Day Twenty-Nine ~ Grazing

I don't do this very often, but today I grazed. No real meals, just little snacks throughout the day. When I woke up I ate a custard cup topped with leftover fruit salad from yesterday's dinner. Then I went to the Northside Farmer's Market where I picked up some apples and raspberries. At about 10am I had a hard boiled egg and an apple with aged Marieke Gouda. Then I went with Meg to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. More on that later, but rest assured that there were sheep related goodies to be sampled.

When I got home I had a Candystripe tomato (yep, they're still going strong in the garden!), with cottage cheese and chopped parsley. At about 6pm I had the last custard cup, then at 7:30 another apple, this time with Capri Moo Bear Muenster and a pear with Hidden Springs Bohemian Blue sheep cheese. Finally, at around 9:30 I made popcorn with butter, hickory nuts, and maple syrup.

Now a few pictures from the Sheep and Wool Festival. Meg and I went looking for local yarn, and boy did we find it! There were tons of vendors, some with local fiber, some with not. My big handiwork plan for the winter is to knit a local afghan, and I was interested to see if there were any local farms are out there that raise animals, and make the fiber into yarn that I can buy. I found a few good prospects, but instead of buying I took a lot of business cards. It's not going to be a cheap endeavor, and I want to make sure I have a good pattern before I buy the yarn. It will probably end up being a wool alpaca blend... so soft!

When we were finally overwhelmed by all the yarn for sale, we explored the other buildings, tasted some lamb meatballs, and finally ended up at the junior sheep show.....

It was interesting to see how the judges determine the superior sheep. There were two main categories, wool sheep and meat lambs. The meat breeds were judged mostly on muscle and bone structure, the wool breeds were judged mostly on their fleece. The sheep (even the winners) mostly just looked confused and unhappy to be there.

Before we left we caught this sheep cheese sampling. Ewes milk has more fat, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E than Cow's milk, and it makes a dreamy cheese. We sampled cheeses from Carr Valley, Hidden Springs, Cedar Grove, and a creamery I had never heard of: Shepherd's Ridge Creamery in St. Croix Falls, WI. Meg and I agreed that the cheese from Shepherd's Ridge was the best - a complex flavor with layers of earthy, tangy, and almost spicy. Yum. Apparently this is a new cheese maker, the cheese isn't even on the market yet. I can't wait till it is!

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