Post by Debbie Lincoln on Mar 7, 2020 0:06:30 GMT -5
I looked up the story line and now I do want to see it....
Behind every great fortune, someone once said — not quite Balzac, though he often gets the credit — lies a great crime. The fortune amassed by Cookie (John Magaro) and King-Lu (Orion Lee), partners in a mid-19th-century artisanal snack-food start-up in a rough section of the Oregon Territory, is a modest one: a cloth sack filled with shells, cutup coins and company scrip. The crime that brings them that bounty is correspondingly small-scale. Under cover of night, the two men sneak over to a pasture near the cabin they share and milk someone else’s cow. (King-Lu takes lookout duty in a tree, while Cookie fills the pail.)
That patient, inscrutable animal is the title character, and in effect the female lead, of “First Cow,” Kelly Reichardt’s deceptively simple and wondrously subtle new film. A parable of economics and politics, with shrewd insights into the workings of supply and demand, scarcity and scale and other puzzles of the marketplace, the movie is also keenly attuned to details of history, both human and natural.
The cow (identified in the end credits as Evie) may be the only bovine in the territory, but she is part of a nonhuman cast that includes at least one owl, an assortment of very good dogs, an apparently tame crow and a typically amoral cat whose mischief kicks the plot toward its climax. The people believe they have dominion over the animals, the land and its products, but their sovereignty is an illusion. We are, for the most part, big talkers with meager destinies, at the mercy of luck, global capitalism (which was a thing even then) and one another.
Though it surveys a grim, Hobbesian struggle for survival, “First Cow” has more on its mind and in its viewfinder than the nasty, brutish war of each against all, or the systems of domination intended to keep that war in check. Even in the harshest circumstances, there is still room — still a primal need — for sweetness, for companionship, for art.
6 Cows: Sophie - HoJo, Elvira - Angus/HoJo, Aggie - 3/4 angus, CiCi - purebred red/black angus, Cinco, red sim/angus, Totsy, Aggie’s 7/8 Red Angus, everyone preg or nursing RIP Abbey (Elvira's dam). You are missed.... RIP Georgia, Border CollieXCorgie, Trudy - GSD, Maltese/poodle Kaydee. 2 cats, Koi pond, flock of colorful opinionated chickens, a HUGE garden, 2 grown kids, 3 grandchildren, and us, 2 retired happy people working harder than ever. nowornever-debbie.blogspot.com/
It's a really sweet, completely fictional and completely wonderful, tale based very loosely on history. I laughed out loud seeing the jersey on the barge in the river. In real historical life, that sweet contemporary looking jersey would have almost certainly been a Durham or Shorthorn because in those early days of the Wild West the pioneers valued triple purpose as a means of survival- meat and milk and power for pulling things in the same wilderness place rather than a more delicate jersey. It wasn't until decades later than the channel island cows were imported to fill barns and cleared land. Put in a simpler way, the theme of this movie we surely must all see is this- that even in the harshness of the Wild West settlements, when rough and tumble trappers and explorers came before cleared land and farmers, there came the sweet taste of fresh milk. And the profit, and the sweetness of the cow that came with it. The juxtaposition of the rough and tumble men with this sweet, but independent cow is alone worth seeing. And yes, satisfactory for children I wonder how they picked the cow
Last Edit: Mar 7, 2020 11:04:55 GMT -5 by brigitte
brigitte - Actually, the Jersey cow is historically accurate to early Oregon. Remember, our history is much more recent than the east coast. I'm not sure what date they're using in the movie, online it just says 19th century, but there's historical reference to dairies in the coastal WA/OR area in the 1840s. Alonzo Davis brought a herd of Jerseys from Canada in the early 70s to clallam co. By the 80s there were over 1000 cows in the Tillamook coastal area alone.
Jersey cow family: Samson's Rosita (age 3) & Virtuoso Briar Rose (age 2) An Akita, some kitty cats, 7 Border Leicester sheep & 53 hens
^^^I figured you might have information about that. I think the movie is set around 1820, though I could be off. So really the first settlers. When the wagon trains headed west I do believe they had milk cows in tow- and valued them highly but I think not jerseys until a few years later as you say. I guess I have to name the next jersey X calf here Evie. Checked it and yes, it was set in the 1820s- to soon for jerseys accurate to history. Unless ..... here is the recipe for those cakes "with a touch of England." Luckily, it doesn't have to be stolen in the dark of night any more
I Made the Oily Cakes From First Cow To complete the recipe, I stole some milk.
By DAN KOIS MARCH 06, 20205:45 AM
In Kelly Reichardt’s lovely new movie First Cow, set way out on the 1820s Oregon frontier, Cookie Figowitz (John Magaro) and his friend King-Lu (Orion Lee) rake in the dough thanks to, well, dough. Cookie, a onetime baker’s assistant, cooks “oily cakes,” and entrepreneurial King-Lu sells them to the trappers and soldiers at Fort Tillicum for piles of silver pieces, company scrip, and beads. The wild men of the wild frontier go, if possible, even wilder for the oily cakes, treasuring the taste of something soft and sweet in so hard and bitter a place. Even the local governor, played by Toby Jones, loves the cakes. When he nibbles one (sold to him at double the sticker price by King-Lu), he looks into the distance and says, with wonder, “It tastes of England.” The secret ingredient in these oily cakes? The milk that Cookie and King-Lu purloin late at night from the governor’s own cow (played by breakout newcomer Evie), the first in the territory.
