Author Archives: Flathead Lake Cheese
About Flathead Lake CheeseSmall batch cheesemakers at the base of Flathead Lake up in the northwest corner of Montana.
Somehow we have managed to find a home for every piece of aged cheese we have leaving us busily making and replenishing the vault with loads of lactic treasures!
For now, ordering here on the site is going to be a little on the “nope” side. It’s probably going to be at least two months before we have anything ready to cut. Calling to see how things are going is always an option – 406-883-0343 – and we do have our fantastic feta (which we can’t mail) and versatile and every tasty curds and Notzarella (which we can mail – if the weather is cool). We’re here 10-5 Monday through Saturday Montana time.
Some of you may have gotten a test piece of our latest experiment. If you did, please be a thorough with your feedback as you can! If all goes as planned, we may have a new tasty treat to offer up next Summer.
For now, though, these two little cheesemakers will be taking the long weekend off to refresh, rejuvenate and eat lots of other folks’ cheese. No really, the drawer is full of all sorts of lovelies that need our attention. There might even be a tiny chunk of one of our own in there.
Happy New Years, dear ones. Thanks for supporting our tiny yellow Creamery by the Bay even if it’s only in reading these words and perusing the site. 2017 has a long year but bright shiny 2018 is right around the corner filled with new adventures, new friends and loads and loads of cheese!Posted in News |
From our Creamery to yours ;o), and however you celebrate the Holidays (we try to celebrate as many as possible!!), we would like to wish you a safe, loving, magical season!
Cheers! Wendi and JoePosted in News |
Boy, but the cheese is flying out of the Creamery! We are down to the last 5 sampler packs (yup – I have 5 pieces of Wisp o’ Smoke left) and then we’ll just have Doorstop and Galiki (and we’re not sporting many of those either!!) SO, your best bet for seeing what we still have would be to give me a ring (and I do mean on the phone – old song reference) during business hours 406-883-0343 and we can talk cheese. Do still have Bison Salami, Fat Robin organic Flathead Cherries and Dobson Creek Coffee to make those loved ones feel extra special when they open your gifts. I even have a few of the hand carved locally made cheese knives. Just not much cheese. Cheers and may all the best of the Season be upon you. Or something like that!Posted in News |
Doorstop and Wisp o’ Smoke are back again! Until I get the Market Page updated, please give me a ring and we’ll talk Cheese gifties. I’m also putting some Cheese and Bison Summer Sausage packages together. Just imagine that with our roasted garlic Galiki…….magnificent! A great big Montana hug, right there in a box.
406-883-0343 Talk to you soon!
Posted in News |
Woke this Tuesday morning to a delightful message from a customer who ordered our cheese for the first time. She got a sampler pack of 4 cheeses. This is her review.
Finished the cheese I’m embarrassed to say. Two of us in three days.
OK, I shared some.
It’s gone. Just like that. We put it on our salad last night and tonight.
Had it with summer sausage for an appetizer.
Ate it in a taste test that went on longer than needed just to be sure.
I’m depressed now. It’s gone.
Posted in News | Tagged cheese, Flathead Lake Cheese, Follow your cheese, Local food, Montana cheese |
So what started out as a tiny innocent idea of creating a middle school style morning announcement report as a way to start each of our busy summer mornings has somehow found a way of transmogrifying itself into something, well, quite different. All are the first take, one chance to get it right kind of filming. Here’s the first one, where, I seem to have forgotten to 1) – introduce what exactly I’ll be up to all summer and 2) – say the name of our business fully. Yeesh – what a momentous start. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbpAzZy49MM
You can follow the daily zaniness either directly on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWTX0IJ2cCfGbTC_m4Iy9lw or on our FB page https://www.facebook.com/Flathead-Lake-Cheese-87330205347/ if only to get your laugh for the day.
**Please note the author thought she had posted this last May….May!! Good grief, where does the time go (and who is in charge of this website!!)
***Please also note the the above antics will continue with the start of the new Farmer’s Market summer season in May. We (that would be the Queen’s We) are taking a much needed hiatus from the limelight during the Missoula Valley Winter Market Season. Well, I can’t vouch that there will be NONE till then so best keep a lookout! CheersPosted in News | Tagged cheese, Farmer's Market, Flathead Lake Cheese, Follow your cheese, Montana cheese, morning report |
Hard to believe we’ll be starting our 5th season of Farmer’s Markets in a scant two weeks. This shot is from our very first market, complete with nearly no identification (or really much of an idea of what we were getting ourselves into.) We had been official for a month and a half and only had curds and feta to sell that first season as our wheels ripened down in the vault. I love the expectation shown in the photo of myself, Joe and our friend Daniel at the Polson market….”will this work out or be an absolute bust?!?” Happy to report it worked out.
With a market under our belts, felt a little under control the following day at the Artisan Market held at the lovely Cottage on Main.
We had a few weeks of just the two markets a week before the big test – the market in Whitefish began. Towards the end of that first season, the Kalispell Farmer’s Market was added to the mix.
What a first six months Flathead Lake Cheese had!
Sadly, The Cottage closed but that opened us up to the markets in Kalispell and Missoula on Saturday mornings.
to new ones
to really large headed folks.
Polson Farmer’s Market on Fridays from 9-1, on 3rd and Main starting on the 6th of May.
