Notes From The Vat

Are you all recovered from your tryptophan trippin’ and accepting into your life the ceaseless churn of Dominic the Donkey and White Christmas on retail repeat for the next 5 weeks?
 
In all earnestness, this is the most magical cheese season of the year and you can’t not love it. Parties galore, evenings with friendships and warming tannic wines, cider, stouts, toddies, or an old fashioned by the fire – all you need is a cheese pairing or plate to bring the glow to any of these evenings.

Consider our Havilah with a cider on the sweeter side, or with that old fashioned. Better still perhaps caramelize some onions with cider and back with thinly sliced potatoes adorned with Rarebird. Everyone always lumps Chardonnay with bloomies, but how about a nice stout with our Mooncakes? In any case, the days may be getting shorter, but that’s all the more reason to embrace the holiday and EAT MORE CHEESE!
 

CHEESE! CHEESE! CHEESE! 

 


Mooncakes, Mooncakes, Mooncakes!

Our friendly blue and light grey penicilliums and few errant blues decided to visit our bloomy room and what a gift they gave us! Mooncakes is essentially our Buttercup, but with non-pure snow white rind and a changed aroma. Distinctly cave-y, mushroomy, it’s like going spelunking in a cavern with pleasing mushrooms and sea of butter underneath you. Mhmmmm….sea of butter. We’ve added some ash to these to give them greater visual  Also, tiny lil third pounders available too in addition to standard brie sizes. Pasteurized milk.

Havilah
August/Sept 2016 batches. Sweet and pinneaple-y aromas, but flavors of a beefy sunday roast with Yorkshire pudding. Raw milk.

Toma
VERY LIMITED. Beautiful pinkish orange shaded wheels, nice and beefy, roasted peanut and cashew flavors. Perfect for melting or snacking. Raw milk.

We will also have Lawrenceville Jack, Full Nettle Jack, and Buttercup Brie in the farm store. Look for some intriguing releases a little closer to the holidays!

Heritage Turkeys!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Don’t forget to pre-order your pasture-raised heritage turkey from the farm. Come in to the store, or call us. Store staff will walk you through the details, take your name, and a deposit.Pick up days are the Monday and Tuesday before T-Day.

Our Bourbon Red and Royal Palm turkeys are smaller than a store-bought Butterball, but the taste of a pasture-raised bird is sublime. This will be our last year raising heritage turkeys so don’t miss your chance to taste the difference!

Cooking a pastured turkey is also a little bit different. For cooking tips, visit our Roasting  a Pastured Turkey with hints from our grass-fed guru, Shannon Hayes.

#shopsmall  #pasturedpoultry

Cow Parade is Here!

Music by The Jersey Corn Pickers

The Cake Off: An Olde Fashioned Baking Competition

Cheesemaker’s Presentation in Cottage

Jammin’ Crepes and Mama Dude’s Food Trucks

Beer by Flying Fish to help Farmers Against Hunger

Vendors this year include:

  • Cherry Grove Organic Farm (veggies)
  • Mecha Artisan Chocolates
  • Unionville Wines
  • Wildflour Bakery and Cafe
  • Mother Tree Collective’s DIY Body Scrubs
  • Lori Lee Books
  • Pinelands Basketry
  • Get Sharp Knife Sharpening
  • Birds and Bees Farm
  • Tracy Ashcroft Antiques
  • Mercer County Master Gardeners
  • Jessica Yeager, Culinary Nutrition Educator

Cows Parade around 4pm (on cow time)

Bonfire is 5-7pm with s’mores by Mecha!

Rich, Smoky Ham Hocks and Collard Greens

Braised collards in rich pot likker (pot liquor), simmered with smoked pork and onions until everything is meltingly tender, is a classic Southern dish. Don’t discard those braising juices, either—sip, slurp, or sop them up.

