paul lawler

This Week In Cheese!

It was another week of Buttercup Brie and tomme-style cheese making this week. Speaking of tomme, the basket-style Herdsman is tasting really great right now. They date from last November and December, so age helps. A dense and fudgy texture – toothsome, it really sticks around to remind you of all it’s good raw milk, farmhouse flavors. Sweet notes, toasted walnut, rye and lemon come to mind. (I endorse this cheese ūüôā
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Buttercup Brie: Some nice early May wheels. That typical butter and buttermilk soft deliciousness. We have a few super-mini market wheels headed to farm markets this week for $4 each.Keep an eye out!
Herdsman: Regular wheels from Mid January, Basket wheels a little older. Great flavors abound. January wheels are creamy, flaky, with a sour cream finish. Raw Milk.
Havilah:  Wonderful August and Sept 2014 batches. Grass, pineapple, hints of hazelnut and fudge, with a really great texture. Raw Milk.
Lawrenceville Jack: November wheels. Grassy, mild and creamy. Raw Milk 
Full Nettle Jack: Spicy oregano and lemon notes shining through from the nettles. Spring and summer wheels.  Raw Milk 
Enjoy your weekends. Looking forward to seeing you!

Putting the Grass in Grass-fed Milk

Dearest Quesophiles,
With the cows out on pasture we are really starting to see the seasonal change in our milk. After a long winter, I was starting to forget how great the milk looks when the cows are grazing, beautifully yellow-hued with deep golden cream. The flavor is also fantastic, and since they have been on pasture, I’ve been drinking copious amounts of it with my breakfast.
Yes, spring is very much in the air on the farm. The apples are blossoming, the dandelions are going to seed, and there are people strolling the fields as they wander the farm (which is open to visits 7 days a week, btw). The sweet peas and broccoli rabe in our kitchen garden are growing taller by the hour, the garlic has awoken from its winter slumber, and is a few feet tall now. It is certainly an exciting time to be on the farm.
Below is a batch of Buttercup in the morning light on day two of production. On the second day Buttercup Brie is carefully salted, weighed, and it’s acid level measured before it is stowed away to begin the transformation from bland curd to buttery, fluffy goodness.¬†
Buttercup Brie, Day Two.

Buttercup Brie, Day Two.

Cheeses of the week:
Full Nettle Jack: Spicy oregano and lemon notes shining through from the nettles. Spring and summer wheels 2015. Raw Milk.
Buttercup Brie: Limited availability. This batch is from 3/15/16. Notes of cultured cream and buttered button mushrooms.
Herdsman: Wheels from November. Nice wheels with creamy farmhouse flavor. 3-4 # baskets too from Sept/October have a really nice piquant quality. Raw Milk.
Havilah: Sept/ October 2014 batches. Caramel, grass, pineapple, hints of hazelnut, lasting, unfolding flavors. These are some really wonderful batches. Raw Milk.
Lawrenceville Jack: Our usual creamy grass-fed, mac n cheese buddy. Fall batches, well balanced. Raw Milk.
Enjoy your weekend! Thanks for supporting our farmstead cheeses.

Greetings Cheese People!

It’s¬†a lovely wet morning on Cherry Grove Farm, as we heat up 148 gallons of milk to be cultured (holiday Toma-to-be). I am a total fall denialist, but even I am feeling the pull of pullovers, more milk in my coffee, and yes, fatty roasts and CHEESES!

Tis the season for those big beast cheeses with full, warming flavors for the creeping cold. And on this farmstead, that means we consume even more Havilah than normal, which, suffice to say, was my breakfast of choice this morning with a cappuccino.¬†I’ll pull out¬†a quote from Madame Fromage herself (in case¬†you need any more convincing), “…a cheese perfect for the onset of fall, a raw-milk beauty that pairs well with apples, nuts and even chocolate.”

Makes me wonder how it would go with a chocolate hazelnut spread and some pears, mhmm.

Here’s what’s on deck for this week:
Herdsman: 7/9/15 batch…just old enough to market. Pliant and ready to melt. Cream and lemon flavors.
Full Nettle Jack: Wheels from last March…spicy, full bodied, this is the flavored cheese you want.
Buttercup Brie: 9/1/15 & 8/20/15 batches with those hallmark classic mushroom butter brie notes. Just starting to really get interesting, with a little creaminess under the rind.
 Lawrenceville Jack Reserve: June and August 2014 batches. Flaky and near carrot color, sweet herbal notes but an acid sharp finish, definitely not your grilled cheese Jack.
Havilah: Holy cow, this 7/14/14 batch is good! Hitting all the flavors I love from this cheese: caramel, burnt sugar, and toffee right near the rind, with fresh pineapple as you go outward. Pictured below is my testimonial face to how
!@#!# good this batch is.
Paul Lawler loves Havilah

Paul’s testimonial face as to how !@#!# good this Havilah batch is.

That’s all folks. Stay dry and happy eating!
Thanks for your business!

This week in cheese is brought to you by the future.

Yes, as cheesemakers we are constantly thinking down the line. Little honing changes we make in recipes can take many months to observe and deliberation upon the¬†results takes time. We plot our makes out with the sales patterns of the holidays in mind when it’s still 85 degrees outside.


We’ve just concluded a month load of tomme-style batches, so we should have no shortage¬†of holiday Herdsman (and cross your fingers for a little Toma). In fact, we made a few supersize versions of Herdsman that exceeded the capacity of our regular forms. This led to a repeat of¬† last year’s mini Herdsman. Little 1lb and 2lb basket tommes, some with an ash line, some without (note the picture above). That’s my tease for this week, now back to the present!

This week in cheese:

Herdsman: A limited number of 6/9/15 batch still available. A little harder and more granular than we counted on, but sweet with caramel notes, savory with tomato paste and a lemon finish.

Nettle Jack: Ever popular, our Jack with organic nettles popping about the curd. Spicy wheels from the first week of March.

Garlic Peppercorn Jack: March wheels too. I give this cheese only another couple runs on the availability list, and rumor has it, G&P may be discontinued next year… so catch it while you can.

Lawrenceville Jack: A particularly moist batch from last May, ready to melt on toast. An easy pleaser.

Havilah: Oh, sweet Havilah, we’ve come so far together. Try it again for the first time… or some such line. Really, this guy gets the most improved award for the 2nd year running.


That’s all. Enjoy your weekend and happy eating!

Harvest Jack in winter 2014

Harvest Jack in winter 2014

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 ‚Äď 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