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A family of blues


Fri, Mar 18th, 2005
Posted in Features

GRANGER Schwarz und Weiss in German means black and white and refers to the simple life and old way of doing things. Like milking cows by hand, cooling it with groundwater and ice and transporting it in traditional milk cans. The Golden Ridge Cheese Coop just south of Granger, Minnesota, across the border into Iowa is owned by a group of Amish farmers. It starts with the milk from 44 local Amish farmers, who practice the old ways. The milk is picked up every day, except Sundays, a day set aside for family. Cheese is made at the coop on alternating Tuesdays/Thursdays and Mondays/Wednesdays. The cheese is started in 38,000 pound double O vats and they have two of these. They make a natural rind and a white rind blue cheese and a blue called Harmony Blue that contains extra cream. They currently make about 20,000 pounds of the white rind, 6,000 pounds of the natural rind and 600 pounds of Harmony Blue a month. What makes blue cheese blue? Its the mold or culture, which can be bought in the U.S. and is stored at 35-40 degrees below zero. Sara Bahgat knows her cheese and especially her blue cheese. She is the Cheesemaker at Golden Ridge. Clad in kneehigh rubber boots, white lab coat, blue rubber gloves and white hairnet she means business, which belies her easy smile and her joking manner. Every day is different, she says. She is almost like a mother hen watching over the regular blue and Harmony Blue this particular day. Constantly checking the pH and the temperature, talking about fat and protein percentages, curds and whey, the time the cheese didnt set up and it likely made plenty of ice cream. She smiles. She not only knows her cheese, but also all the technical details. Shes proud of her blue. The milk is pasteurized and homogenized before it goes into the double O vat. Homogenizing adds flavor. The Harmony Blue is processed in the smaller 9,000 pound vat. The milk is coagulated into curds by using a rennet and then the curds are separated from the whey, which is the liquid. There are long blades in the vats used to cut the cheese into curds. This is done initially by hand for the Harmony Blue, because it is a softer curd. Sara is constantly checking the curds with her blue-gloved hands to see how they are forming. Even after the curds are formed they can and will take on moisture. When asked how long this process takes and when will it be done, she hesitates, When its ready. She smil .....
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Heartland withdraws application from MPCA

Fri, Mar 18th, 2005
Posted in Features

ROCHESTER The owners of Heartland Energy and Recycling, a proposed tire-derived fuel plant, have officially withdrawn their air permit application for the Preston, Minn. site. In a letter dated Mar. 7, 2005, and received at the Minnesota Pollution ..... 
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Agreement reached on engineer fee cap

Fri, Mar 18th, 2005
Posted in Features

HARMONY After an hour of negotiations, between engineers involved in the Lutes-Scrabeck housing development, an agreement was reached that would place a cap on city engineer inspection fees paid for by the developer of the project. A not to exceed ..... 
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L.A. Stories

Fri, Mar 18th, 2005
Posted in Features

The great thing about going to L.A. for a few days is that you dont have to hassle with carrying your passport or going through customs, which doesnt necessarily mean you are not entering another kind of country.

Ive always ..... 
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Rushford City Council Report

Fri, Mar 18th, 2005
Posted in Features

Im confident I can get you out of the contract, declared Attorney Terry Chiglo to the Rushford City Council at their meeting March 14. Chiglo informed the council the generator contract with Ziegler had seven deficiencies within it that could enab ..... 
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Zoning body okays gas permit, approves hog feedlot

Fri, Mar 18th, 2005
Posted in Features

Back in February, the Fillmore County Planning & Zoning Commission tabled any action on an application for a conditional use permit by Northern Natural Gas Company (NNG) to add an additional compressor at their facility in Jordan Township because the ..... 
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Lanesboro School Board: Art mural and rec center dominates meeting

Fri, Mar 18th, 2005
Posted in Features

Two very unconventional community projects dominated discussion at the Lanesboro School Board meeting. There were further updates on the proposed Recreation/Youth Center, but discussion started off with a proposal by Lanesboros arts community.[Read the Rest]

The Irish Minstrels sing their way around Ireland

Fri, Mar 11th, 2005
Posted in Features

Editors note: Last September the Irish Minstrels, a traditional Irish music group from Spring Valley, Minnesota, toured Ireland, singing their way from town to town. Theres no better way to meet the locals than by playing Irish music in a pub in th ..... 
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A touch of Spring at Cumberland Island

Fri, Mar 11th, 2005
Posted in Features

Cumberland Island located off the southwest corner of Georgia is a welcome getaway for a couple of winter-weary nature enthusiasts down from Minnesota. For four days in the middle of February what better place to be than the already spring like envir ..... 
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