Kalispell Farmer’s Market on Saturdays from 9-12:30 at the college, South lot starting on the 7th of May.
Missoula’s Original Farmer’s Market on Saturdays from 8-12:30 at the north end of Higgins at the XXXX’s also starting on the 7th.
Whitefish Farmer’s Market on Tuesday evenings from 5-7:30 at the north end of Central Ave starting on the 31st of May.News | Tagged cheese, Farmer's Market, Follow your cheese, Local food, Montana cheese |
One of the joys of our cheese is the lack of processing chemicals. It can also be a hindrance as the cheeses continue to ripen and loose moisture. While still fabulously tasty, they become a touch unruly in the cut into a wedge department. For these few cheeses we had, an alternate delivery was needed. Enter, the home cheese shredder which, if you’re just doing a cup at any given time, works wonderfully BUT several wheels at time causes their quick demise. I think we went through two or was it three. At any rate, the quest for a commercial grade shredder was on and we thought we had hit pay dirt!
Joe found a dealer with just what we needed and, more importantly, in our price range! He gave it to Joe to take back to Creamery and test run before we purchased it. It was perfect except for the gigantic size of the grate. It was perfect except it’s no longer made and parts aren’t available. Or even made. Drat! Many phone calls back and forth are made with the dealer to confirm this and to set up a meeting to return his property.
Back to the shop we go in the hopes that another miracle could be unearthed in his warehouse. Nope. Nothing. But wait, there is this slicer thing he just go in. It could work. Duct tape removed from the ‘cord fix’ in back, Dito Dean looked a little more promising. With his merchandise manual in hand, we find grating wheels of different sizes can be ordered but it would be costly AND take several days. Joe suggested while we wait, could we plug it in and hear how it sounds? After many embarrassing attempts at different outlets (looking for one that “works”), the machine is brought in to the showroom where it was confirmed to be dead. By this time the shop owner is completely done with us. Joe innocently asks how much he’d take for the machine as it stands. “Just take it. Go” We promise to return with cheese. “No, don’t come back”. Our welcome worn away, we left with a mess of metal and a challenge.
Always up to repair, Joe set off to replace faulty fixes and broken parts, recreating it’s poor damaged feet and even finding the grate wheels at a far more reasonable price. Before I knew it, it was time to test out our latest member of the team. In mere seconds, the job was done! Well, as long as we have cheeses that need grating, we’ll be offering it and it looks like we’ll have plenty. In the Doorstop, Wisp o’ Smoke and Galiki this spring. We tried a new polymer coating that just isn’t what we’re used to and have a few batches that aged far faster than we’d planned but that’s another story.Posted in News |
What better way to spend a Tuesday late afternoon than with friends, alternative energy and beer? We’ll be on hand to chat about what we’ve learned about the solar thermal system that we installed onto our Creamery roof some six years ago and the joys of grant writing. Yup, you can get help with your installation!
It’s amazing how much the 140 Mazdon tubes adorning the copper have become as much a part of our identity as our cheese. We’ve been contacted by folks from all over the country about how effective a system could be this close to Canada and I believe we may still be the smallest project to be awarded REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) grant funding.
We had an extra tube that came to us damaged that we used for a close up view. Sadly, it didn’t like the new “safe” storage location I found for it about a year back so there went that prop! All six feet of it. Dang!
So if you’re looking for a communal gathering this Tuesday, the 22nd, come on down to the 44 Bar and Outwest Grill north of St Ig on Hwy 93 in the Mission Valley. Take in the view, possibly even spy some courting hawks, meet some new folks, try some local beer, have a nosh and learn about your solar options. See you there.
Here are some links – AERO – http://www.aeromt.org/
Funding opportunities include: REAP http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-business-development-grants/mt and 1603 Program: Payments for Specified Energy Property in Lieu of Tax Credits https://www.treasury.gov/initiatives/recovery/Pages/1603.aspxPosted in News |
Had the opportunity to do a cheese making demonstration this past weekend at the annual Montana Farmer’s Union Women’s Conference. In fact, we kicked off the event, magically turning Kalispell Kreamery whole milk into curds, while the participants gathered for what turned out to be a motivating yet relaxing two days.
The Key Note Speaker, Kriss Marion, spoke of the creation of the Soil Sisters and how one tiny spark turned into a snowflake of opportunities for those in her surrounding area of Wisconsin and how that model can easily work for any one with a need and the drive to see their ideas grow.
It gave me thoughts on how to work to bring the diverse population of the Mission Valley together to share concepts, suggestions, recommendations and formulate a stronger sense of community among those who share this magnificent part of the planet. I’m not sure if and or when I’m going to get to this project and be able to plant that first seed but it’s there; where it will niggle my sub-conscience, quietly growing from an spark into a full blown idea. Or, it could die. (and, since no one reads these few and far between blogs, I’ll not be held to perform!) and I’ll wonder, in my old age, why I never acted.
Ah well, the nature of inspirations. While it may not grow, the concept of how it was created does and I feel my brain rewiring how I should approach challenges. So perhaps you’ll never get that handwritten letter on homemade paper inviting you to a Cultural Cookie Exchange, but the concept will be part of how I present and share going forward.News | Tagged Kalispell Kreamery, Kriss Marion, Mary Shelley |
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