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Cheese From a Family Farm

June 03, 1993|KATHIE JENKINS

Rick and Lora Lea Misterly live on a small farm in the northeast corner of Washington state with their daughter Willow. They raise cows, chickens and ducks. They also share their farm with 100 goats named Jack, Pinkie, Shara, Bossy, Blanchette, Tinkerbell. . . .

Between the cows and the goats, the Misterlys were getting so much milk that, six years ago, they started making cottage cheese. Before long, they had branched out and started experimenting. They began making goat's milk cheese from a basic Spanish-style Manchego recipe, and then they began aging it. Their cheese, which uses no chemicals or preservatives, quickly found a market.

It takes 10 pounds of goat's milk to make a pound of cheese. Last year, the couple made about 8,000 pounds of cheese--and it wasn't enough. When we called to place an order, there was no cheese to be had. A local restaurant had bought the entire inventory.

But this year the Misterlys are making more cheese, and our order has just arrived. Our favorites are the plain Curado and one flavored with pink peppercorns and dill ($6 a pound). Aged from two to four months, the mellow cheese is soft and flexible with a nutty flavor. Aged a year, the cheese turns into Viejo, which is drier, sharper and $7 a pound.

Cheese Co. 2409 Pleasant Valley Road Rice, Wash. 99167 (509) 738-2011 Check or Money Order

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