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Steering committee recommendations

From: Nancy V.
Sent on: Monday, November 14, 2016 4:19 PM

Hi everyone,

The group met last week and had some great ideas to flesh out our meeting schedule for the first 5-6 months of 2017. We got a lot done at a short meeting.

First off, the budget was analyzed and it will be necessary to return to collecting dues. We tried to go without dues in 2016, but the coffers ran dry and it cannot continue this way through another year. The club pays for speakers, cheese, tours, the meetup site and supplies for meetings. In addition, a small fee for meetings with speakers and for tours where the farm requires payment will still be charged. Dues and reservations with payments will be made on the meetup site. That function will not start until after the December meeting.

Beginning in January, we will have an instruction class, led by Nancy Vineyard in the making of Chèvre cheese with pointers on how to make some spin offs from that style, such as Valencay and hard aged chèvre.  That meeting will be January 26th, Thursday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm or so. There will not be an additional charge for this class.  Classes at The Beverage People are regularly priced at $60.00. (speaking of 2017, there are two classes where four cheeses will be made and that schedule will be published in a couple of weeks)

Next, February 22nd, Wednesday we will need your participation. We will ask for five volunteers to make Fromage Blanc, using a ripening culture, which the club will provide. There are 5 different cultures available to use, so we will need 5 volunteers. Everyone who volunteers will need to follow a specific time frame to make their cheese. At the meeting, the cheeses will be served for all the guests for feedback on the contributions the different cultures bring to the cheese.  All the details and raw materials, except for milk will be distributed at the January meeting.

The March 23rd, Thursday meeting will be lead by Julie. She will guide us in a tasting of cheeses, using the tools for sensory evaluation, similar to tasting a wine or a beer. You will be learning the terms necessary to communicate what you smell, taste and feel. The club will be providing a tasting journal with a flavor wheel to help guide you.  The cheeses will be purchased and or donated for this tasting. This meeting will have a charge for the book and the cheese, and will likely be $10.00.

April is baby goat season in Sonoma County, as well as baby sheep. We are reaching out to our friends at Weirauch Creamery in Penngrove to see if we can have a Sunday tour and picnic on April 9 or April 23.  As the location and date is confirmed, you will see Reservations for this meeting. In the past we have allowed up to two guests and children have been welcome. The tour has generally cost $15.00 and the group brings the picnic supplies and pools them on a large table provided at the farm.

The final two meetings, May 24 or 25 and June (mid-June), will be: an evening with Mark Todd, the CheeseDude and Movie Night with Tom Bower.  We previously had a visit from Mark about 4 years ago and it was absolutely wonderful. Lots of stories and cheeses to taste.  Movie Nights are legend, and Tom always picks great cheese to go along with, so if you haven't experienced one, please join us.  These meetings will be posted as soon as the dates are firm.

Looks like a great first half and speaking for the committee, we look forward to seeing many of you at one or all of these events. Thanks to Tom, Kathy, Jan, Chris, Nancy, Julie and Judy for helping out and coming up with such good idea.


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