Cheese

What exactly is “farmstead cheese”?

The folks over at New England CheeseMaking Supply Company like to think of it as the cheese that our Grandmothers made on the back of the stove; “a simple and to-the-point means of preserving milk during the peak of the season when there was a bit of extra milk.”

People are intimidated by cheese. It requires science and math and a heck-of-a-lot of
patience. The end result seems so magical that for the moment its farmstead roots can be set aside and forgotten – that pot of milk set in a warm place, natural bacteria in the milk working on separating the curds (solids) from the whey (liquid).

Modern cheese-making (and modern health practices) no longer allow us to just leave the milk out overnight. We add specific bacteria to get a specific result. We adjust the temperature up or down to produce one cheese over another, but no matter how many subtle shifts in the process, each cheese is still born of milk. Ah, the fascination…

farmers cheesesOur ricotta-mozzarella class focuses on the easiest cheese to make at home: ricotta. We affectionately refer to it as the “gateway” to cheese-making, requiring milk and lemon juice as its sole ingredients. On December 20 we’ll graduate to working with cultures and rennet, paying homage to the grandmothers of yesteryear with hands-on instruction in cottage cheese, basket cheese, and paneer. This “Farmstead Cheese” class will be a grand ole look into the history of cheese, and a reminder of how simple home cheese-making really is.
Join us.

Melted Cheese Chases the Blues Away

Wintry weather conjures visions of friends gathered round a roaring fire, cooking, laughing and sharing a warm toast. Communal cooking around a hearth is sure fire way to banish the winter blues.

The alpine regions of Europe have given us great traditions of communal hearth cooking. Here at the farm, we love an evening with a tasty raclette.

RacletteScrape

image by rachelinlux.com

 

Raclette is a semi firm meltable cow’s milk cheese that has given its name to a time-honored meal born in the mountains of Switzerland. Historically, Swiss cow herders would take a wheel of raclette with them when moving cows to and from the mountain pastures. Around the evening camp fire, they would place a part of the wheel close to the fire and, when it reached the perfect softness, scrape the melted layer onto bread for a nourishing, warm meal. (The term raclette derives from the French word racler, meaning “to scrape,”)

At the home hearth, a cheese wheel is cut in half or quarters, depending on the number of guests, and placed with its face close to the fire so it begins to soften and melt. The melted cheese is scraped from the wheel onto plates and served, traditionally, with bread, small firm potatoes, tiny gherkins, pickled onions, and cured meats.

In Switzerland, raclette was typically served with tea or other warm beverages. However a dry fruity white wine, such as the traditional Savoy wine, a Reisling or Pinot Gris is also a good match. (Take note that local lore cautions that other drinks, water for example, will cause the cheese to harden in the stomach, leading to indigestion. So they say.)

For the hearth-less, there are small electric table-top grills with small trays for melting the slices of cheese. Generally the grill is placed over a hot plate or griddle that will keep the cheese warm. The cheese is brought to the table sliced, with boiled or steamed potatoes, pickled vegetables and charcuterie. The accompaniments are mixed with the potatoes, topped with the cheese and set under the grill to melt and brown the cheese. Alternatively, slices of cheese may be melted and browned in the trays, then scraped over the accompaniments.

Raclette dining, like fondue dinners, are supposed to foster a relaxed and sociable atmosphere, often stretching over several hours. What better way to beat these late winter blues?

Cherry Grove Farm’s Herdsman makes a good raclette-style cheese. Think of us as you while away the hours in front of the fire.

Spread the Love!

In 2012 we introduced Layla, our bloomy rind Neufchâtel style cheese.  Like true love, Neufchâtel is enjoyable at many stages of
maturation; its flavor evolves from delicate and fruity to strong and salty. That said, we can’t think of a better cheese to showcase for Valentine’s Day! Allow us to introduce Coeur de Fromage (the heart of cheese), our lovely Layla in heart-shaped form created tenderly by hand in small 12-gallon batches.

The heart is actually a traditional shape of Neufchâtel style cheese. During the 6th century, the young women of Neufchâtel-en-Bray offered this cheese to their gallant knights during the Hundred Years War as a token of their affection.

 

We encourage you to keep the tradition alive by offering Coeur de Fromage to your sweetheart!


This beautiful cheese will be available the first week in February. It stands alone as a romantic gesture for any cheese lover! We will also be offering a Spread the Love gift set (available in-store only) including a spade cheese knife and paired with the delectable local chocolates of Donna & Company. So spread the love this Valentine’s season by lighting some candles and setting the table with a robust red wine, some crusty bread, and Coeur de Fromage.


Serve Coeur de Fromage over ciabatta bread, rye bread, or a croissant next to a bunch of concord grapes. Pair Coeur de Fromage with Saint Emilion, Riesling, Chardonnay, Viognier, Gewürztraminer, or a bubbly Champagne for a match made in heaven.

 

Local Super Bowl Snacks!

Gear up for game day with some delicious local takes on classic finger food recipes. We  will be open regular hours (10-5pm) this Sunday, so stop by for some snack ideas!

Super Bowl Super Pop Kettle Corn: Put 3/4 cup Farmer Steve’s Super Pop kernels and 3 tablespoons each sugar and vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Partially cover and cook over high heat, shaking, until the popping stops. Season with salt.

Nachos topped with shredded Herdsman and CGF Whey-Fed Andouilli Sausage

Brie baked in a puffed pastry with sliced apples and local honey from Bob’s Buzzy Bees

Grass-Fed Ground Beef Sliders: Form 1 pound ground beef into 12 patties, 3/4 inch thick. Sprinkle a skillet with kosher salt; cook the patties over high heat until cooked to your liking. Put on mini buns and top with some shredded Rosedale and caramelized onions.


Chili Jack Cornbread Muffins:
Your favorite cornbread recipe with a twist! After baking the muffins, slice of the tops. Then top with some grass-fed chili and shredded Chili or January Jack. Thanks for the suggestion, Brian!

Whey-Fed Pigs in a Blanket with any style CGF sausage links (we like them with hot sausage!)


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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