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 News & Updates from HJO Director, MaryJane Butters
 Milk Cow Kitchen Book Updates and Revisions
 Cheese (Fridge) Cellar
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NellieBelle

11035 Posts


Posted - Aug 26 2015 :  07:24:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It is cool Charlene. Full circle sort of thing. :) Just enjoy every moment of it. It is a special and beautiful event. I've noticed both my girls are acting a bit naughty. When I go out Sienna is so jealous that she won't let Nellie get near. They have been having some rough head butting sessions, and Nellie actually challenged me out in the pasture, but it passed. It's getting closer to that time and their "cow-onalities" do change. Well, I should say my cows "cow-onatilies" change. Can't wait for the Clover birthing event.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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maryjane

6890 Posts


Posted - Aug 26 2015 :  10:43:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Janet, I love cow-onalities. It's true, just like humans, they can be wonderfully diverse, mystifying, frustrating, and intriguing all at the same time. Only a plastic or cardboard cow could eliminate the day-to-day variables. Duh!! That's called the dairy cooler in a grocery store.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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GingerBKelly

273 Posts


Posted - Aug 27 2015 :  05:25:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
CloversMum, my first name is Ginger (but that's OK, Kelly is fine too).

I'll gladly post photos of our cheese cellar, when we get it going. My guess is, if our heifer is pregnant, by next spring or early summer it will be ready to set it up and ready to make wonderful hard cheeses for our family! I'm very excited about this.

The mailman brought us the lovely books I ordered from Mary Jane's Farm. One for my daughter, one for my granddaughter and one for me. Yey! I can't wait to delve into the Milk Cow Kitchen book. I glanced at it, seconds after we received it, and it really looks amazing and is well-illustrated and well-indexed for easy reference. One of my first pleasures is to read about the cheese cellar refrigerator idea.

~Ginger Kelly, Kelly Homestead Apiary, Charlton, MA~

gingerbkelly@gmail.com
When a cow laughs, does milk come out her nose? ~Author Unknown


Check us out on FB: https://www.facebook.com/KellyHomesteadApiary/
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NellieBelle

11035 Posts


Posted - Aug 27 2015 :  06:19:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Your books arrived, well, see you in a month or so. Ha! Seriously, I sat and read and read, there is so much information in her Milk Cow Kitchen Book. Expecially starting out it was a true life saver. It's my "go to" for anything cow and cheese recipes. I keep one in the kitchen, one on the coffee table and I will be putting a new one in my new milk parlor kitchen as well. Enjoy Ginger.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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GingerBKelly

273 Posts


Posted - Sep 02 2015 :  06:43:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have to say that just this morning, while I was sipping my second cup of coffee....AND preparing another batch of my organic garden tomato puree...WHILE I was reading and glancing at Mary Jane's Milk Cow Kitchen book, absorbed in the diagrams of how to load 39 bales of hay onto a full sized pick-up-truck.....AND, thinking of which day I will reserve to draft a will for one of my clients before next Tuesday...the song, "what a wonderful world" popped into my head. The moment made me smile from the inside out.

I love looking forward to things. This sort of happy multi-tasking is right up my ally. Life is good, indeed!

~Ginger Kelly, Kelly Homestead Apiary, Charlton, MA~

gingerbkelly@gmail.com
When a cow laughs, does milk come out her nose? ~Author Unknown


Check us out on FB: https://www.facebook.com/KellyHomesteadApiary/
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GingerBKelly

273 Posts


Posted - Oct 18 2016 :  07:07:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Two questions about the Cheese (Fridge) Cellar.

#1. Can you use a refrigerator-freezer? Our refrigerator has a freezer on top. Is this OK?

#2. My husband says that when the temps outside (or in the garage, in our situation) drop below the temperature of the refrigerator the cheese cellar will not work, because it can not warm the refrigerator in freezing temperatures. Does anyone have any experience with keeping a cheese (fridge) cellar like this outside in a garage or someplace similar?

~Ginger Kelly, Kelly Homestead Apiary, Charlton, MA~

gingerbkelly@gmail.com
When a cow laughs, does milk come out her nose? ~Author Unknown


Check us out on FB: https://www.facebook.com/KellyHomesteadApiary/
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NellieBelle

11035 Posts


Posted - Oct 18 2016 :  08:58:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ginger I can only tell you from my own experience. My refrigerator does have a freezer on the top. It doesn't "freeze" anything but keeps cold. So yes, you can use a refrigerator with a freezer on the top. I have mine in the basement so can't be much help with question #2. My freezers are in the barn all winter and they do fine, but of course they are freezers and not refrigerators. I believe it would be hard on a refrigerator outdoors where the outdoor temps are lower than the setting for the cheese cellar fridge.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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maryjane

6890 Posts


Posted - Oct 18 2016 :  11:08:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Janet's correct. I also have one with a top freezer. It stays cold but no longer freezes. We keep our flours in it and not cheese because it's about 10 degrees colder than the 55 we want for our cheese.

Your husband is correct. It can't be where it will freeze. A cool basement or insulated/heated outbuilding with the temp set low is ideal because then it doesn't have to work as hard to keep the inside at 55. But if you have it in place that drops below 55, the temp in the cheese cellar won't be what it needs to be.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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GingerBKelly

273 Posts


Posted - Oct 18 2016 :  11:43:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is great information, Janet and Mary Jane. I am very grateful to you both. Without helpful friends/mentors like you, I don't know what I would do. I especially love the helpful tip about storing flour in the top freezer part of the cheese (fridge) cellar.

