Monday, April 14, 2008

Class Act: Cheese and Bread

Do you have friends who are simultaneously working 60 hours a week, raising young children and remodeling their homes themselves? And they make you feel like a complete schlump because you can't even do the vacuuming and the dishes on the same weekend?

Chrissie Zaerpoor of Kookoolan Farms is one of those people. She raises pasture-fed chickens, harvests their eggs, and also takes care of a farm full of pigs, goats, cows, rabbits and other fowl and has a stand at the Hillsdale Farmers' Market every weekend. Oh, and digs trenches, erects barns, makes cheese, yogurt, kefir and mead and sells all of it except the mead in her farm store. And she raises her son with her husband Koorosh, who holds down a job at Intel in addition to his farm duties.

Because of her interest in cheesemaking (she sells cheesemaking supplies at the farm), she's decided to host cheesemaking classes, too. The first, Cheesemaking Basics on May 17 (with an overflow session added on Aug. 2), is being taught by author and cheesemaker Mary Rosenblum (right) and covers all the basic techniques of handling renneted curd, ricotta and soft cheese. Students will even produce a wheel of their own Monterey Jack cheese.

And on May 3rd there's Breadmaking for Anyone: Home Yeast Bread Baking, taught by Bethany Lee (left), an avid home baker and pianist. Bethany also plans to offer follow-up courses in artisan breads and whole grain breads, so let Chrissie know if you're interested in these classes, as well.

Details: Cheesemaking Basics. Sat., May 17 and Sat., Aug 2, 1-4 pm; $50, reservations only with $10 credit toward cheesemaking supplies purchased at the store. E-mail reservations or call the farm at 503-730-7535.

Breadmaking for Anyone: Home Yeast Bread Baking. Sat., May 3 or 31, 3-5 pm; $40, reservations only. E-mail reservations or call the farm at 503-730-7535.

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