5 years from now we have a dozen or more families in Altadena operating homestead dairies. We buy and store hay collectively, share breeding stock, document local best practices, and coordinate vet visits so we can convince a real goat vet that its worth his time to come all the way out to Altadena. A girl can dream, right? Also, a girl can hold a workshop.

Here are the details:

Goat curious? Live in LA County? Interested in providing your family with milk, yogurt, cheese and butter from your own homestead dairy? Come learn more at this introductory workshop at Mariposa Creamery in Altadena. We will cover the legal and practical aspects of suburban dairying—from zoning to fencing and feed. Learn about the time investment and the benefits so you can decide if home dairying is right for your family. Tour a working home dairy in action and meet the goats.

This workshop is free and registration is not required. But you can rsvp on our facebook event page if you like:

10am – 12pm, Saturday, October 29th
Mariposa Creamery at the Zane Grey Estate
396 E Mariposa Street, Altadena

Mariposa Industries, Charcuterie Division





Last week while I was in Rochester, Steve and Kazi made sausages. This is our second sausage make here this fall. We have started to enjoy the chorizo from the last make. The sopressata looked great fermenting in the pantry. Last night they moved it into the basement to dry.DSC_0316

A year

Its been just about a year now since we started the renovation of the lower east wing of the manse, which was damaged by fire in the 1960s when Romer Grey occupied the property. You might wonder how this space could sit burned out for 50 years. But when you have 18,000 square feet, there’s always plenty of other things to work on. Since Steve and I got here, that’s mostly been waterproofing and bathrooms. But bringing this 3000 square feet back into productive use has been the most rewarding project so far.

Here’s the before, just about a year ago. We were attempting to clean it so we could temporarily store some of Alicia’s things.

This wing of the house was added by Zane Grey in 1926. There are 3 rooms downstairs and they served primarily as workshop and storage space. This is the southern-most room, and its about 900 square feet. The fire was confined to the northern-most room, which housed a photographic dark room, but the smoke damage was severe throughout the space. The upstairs portion of this wing, which was built as Zane’s library and writing studio, was not damaged in the fire and remains in its original state.

Here is the same room 1 year later, shot from the opposite side.

I can’t believe how functional this space is. On Sunday morning a cream can slipped out of my hands as I was removing it from the refrigerator. It emptied 2 gallons of milk into the inside of the fridge (every shelf, every object) and onto the floor under the appliances. As I was on my knees scrubbing the wall behind the pulled-out freezer, I was so loving the sexy Schluter cove base. It was an extravagance at the time we ordered it–one of the few things we bought new–but totally worth it.

The stainless steal cabinets were a great Craigslist find. Steve and I drove out to Corona, TWICE, to load these into the pick up truck under the blazing sun as the temperature east of the 15 approached 732 degrees. They had been removed from a small house that was being flipped, but had clearly institutional origins, as indicated by the markings on the top of the under-counter pieces: “Rm 254, cabinet 13.” We celebrated the find by ordering a big slab of carrara marble to top the set of cabinets on the east wall, for pastry and pasta work.

By far my favorite thing about the Creamery is the HOBART (parting clouds, streaming sunshine and an angel’s chorus are appropriate accompaniments to the mention of this object)–a commercial dishwasher bought used from a Chinese restaurant. The Hobart washes at 165 degrees and takes just under 3 minutes. Our largest pot, in which I could easily heat 10 gallons of milk, fits in it with room to spare. We don’t want to use any chemical detergents or sanitizers, so we wash the dishes by hand with soap nut tea first to remove any milk residue. Then the Hobart does its hot-water-sanitizing magic. And I get a mini-steam-facial every time I open the door to unload a rack of piping hot mason jars. As any farmstead cheesemaker knows, cheesemaking is 10% working with cheese and 90% doing dishes. And I am equally passionate about both parts of the job.

The windows behind Steve open into the outdoor milking area. I can milk the goats and pass the milk through the windows to Steve for immediate filtering, weighing, and icing. We put handles on the outside of the windows so they are easy to open and close from the milking side.

The beautiful oak stairs were built on-site by our housemate Robert with help from Freddy and Miguel, and are an exact replica of the original stairs.

Many aspects of the renovation are invisible. All of the windows were completely rebuilt (new pully systems shipped from their manufacturer in… wait for it…. Rochester, New York!), and screens were made for them. A radiant floor heating system was installed under the tile floor, which will make working in the Creamery much more pleasant in the winter. A new, tankless, uber-efficient hot water heater.

To think that this is only 1 of 3 rooms renovated over the past year blows my mind. All of this work was done basically by 4 people: Freddy, Miguel, Robert and Steve. This is the best gift to the house since this wing was built in 1926. I hope someone is still making cheese in here in 200 years. Thank you, guys, for an amazing job!

Brunch on the Farmlet

Even though we have a fridge full of mole (!!!!!) I had a strong craving this morning for egg salad. I think because we are celebrating our new egg vendor at the restaurant with an egg salad sandwich lunch special, and I know I’m not going to make it out in time to try it.

I was thrilled that there wasn’t any store-bought mayo in the house, so couldn’t be lazy and I had to make some.

I usually just drizzle in the oil until I’m satisfied but this morning Kazi reminded me the correct ratio is approximately 1 cup of oil for 1 egg yolk. I didn’t measure, but I thought about those words while I poured the oil, and I’m sure it was helpful.

I hard boiled 2 of our eggs. Picked some fresh tarragon. Mixed up the egg salad and put it on some toast. Enjoyed with an unsweetened shot of Velvet Hammer.

Eggs come from here:

Thanks, ladies!

This is a really delicious brunch.

Good Food!

Today we sent off our entry for the Good Food Awards! We sent 2 samples of a lovely young mold-ripened cheese made entirely from Ru’s milk. Roberto (Mariposa Industries, Woodworking Division) made us these lovely african mahogany boxes. And we used our new stamp with logo designed by our neighbors at Sugarhouse Farm. Thank you to everyone who helped get our submission together! Especially Ru!

Milkcrafting 101 on Saturday!

On Saturday we are teaching a sold out class for the Institute of Domestic Technology here at the Creamery and we are super excited. Here’s our syllabus!

The Institute of Domestic Technology: Milkcrafting 101

Mariposa Creamery, Altadena

Saturday, October 8, 2011, 9:30am – 2:00pm

9:30am                 Check in & continental breakfast

Snack                  Monkey & Son coffee served with fresh goat’s milk

                             Oatmeal scones served with fresh chevre

9:45am                 Introductions

10:00am               Paneer make using Organic Pastures raw cow’s milk

10:45am               Discussion of milk quality and its relationship to cheese making

Taste                   Milk tasting: cow & goat, raw & pasteurized, farmstead & pooled

11:00am               Overview of ingredients and tools for fresh cheese making

11:15am               Yogurt, crème fraiche & kefir demonstration

Taste                     Goat yogurt, cow crème fraiche, goat kefir with fresh fruit

11:30am               Chevre make using pasteurized goat milk from Summerhill Goat Dairy

12:00pm               Meet the goats & discuss urban dairying

12:15pm               Lunch

Meal                     Paneer & Cucumber in Lemon-Pepper Dressing

                             Vegetable lasagna made with cow ricotta & chevre*

                             Roasted red pepper soup with crème fraiche*

                             Fresh baked bread

1:00pm                 Cottage cheese make using raw cow milk and crème fraiche

Taste                     Crème Fraiche Cottage Cheese and fresh fruit drizzled with honey

2:00pm                 Graduation

* Menu items at The Press Restaurant (