Marrying into the Randles family has not come without a cost. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my in-laws. I couldn’t have hoped for better ones. But that doesn’t mean that while I love them, there aren’t consequences… good ones. For better or worse, my in-laws, Marge and Dave, have influenced me. Here is the saga of some of their hard work & ingenuity – and how it has affected me.
Andrew and I hope to someday have half the legacy that his parents have of hard work and ingenuity. Farmers by trade – his parents are truly hard workers. But in 2007 they took their hard work to a whole new level when they created Argyle Cheese Farmer (ACF) as a way to keep the Randles Fairview Farm alive. Some people doubted in the beginning whether they could pull it off, but they have time and time again proved those skeptics wrong.
The fruits of their labor don’t come easily. Andrew’s parents routinely wake up in the wee hours of the morning to start the cheese making process. Whether it’s hard cheese, cheddar cheese curd, mozzarella, yogurt, or any of the variety of delectable products – I think they would say the hard work is worth it. Their products make it every week to upto 5 farmers markets depending on the time of year. Some of their product also makes it down to NYC for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. There is even a restaurant in NYC that imports their product nearly every week – it is just that good!
This year we will miss one of my in-law’s most successful weekends: The Cheese Tour. Last year we were a part of this incredible weekend event. Over the course of the weekend thousands of people visit Argyle Cheese Farmer along with 4 other cheese farms that open up their businesses to the public the weekend after labor day. (ACF is the only one that sports cheese and other dairy products made from cows milk.) If you are up for a drive and a visit to the state of NY – I highly recommend The Cheese Tour as one of the neatest ways to combine a love for cheese with a beautiful drive through the country side (not to mention sampling of great products, like Maple Greek Yogurt!) Oh what fun. But alas, not for us this year. <sniff sniff>
I have always liked cheese, but becoming the daughter-in-law of cheesemakers has turned me into a cheese lover. I have even gone from tolerating yogurt to being a fanatic of Maple Greek Yogurt. Unfortunately, the way of a cheese lover is not easy in Singapore. There is no room for cows in Singapore. Consequently any dairy products are imported. This makes cheese and any good dairy products expensive. (We won’t talk here about how our new obsession with McD’s ice cream compares to my in-law’s gellato.)
The lack of good dairy in Singapore has not stopped us from our children-of-cheese-farmers-tendencies:
The other week we were watching Iron Chef America (I will be the first to admit it’s not as good as the original Iron Chef – but it’s still mouth watering fun to watch). We were ecstatic as we watched “Battle Mozzarella” unfold on our TV.
We were on the edge of our seats watching a show that others would have only been mildly interested in. As the iron chef stretched out some mozzarella that was sitting in hot water – I was transported back to my experience stretching mozzarella alongside my mother-in-law. Oh how I could almost taste fresh mozzarella curds they utilized it in their cooking. Our taste buds were tantalized and our imaginations sparked of what we could do with our parents’ mozzarella. We instantly were eager to tell Andrew’s mom about what we had just watched on TV!
It’s not just our TV viewing that has been influenced by our parents’ career. What we notice in Singapore has also been influenced. For example, while we were at the zoo the other day we were determined to take our picture with some cows. You see, having the Argyle Cheese Farmers as parents has changed even our picture taking habits! (Not that we mind 😉 ) Actually, come to think of it, this influence started shortly after getting married:
And the influence on how we take pictures hasn’t stopped. Just last week while at a mall with friends from church, we spotted some more cows. (Again, as we’ve noted, Singapore doesn’t have room for cows, so we are excited when we do spot them.) They looked a little different then what we were used to for cows – but that didn’t stop us from taking our picture with them!
There you have it – our nerdiness has been taken to a whole new level, all because we have cheese farmers for parents.
We have not finalized details for when we will next go back to the States for a visit. But we have determined this much: one of our first stops during our next visit to Argyle, NY will be some fresh cheese curd and some cold gellato. And I don’t care if we visit during the winter – we are going to eat gellato. (I have my heart set on some Joyous Almond flavored gelatto.)
And maybe while we’re there we’ll take our picture with some real cows…