local

!Ven, Fiesta!

A few years ago “farm to table” was a new concept. It fell under the same category as whiskey bars and latte foam art. And as much as we love a well-curated whiskey haunt, so too have we come to love “farm to table”. The latter has become a way of life, drawing attention to the importance of organic growing, the ecological havoc wreaked by not eating local, and the true treasures in our own backyards. As a farm, we want “farm to table” to keep its momentum. So the question becomes, how? And with so many small farms popping up, how is our approach unique.

For us the answer lies in Farm Dinners. (Though the concept is the same, we’ve dropped “to table” – the term has lost the shiny new appeal it had in its rollout.) Every farm has its own version, but no two farms are exactly alike. At Cherry Grove Farm, we have a beautiful, peaceful property, just far enough off the beaten path to be “out-of-the-way”, but so close to everything that we could throw a stone to hit it. These dinners provide new eyes through which to see not just our farm, but small farming in general. And since everyone who works here is passionate about what we do (and does cool, related stuff on the side), there’s always a conversation.

Now everyone has an opinion about the type of cuisine for these things, and suggestions run from straight-up local to the Middle East, and with so many talented culinarians 12963407_1140513845989600_2944712135190115925_nin the area, the challenge becomes, not choosing the food, but finding someone who can bring local “farm to table” to exotic cuisine, and transport us, if only for an evening, to another place. Shelley Wiseman is that someone: her locality at Tullamore Farms puts her right in our circle, and she doesn’t just dabble in exotics: she was immersed in Mexican culture, living in Mexico for five years running her own French cooking school. It makes perfect sense for her to kick off our Farm Dinner season with “Fiesta Cinco de Mayo”.

Dinner is on Friday May 6, a day late for the holiday, but never mind. And this early in the season it might still be a bit nippy; we’re not worried ‘bout that, either. I am just so looking forward to her pork pozole, a warm stew for a spring night – and to kicking back in front of a roaring fire after dinner. Can you think of a better way to spend an evening with friends? Neither can I.

Join us here.

A Local Twist on a Classic Soup

Sam’s Onion Soup

Serves 4

  • 2 lbs. Onions
  • 1 head garlic, crushed (Cherry Grove Organics)
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
  • 12 oz (1 bottle) Dark Beer (Stout or Porter) or Black Style Beer
  • 1/3 lbs. CGF Rosedale, grated
  • 1 baguette (Village Bakery) sliced and toasted
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch Thyme, chopped

Directions

Julienne onions and heat medium stock pot over low heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil, and then add onions. Caramelize onions over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic 5 minutes before the onions are done.

After adding the garlic, add 6 to 12 oz beer, depending on taste. Then reduce the volume of liquid by half. When reduced, add the chicken/vegetable broth. Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce by 1/4 volume. Add chopped thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle hot soup into oven-safe bowls, place a crostini on top with some Rosedale, and then place under the broiler until brown. Enjoy!

Item of the Week: 11/11/12

 

Muirhead’s Award-Winning Green Tomato Mincemeat

 

 

It’s green tomato season—just a little too cold for those stragglers to ripen on the vine. So what can you do with these stubborn nightshades that refuse to grow up? Well, you could bread them and fry them. But, they can also make a delicious sweet treat! That’s why we are featuring Muirhead’s Award Winning Green Tomato Mincemeat as the item of the week! It seems counter-intuitive,  but this mincemeat is not actually made with meat. The ingredients include green tomatoes, apples, raisins, sugar, butter, cider vinegar, and spices. This product can be used in pie fillings, cookies, or even as a delicious pairing with cheese (did someone say fromage blanc??). To make things easy, here is a recipe straight from the jar. Enjoy!

 

MUIRHEAD’S GREEN TOMATO MINCEMEAT BARS

 

Base & Topping:

  • 1 1/3 cups uncooked oatmeal
  • ½ cup all–purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut or chopped nuts
  • ½ cup butter

Filling:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine oatmeal, flour, sugar, and coconut or nuts. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup. Press remaining crumbs firmly in bottom of ungreased 8×8 inch pan. Place Muirhead Mincemeat in bowl and warm in microwave for 20 seconds. Spread evenly over crumb bottom. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs and press lightly. Bake for 30–40 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into bars. Serves 16.


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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