 

Why It Works

  • Simmering the ham hocks until the meat falls off the bones creates a deeply flavorful broth.
  • Chicken stock adds even more flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds (680g) meaty smoked ham hocks (see note)
  • 2 medium yellow onions (about 1 pound; 450g), sliced into 2-inch lengths
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 quarts (1.9L) homemade chicken stock, low-sodium store-bought chicken broth, or water
  • 3 pounds (1.3kg) collard greens, woody stems trimmed and leaves cut into thick ribbons
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Apple cider vinegar, to taste (optional)

Directions

  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine ham hocks, onions, garlic, and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook at a bare simmer until hocks are very tender, 2 to 3 hours.
  • Remove ham hocks from liquid, transfer to a cutting board, and pull bones from meaty and fatty parts. Discard bones. Chop up meat into chunks and return it to pot.
  • Add collard greens, pressing down to submerge in liquid. Return to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until collards are very tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add vinegar to taste, if desired, then serve. (You can add vinegar to the pot, or let individual diners season their greens with it at the table.)

 

Notes

You can swap out the ham hocks for other smoked or cured pork products, like slab bacon or salt pork, as long as they aren’t lean meats, like smoked pork loin. Lean meat will dry up and toughen with extended cooking.

Taken from Daniel Gritzer and Serious Eats

Notes from the Vat

We have a new friendly face in the makeroom! Meet intern extraordinaire, Christine Shaw. 
Here’s a bit of Q&A before we get down to business:

Tell us about yourself!  I was born and raised in central New Jersey, and my greatest loves are food, animals, and books of all kinds. I graduated from The Culinary Institute of America back in December, and now I’m thrilled to be exploring cheesework on such a beautiful farm!

What do you enjoy most about the farm or the cheesework so far?  I love being in such close proximity to so many animals. It’s wonderful being able to pet the cats on my walks to and from the creamery, feed the goats my vegetable scraps, and hear the cows mooing from my bedroom at night. It all feels very peaceful. As for the cheesework, I love affinage! It’s a great opportunity to sort of study each wheel and watch it develop as it ages.

If you could be any Cherry Grove animal, who would it be?  The guinea hen! She’s beautiful, and her only job is to wander around the farm. It sounds like a pretty good deal!

Favorite cheese?   That’s a tough question. There are so many cheeses that I love, but Brie has a special place in my heart.

Favorite Cherry Grove Cheese?  The Trilby! The flavors are unbelievable. Our farm’s terroir, the Dad’s Hat whiskey, and the fig leaves all come together and create these amazing apricot and hay notes, and I just love it.

Thanks for joining us, Christine. Speaking of Trilby, we have a gorgeous batch of Trilby this week.

This Week in CHEESE! CHEESE! CHEESE! 
Buttercup Brie
Tastes like it sounds, like pure cultured butter. With a slight hint of mushroom under the rind. Mini ½ lbs and quarter wedges. Pasteurized.

Havilah
Batches from early spring/summer 2016 with notes of malt, beef stew, mushroom, and toasted brioche. Nice balance of sweet and savory. Raw.

Toma
Limited availability, batches from early August. Beautiful pinkish orange-shaded wheels, nice and beefy, roasted peanut and cashew flavors. Perfect for melting or snacking. Raw.

Trilby
Limited availability, from early September. Beautiful pinkish orange shaded wheels, nice and beefy, buttermilk, stonefruits, grass and hay- and a lovely butter texture. An ideal fall dessert with Seckel or Asian Pears. Pastuerized.

Herdsman
A really nice batch from July milk. Barnyardy, notes of bread n butter, walnuts, and cultured cream. Raw.


1902 - Family purchased farm

1910 - Leased land to dairy farmer

1987 - Hamill Brothers inherit farm

2002 - Started as a family business

2003 - Started a beef herd, laying hens, and pigs

2004 - Added sheep and attained organic certification of pasture land

2005 - Added dairy herd and began making fresh cheeses like mozzarella

2006 - Built aging caves and began making aged cheeses

2012 - Grid Magazine’s Cheese of the Month (Nov – Full Nettle Jack); Finalist at the Good Food Awards (Toma)

2013 - Won 2 blue ribbons from the American Cheese Society(for Buttercup Brie and Lawrenceville Jack Reserve); Added second cheesemaker

2014 - Broke ground on additional aging space and began process of getting AWA certification for our chickens
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