Friday, June 22, 2012

What I have to say at this moment.

Joel Salatin wrote a book called Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal.  It's here somewhere although I haven't been able to find it lately.  But that is not what I have to say at this moment.

What I have to say at this moment is that if you believe anything at all, you won't end up doing anything at all.  Because everything says that you can't do anything:  it is too hard, too dangerous, something.

I always liked Mary Jane Toth, who wrote Goats Produce Too:  Her instructions were clear, her attitude one of "anyone can do it".  I disliked and specifically recommended against the New England cheesemaking folks because they made it seem hard and like you had to buy stuff from them to get it done.

I like MJT's book enough that when I needed new cheesemaking supplies (not that you can't do it without them but some of them do make it easier!), I bought her new book, A Cheesemaker's Journey (I'm tired of putting in links).  It has some decent recipes and we're definitely using it putting away a bunch of cheeses right now, but her attitude seems to have changed.  You must use DVI cultures now whereas before mesophilic was just buttermilk and thermophilic just yogurt and really, you can get away with just that.

I hate that.  I mean, I love having the option but I hate it being put out there that there is this one right way that requires boughten things.

Worse, I recently read her thing on Hoegger's site about having to pasteurize milk for cheesemaking, and how you HAVE to cool it, and how you HAVE to throw out the cheese if this and if that and it is all . . . bullsh*t.  It would not be bullsh*t if I were a commercial cheesemaker, but I am not.  I am a homestead cheesemaker.  Each cheese is and should be different.

And I've finally found a bull calf that it is possible we might buy.  And so what I keep running in to is the opinion that you just cannot, CANNOT, keep a dairy breed bull.  They are dangerous.  Well, they are.  But to have it put out there that you can't do it because of that . . . it is . . . terrible, disheartening, irresponsible.  No wonder no one actually does anything anymore -- they've been convinced that even cooking supper is too hard and dangerous.

And don't forget, goats can't nurse their mommas.

So, just believe me now -- whatever it is you want to do for yourself, it is dangerous and it is hard and you will fail.  Just persevere because you will also succeed.  If you are smart anyway.  And persistent.  And informed.  And hardheaded.



Alecto said...

oh I love this! I have a copy of that book around here somewhere too, unless I loaned it to someone... but I got the point. I think it's a good thing I have a tendency to get bored with instructions or written information and wander away and just do it or I'd really never do it at all because I truly stink at doing it just so. However, I did catch myself speaking in that tone of, you have to do it exactly this way just the other day when a group of co-workers were gearing up to start a garden at work because my company decided it might be a good thing to do and the plots are going to be ready on Monday and they had this list and I was thinking NO! that's all wrong and you can't and you mustn't were starting to come out of my mouth and I finally shut UP. They'll do what they do and they'll learn and they'll have fun and I'll just help and I might learn something too. Actually, I think I just did.

CG said...

well, just try to help them do SOMETHING that will actually grow. When I was a kid, my grandmother had me grow radishes because anybody, even a 5 yo, can pay attention for 28 days. And even if you don't like radishes (I don't), it is thrilling to pull them up.

Wendy said...

The hardest part about doing what I do is having people ask me "how", because, really, most of the time, I don't know "how", I just know that I do it, and most of the time, it works.

Sometimes it doesn't, and then, I do it again, and it works the second time.

And sometimes, it works great, but then, I forget how I did it the first time, and so when I do it again, it doesn't work so great.

What I've learned is that, often, I have very little control over the outcome, but most of the time, that's okay, because most of the time, it works out just fine - not perfect, mind you, but good enough.

CG said...

It is like we are Yoda saying, "There is not try, only do."

There is a lute maker, now dead, who quite literally wrote the book on lutes, and he had a thing, "One cut and good enough." It is about being very skilled, to be sure, but also not un-satisfy-able.

Walter said...

Thanks for writing that. I make cheese (with raw milk, mind you). Not "artisinal" cheese, just cheese. I bake bread. Not "artisinal" bread, just bread. I brew beer. Not "craft" beer, just simple all grain beer. I break sacred rules when I brew; it still tastes good to me, like my bread and cheese. I'm not an artisan, I'm a simple man trying to make what he can with what he has.

jules said...

"...not perfect, mind you, but good enough."

I think this is where most folks give in. They want it to be perfect, the first time, and every time. Or they don't even try. "Why do it if you just have to do it over again?" is what I hear.

Sad. JUST DO IT! and be satisfied with 'good enough' sometimes.