Well, now that we've got this question resolved, now I will need to figure out a way to keep my cheese in a humid place, since the "cold" spare room in our house will be fine for winter storage, except for the fact that it can get very dry in our house, especially when we use our wood stove. What do you think about using a small greenhouse, which is basically wire racks with a plastic zip cover. If I place a pan of water on a bottom rack, I wonder if this would be good for the cheese? There would not be too much air circulation. I wonder if that would invite more mold than we would want on our cheese?

~Ginger Kelly, Kelly Homestead Apiary, Charlton, MA~

gingerbkelly@gmail.com
When a cow laughs, does milk come out her nose? ~Author Unknown


Check us out on FB: https://www.facebook.com/KellyHomesteadApiary/
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maryjane

6890 Posts


Posted - Oct 18 2016 :  12:08:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just not sure about your greenhouse idea. In other words, you can't do a refrigerator cheese cellar?

In our fridge, we keep the humidity on target by having a couple of open containers of water in the door at all times. We check for mold on our wheels weekly but now that we wax every wheel, we rarely get mold. If we see mold beneath the wax, we pull that wheel out, take the wax off where it's moldy, scrap the mold off the cheese and re-wax.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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NellieBelle

11035 Posts


Posted - Oct 18 2016 :  1:18:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's what I use our freezer part of the cheese cellar freezer for also. My flour. I have some liquor in there also. Triple Sec etc. for recipes. Works well and doesn't freeze.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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GingerBKelly

273 Posts


Posted - Oct 18 2016 :  4:39:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If we can't keep the cheese fridge in the house, over winter, I just don't know what to do. I was hoping our spare room would suffice or maybe the greenhouse idea would work to contain some humidity

~Ginger Kelly, Kelly Homestead Apiary, Charlton, MA~

gingerbkelly@gmail.com
When a cow laughs, does milk come out her nose? ~Author Unknown


Check us out on FB: https://www.facebook.com/KellyHomesteadApiary/
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maryjane

6890 Posts


Posted - Oct 18 2016 :  4:45:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It can be your house. A spare room is ideal. You can have a refrigerator cheese cellar in a home that has the thermostat set as high as 80 degrees and it will still keep your cheeses at 55. Just has to work harder, that's all.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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GingerBKelly

273 Posts


Posted - Oct 18 2016 :  5:10:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm not sure we have room for the cheese fridge in the house. This is my problem. This is why I was hoping the spare room would work for wintertime. Is there some sort of thermostatic low level heat element for the cheese fridge that would keep it at 50 degrees while it's outside in the garage? If not, then I'm back to the issue of how to keep a few wheels of cheese in the spare room (cold room) in the house for the wintertime and maintain the proper humidity level, because we heat with a wood stove?

~Ginger Kelly, Kelly Homestead Apiary, Charlton, MA~

gingerbkelly@gmail.com
When a cow laughs, does milk come out her nose? ~Author Unknown


Check us out on FB: https://www.facebook.com/KellyHomesteadApiary/
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GingerBKelly

273 Posts


Posted - Oct 20 2016 :  07:40:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So, I've been re-thinking this whole cheese fridge process. Since I can't run a cheese cellar/refrigerator in the winter in the unheated garage and I can't use our cold room/spare room, for curing cheese, I suppose I simply need to make more room in the house for a cheese fridge. Truly it will be worth the extra effort, right?

I have a little corner bookshelf area upstairs. I keep books, read stories and color with granddaughter, Kendall, in this area. Perhaps I can move the books to another spot. If I place a cheese refrigerator/cellar next to this upright freezer, viola! Problem solved!


~Ginger Kelly, Kelly Homestead Apiary, Charlton, MA~

gingerbkelly@gmail.com
When a cow laughs, does milk come out her nose? ~Author Unknown


Check us out on FB: https://www.facebook.com/KellyHomesteadApiary/
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maryjane

6890 Posts


Posted - Oct 20 2016 :  7:08:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Fabulous idea, Ginger. I can see it now. And instead of books for your young'un, she'll have cheese for her tummy.

I do know that you want your cheese cellar handy so that you can monitor your cheeses regularly. It takes too much effort to make cheese, only to let it mold. Your placement certainly looks handy enough.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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GingerBKelly

273 Posts


Posted - Oct 21 2016 :  07:28:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I also thought about the handiness of a cheese (fridge) cellar in the main house. No way do I want my good work to mold because it's out of sight, out of mind (hidden in the cellar or wherever).

Your right! I love the idea of sharing yummy cheese with my granddaughter. She can be my "official" taste tester. Good idea, Mary Jane. Thanks.

~Ginger Kelly, Kelly Homestead Apiary, Charlton, MA~

gingerbkelly@gmail.com
When a cow laughs, does milk come out her nose? ~Author Unknown


Check us out on FB: https://www.facebook.com/KellyHomesteadApiary/
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GingerBKelly

273 Posts


Posted - Jan 01 2017 :  08:42:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Has anyone ever used a wine refrigerator for a cheese cellar? What are your experiences with this concept?

~Ginger Kelly, Kelly Homestead Apiary, Charlton, MA~

gingerbkelly@gmail.com
When a cow laughs, does milk come out her nose? ~Author Unknown


Check us out on FB: https://www.facebook.com/KellyHomesteadApiary/
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Jan 02 2017 :  1:36:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I looked into using a wine refrigerator for a cheese cellar, but decided against it. It was cheaper to use a regular refrigerator and use MaryJane's instructions in her book to convert it to a cheese cellar. Also, you got way more room in a regular refrigerator than you'd have in a wine refrigerator. Just my two cents ...

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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