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About Flathead Lake Cheese

Small batch cheesemakers at the base of Flathead Lake up in the northwest corner of Montana.

The Big Cheese

With Open House week behind us, it’s now time to get serious about those holiday gift lists. Who doesn’t love a gift you don’t have to dust?This year’s Holiday gift offering is called The Big Cheese and it includes the new local roasters in town, Good Coffee Roasting Company, who graciously worked with me to come up with a special blend, locally raised and harvested bison from Buffalo Gals in the Dixon/Moiese area that I had made into summer sausage sticks (something not heard of but is a thing now!!) and, of course cheese!

Now, even though we upped the cheese making ante this past year and loaded up the vault, we are, again, running low on, well, cheese. That is why, if you want The Big Cheese, you have to call me. 406-883-0343.  Look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers, Wendi

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August slide

While we wait for our web guy to return from vacation, here’s the cheese lowdown:

We are down to Plan 9 and our newest cheese, Buckshot – a whole peppercorn cheese.

Can’t really believe it’s the end August already UNTIL I look down into the vault.  Filled in May, it now sits at less than half full of cheeses that mostly won’t be ripe until the end of the year.

That’s right – the Galiki we ran out of last week won’t be available again until around Thanksgiving and it will be at least another month before we have Doorstop, Wisp o’ Smoke or Big Chai. Hoppin’ Mad, well, we’re hoping in the next week or so.

This makes me glad it’s August and not, say, June. Not sure we went through so much cheese so quickly but I guess two extra markets a week has a little to do with it!

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Batch 169 Hoppin’ Mad, April 4th, 2017

Ok, oh kay.  Just a little behind in what I insisted was a vital part of the sharing process so, with good intentions, I’m starting back up on the adventure of a batch from dairy to finished. Or, at least what we have available now.

Here we go.

Unable to procure any more of the beautiful hops product we had used in the past, we started searching for a replacement. Batch 169 tested out such a product. At 7 months, it was ghastly, at 9, still no good. This was December and we had run out of aged cheese on the 26th so we decided, to heck with it, left it alone and only thought of it when it was in the way of all the new batches we were making.

Mid March of this year we finally tried it again and, at 13 months, it was finally ready!

Now it’s mid June and we are down to the last few pieces. Such a beautiful cheese. Needless to say, we have moved onto a different, hopefully more cooperative hops product. Let’s hope the wait isn’t as long!

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Summer Schedual recap

Woo Hoo! We have survived May and, already well into June, we seem to be getting the hang of all the new Markets we’re attending. With two weeks of our full 6 market schedual, plus a cheese make behind us, we are really testing our stamina!

Last Monday morning started at 5am with a run down the valley to the dairy – we were nearly out of curds! – and will end with a lovely time at the Bigfork Village Market.  The new space in the lot in front of Bookside Yard is turning out to be a perfect venue for a Monday afternoon/early evening out. The music is out on the grass next to Brookside Yard, who specializes in locally produced libations and the market is collected together for ease of wandering and the atmosphere is relaxing and energetic all at the same time.

Tuesday we’re back in the high energy bustle of the Whitefish Farmers Market.  The park in front of the Train Depot has been re sod (and can I say how weird it is NOT to have the lovely brick building that was on the SW corner there!! Thankfully it was moved rather than demolished.  First the pond and now the building!) and is currently partially closed off but I understand it should be freed up for the market to spread back out to it’s natural shape in July.

Wednesday is when we usually make cheese – well, every other week – along with cutting and packaging aged cheese as needed for the coming week. I’ve come to think of it as our mid week week end as we don’t have any markets.

Thursday is our other usual (as needed) cheese make day along with the new Ronan Farmers Market. Out behind the Visitors Center, just off the Highway, we’re in lovely grassy area with plenty of room to park, stroll and enjoy. The hours are currently from 4-6pm but as we get both the vendors and customers used to us always being there, hoping to extend the hours to 7pm – possibly around the Summer Solstice. One of the beauties of the market is the commanding view of the Mission Mountains and quite a bit of avian activity in skies above with the proximity of the Pablo Reservoir. There were three bald eagles zooming around, low and close, last week!

Fridays we see double duty as Joe does the morning shift at the Polson Farmers Market and I head down to Missoula in the afternoons for deliveries and then end up at the Mission Falls Market in St. Ignatius.  The Polson Market is as active and varied as ever with each vendor spot booked and a hefty waiting list of creative and amazing people ready each week to make sure the place is full! From plants to produce to new and reclaimed art to food, there is something to delight the eye, senses and stomach at each step.  (Did I mention the pastries, coffee, honey, chocolate, breads, uh hum, cheese?)  The Mission Falls Market is in it’s second year and is going strong. There are quite a few vendors there that you’ll not find at other markets along with some of those of us who feel the need to stretch out and be a part of just about everything. A couple stand outs at the market for me are the kid’s corner, where younger folks are encouraged to be creative and sell their products courtesy of the market. There is an amazing crew of Junior Entrepreneurs at work there and room for more! My second standout is, again, the view. Stunning.