“History hasn’t gotten here yet,” King-Lu says, and neither have cookbooks, so what recipe did Cookie follow for his delicious-looking fried doughnuts, reminiscent of malasadas or zeppole? I wanted to try those oily cakes and see if they would please my sugar-addled 21st-century palate as it did those grizzled men of the West. Luckily, Reichardt shared the ingredient list, developed by the writer-director and her co-writer, Jonathan Raymond, from historical recipes of the time.
After watching Magaro work his magic on screen, I felt ready to make my own oily cakes. First step: illicitly milk a cow. Unfortunately, the dairy that delivers our family’s milk each Tuesday rebuffed my requests to take one of their herd in hand. “It’s just that if you don’t have a lot of experience milking cows, the cow might react poorly and someone could get hurt,” South Mountain Creamery’s customer service rep told me apologetically, noting also that “this is a pretty weird request.”
Instead, I shoplifted a quart of whole milk from the Harris Teeter. That was after I asked a Harris Teeter employee where they kept the lard and she replied, “Lard, huh? That’s a real old-time ingredient.” Exactly! Unfortunately, they had not stocked lard in some years. Instead I bought three large containers of Goya lard—just an incredible amount of lard—at a nearby Latin market, where the cashier asked me if I was making carnitas, and, rather than attempt to explain the whole stupid thing, I said yes.
I mixed up all the ingredients, including the quick-rise yeast that the production substituted for era-appropriate pâte à choux, the French pastry base whose high moisture content helps éclairs rise. Meanwhile, I melted every single bit of the horrifying amount of lard in a big Dutch oven. Apparently the First Cow production used a candy thermometer to ensure the lard was the right temperature, but I did not, because 1) they did not have candy thermometers in 1820, 2) I did not have a candy thermometer, and 3) Kelly Reichardt did not actually tell me what temperature they cooked at. Instead I just waited until the lard was really freaking hot, hot enough to insta-brown a dollop of batter, then dropped big spoonfuls into the lard and let it bubble away.
The first few oily cakes were good, but not life-changing, even to a frontiersman. They were flattened blobs rather than spheres, and they weren’t as puffy as I would have liked. Then I realized I forgot the eggs, so the next batch was really great! Deep-fried puffy spheres with crunchy little tails, steaming and delicious drizzled with (as in the movie) a little honey and a little cinnamon. (Where did people in 1820s Oregon get cinnamon?! Who knows.) My friend Jonathan, a poet and teacher, picked one up, and I said: “It’s 1820! You’re a rugged, bearded dude trapped among a bunch of other dudes! No one appreciates art—they just want furs and silver! You haven’t eaten anything that isn’t hardtack or squirrel in like five years!” Would it blow his mind? Jonathan wiped his mouth and said, “These are good!” He now owes me five pieces of silver.
Evie’s Tasty Oily Cakes Adapted from Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow
• 1½ cup whole milk, warm, preferably stolen in dark of night • 1 packet instant active dry yeast • 1/3 cup warm water • 2 whole large eggs, lightly beaten with a whisk made of reeds plucked from the river’s edge • 1¼ stick unsalted butter, melted • 1/4 cup sugar • 4 cups all-purpose flour • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 48 oz animal lard—just an astonishing amount of lard—for frying • cinnamon and honey for finishing
Pour the packet of yeast into the warm water and let sit for five minutes.
Meanwhile, scoop all 48 ounces of lard—yes, all of it—into a big Dutch oven. Heat on medium-high until the lard is melted and really, really, really hot. When you drop a tiny bit of dough into it, it should sizzle and start to brown pretty quick.
Last Edit: Mar 7, 2020 18:24:09 GMT -5 by brigitte
Here is my short review of this movie: Gentle, evocative, and bearing Reichardt's signature contemplative pacing, "First Cow" is one of the richest, best films of 2020. Its' available on the free movie streaming sites too.
claytonpaul: A bull was put on her herd Late Last May so she was expected to be due between May1 and August. They quoted me August so I wouldn't be disappointing by a late arrival.
May 23, 2019 13:07:11 GMT -5
Trim: I'm baaaaacccckkkk!
Aug 31, 2019 17:57:22 GMT -5
alpacalexi: My mini jersey cow is pregnant, however the last couple days her udder has deflated. My vet saw her on the 23 and said delivery in a couple weeks Is there a reason for her deflating?
Oct 2, 2019 17:17:00 GMT -5
Trim: She probably aborted a while back. That happened to one of my animals. She was bagging up but within a short while of her "due date" she began to deflate. I had no idea what had happened. I was seriously bummed out.
Feb 8, 2020 20:46:23 GMT -5
mamacherri10: good afternoon! I have not been on the website in a long time. Have a new jersey milk cow and am looking to see how long she needs to be dried up prior to calving? She is due the third week of May.
Mar 10, 2020 14:33:11 GMT -5
steven888: Dry her up now, she needs 6 wks of rest.
Apr 1, 2020 2:05:11 GMT -5
highlandteen: five to six weeks is generally suggested
May 7, 2020 14:39:23 GMT -5
This book is intended as an inspirational manual for keeping a family milk cow. A lifetime of practical experience has been bound into one volume. Practical advice for the everyday and procedures for cow emergencies. Plus, answers to FAQ's like, 'Should you get a cow?' and 'How Much Space do I need?'