Saturday mornings you’ll find Joe in his familiar place up at the Kalispell Market. It has really grown into the newer location at the College, moving and adapting as the school grows.  Happily, the customers don’t seem to mind much and keep Joe busy.  I can be found at the Creamery where it can almost be as busy!

Sundays are a little slower for us, what with no markets to attend and just being open at the Creamery. We had thought of participating in a couple of the Seeley Lake Markets but, alas, it is not to be (and I’d rather not go into the whys and whatevers here) so you can find us here in Polson getting odd jobs done and handing out samples.

If you’re in the area, come by for a visit or perhaps we’ll see you at one of the markets. Either way, hope your summer is going swimmingly!  Cheers!

Here’s what we’ve gotten ourselves into from May to October:

Creamery open Monday – Saturday 10-5, Sunday 10-4

Monday 4-7 pm Bigfork Village Market                                                                         Tuesday 5-7:30 pm Whitefish Farmers Market                                                            Thursday 4-6 pm Ronan Farmers Market                                                                                  .                  with an occasional                                                                                             Thursday 5-7:30 pm Columbia Falls Community Market                                       Friday 9-1 pm Polson Farmers Market                                                                                                         Friday early afternoon Missoula deliveries                                                   Friday 5-7 pm Mission Falls Market in St. Ignatius                                           Saturday 9-12:30 pm Kalispell Farmers Market

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Farmers Market Season 2018

Market season is looming large here at the Creamery – holy cow! 2 weeks from today!! and thoughts have turned to getting back into the routine of ‘the week‘ and we realized that perhaps it was time to branch out into some other locations.

We tried and failed to add a 5th market last year after realizing we’d have 2 days a month that we could make cheese. OK, well, that won’t work.

This year, we’ve been blessed with some assistance and so decided to not just dip a toe but to jump into the market pool!

To do this, though, one of our core markets would have to be given up. The answer was easy for me – which one did I have to get up at 5am for. Ug!! So apologies to the lovely folks in Missoula as we will not be at the Saturday Market this year BUT we will still be doing deliveries SO proposing we set up a Friday mid afternoon time and location for meeting and cheesing.  Please email me (so I can keep track) at cheeseme@flatheadlakecheese.com and let me know your feelings on this.

Here’s what we’ve gotten ourselves into from May to October:

Monday 4-7 pm Bigfork Village Market                                                                                Tuesday 5-7:30 pm Whitefish Farmer’s Market                                                               Thursday 4-6 pm Ronan Farmer’s Market                                                                                     .                  with an occasional                                                                                                   Thursday 5-7:30 pm Columbia Falls Community Market                                                   Friday 9-1 pm Polson Farmer’s Market                                                                                                         Friday early afternoon Missoula deliveries                                                                  Friday 5-7 pm Mission Falls Market in St. Ignatius                                                          Saturday 9-12:30 pm Kalispell Farmer’s Market

We will also be doing a couple of the Sunday morning Seeley Lake Farmers’ Markets – dates yet to be determined – AND The Tailing Loop Winery in Evergreen/Kalispell is looking into doing occasional Sunday Market as well.

Locations for markets as well as anything else we’re doing can be found on the Calendar page.

Along with the Farmers Markets, the Creamery will move to summer hours on the 20th of May.

Monday – Saturday 10-5, Sunday 10-4

Come see us this summer.  We’ve added a couple reminders to visit.

Boy Howdy, I think we jumped into the deep end!  Good thing we can swim!!              Cheers and have a spectacular summer!

Wendi and Joe

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Thank you for a wonderful year!

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!

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A little like Mother Hubbard

Much like the old nursery rhyme, our cupboard (or at least, our walk in) in nearly bare. We do have a few pieces of aged left so give me a call and we’ll get you cheesed.

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 Joe

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Down to the last few gift boxes

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!

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Looking to buy some cheese gifties?

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!

 

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Holy cow did this make me smile!

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.

 

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Upcoming Events

  • December 17, 2018 11:00 AMto 5pm Creamery Open
  • December 18, 2018 11:00 AMto 5pm Creamery Open
  • December 19, 2018 11:00 AMto 5pm Creamery Open
  • December 20, 2018 11:00 AMto 5pm Creamery Open
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