Notes from the Vat

Trilby washed in Dad's Hat Rye whiskey ageing in the caves
Trilby washed in Dad’s Hat Rye whiskey ageing in the caves

We’ve got another tasty batch of Rarebird this week, as well as a limited number of Trilby and Buttercup Brie wheels this week.

Farm Markets are still in full swing and the farm store has been bustling. Here are the cheeses we are featuring this week.

Toma
We let this little rustic raw milk farmhouse Toma batch get a bit of extra age, making it extra special! These wheels boast a delectably dense and creamy texture. Each bite of these buttery wheels melts in your mouth, bursting with layers of grassy notes and hints of fall fruits and salted nuts, alongside roasted malt and fresh sea salt with a wonderfully subtle minerality running through all the stronger notes that really ties this flavorful batch together. Raw Milk...

Trilby
This new batch of Trilby is incredible. These wheels offer  a soft, supple texture with a luscious creamline, and flavor to boot! These little Trilbies give off an aroma of cocoa with a rind carrying just a hint of hoppiness, thanks to the Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey they are washed in. Inside at the creamy center of the cheese, you’ll get notes of earthiness, and autumnal fruit flavors like crisp apples and pears. Make a space on your fall cheese board for these little guys! Pasteurized milk.

Rarebird
The raw milk Rarebird in this batch are dense with a sweet custardy aroma. These wheels carry some of the same sweet fall fruit flavors of the last batch, with added notes of anise-y black licorice and brown butter. The texture is creamy and palate-coating, with some hints of fresh bread and sweet cream rounding out the flavor profile. These Rarebirds would make a welcome addition to any cheesboard, and happen to make a great snack with sliced tart apples or crisp pears. Raw milk.

Havilah
These latest batches of Havilah are really lovely. Cracking the wheels open, stocky vegetal aromas waft up to greet you, and the lovely golden color of the paste says summer gold. These wheels are dense and flakey, with flavors of broiled carrots, caramelized shallots, roasted nuts, and hearty beefy stews and those subtler notes of brown sugar, caramel, and a tiny hint of vanilla near the finish. Raw milk.

Herdsman
These six month old winter Herdsman baskets start off with notes of cultured butter and creme fraiche, lemony citrus, and fresh sea salt, finishing off with hints of toasted cashew, caramel, and a bit of sharpness. This batch is firm and flakey, very versatile – equally great for snacking or for cooking! Raw milk

Abruzze Jawn
In the farm store only! Our savory Abruzze Jawn will be very limited for awhile, while batches ripen in the caves. This creamy raw milk jack-style curd is blended with mild red pepper, ancho, pepperoncini, guajillo, pimenton (smoked paprika), green peppercorn, onion, and garlic. Aged 6 months, the smoky sweet spice blend imparts a distinct meaty flavor. Grate over cornbread, or atop your squash soup. Delicious on a grass-fed beef or black bean burger. Addictively spiced, but without heat. Raw milk.

Our creamy, tangy Lawrenceville Jack and small supply of Jack Reserve are also available in the farm store.

Save The Date For Our Annual Cow Parade!

Saturday, November 2nd from 1pm to 7pm

Celebrate the end of the grazing season with our annual Cow Parade! Music, local vendors, food trucks, and the beer tent with a portion of the proceeds to benefit The Watershed Institute. A day packed with fun, face painting, farm tours, hayrides, and more! Stay tuned for details as they are confirmed.

Jammin’ Crepes and Nomad Pizza will be the food trucks on hand!

Don’t miss the Cow Parade and evening bonfire celebrating local farms, environmental stewardship, and our local food community.

Sassy Grilled Steak Salad

A quick and easy summer meal using leftover steak!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1/2 head romaine lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 large head Belgian endive, thinly sliced crosswise (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced into rings
  • 3 cups fresh baby arugula
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 ounces blue cheese (like Gorgonzola or Bette Davis Eyes) coarsely crumbled
  • Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Roughly 1 pound sliced steak (such as New York, rib-eye or filet mignon), pan-fried or grilled and chilled
  • optional avocado chunks, or pickled red onion instead of fresh
Red Wine Vinaigrette:
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil

Red Wine Vinaigrette:

  1. Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper in a jar with a tight lid. Making sure the lid is tight, shake it vigorously til the mix is emulsified (thick and opaque with all ingredients mixed).

Salad Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the romaine lettuce, Belgian endive, red onion, baby arugula and cherry tomatoes, and half of the cheese. Toss the salad with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange the salad on a platter.
  2. Cut the steak crosswise into thin slices. Arrange the steak slices atop the salad and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Drizzle more vinaigrette over the steak slices and serve.

Reframing “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” for Meals

Reduce, reuse, recycle. It seems simple enough and we have been repeated it for nearly 50 years. How do we reframe the 3 R’s  in terms of things we do every day?

How can you reduce, reuse, and recycle during your evening meal?  

Reduce (Your Energy Usage)

That saves money and our natural resources – win-win! Not all cooking devices use the same amount of energy. If you just can’t bear the thought of turning on the oven or burners during these dog days of summer, don’t worry! Your microwave, slow cooker, and toaster oven are actually 2-3 times more energy efficient.

Pro-tip: consider grilling outdoors so your A/C isn’t working overtime during dinnertime!

Reuse (Your Leftovers)
For those hot days, nothing beats having a nice dinner already prepped from the evening before. “Reusing” leftovers will cut down on your food waste and your grocery bill!

Pro-tip: Try reusable, washable beeswax paper instead of cling wrap to cover your leftovers.

Recycle (Your Storage Containers)

If takeaway is your best friend, you can still do your part. Once those delicious leftovers have been devoured, the container you brought it home in can move on to its next life. Find out if the following are recyclable in your area:

How else can you apply the reduce-reuse-recycle mentality to other areas of your life? Share this information with your friends to keep the conversation going! Check out The Next Level Recycler Team for more info!

Happy Recycling.

Notes From The Vat

Havilah Reserve at ACS 2019 in Richmond, VA

Howdy cheese friends! Our cheesemakers have returned from their pilgrimage to the American Cheese Society conference in Richmond, VA, and we are excited to move forward with all the information learned and shared. We have lots of new cheese friends too!


Conference sessions covered a wide ranges of topics, from dairy farming and climate change, to courses on physical rehab, how to stay physically safe while milking cows and flipping big wheels of Havilah, to discovering new and exciting cheese pairings, understanding what causes cheese defects, to new research on affinage, and even a behind-the-scenes look at how cheeses are judged in competition.


We are all just about bursting with newfound motivation, and it is always great to see old friends and meet the new, and then taste cheeses from all around the country (even Hawaii!). 


But its great to be home and great to break open new wheels of our own beloved cheeses, so without further ado…..

 

Havilah
These raw milk Havilah wheels are just delicious. These batches have a dense, flakey texture with lots of that wonderful crystallization throughout. Brothy, hearty aromas greet you as you open the wheel, and when you take a bite, you get a wonderfully balanced flavor: beefy, with notes of broiled potatoes and slow-roasted root vegetables, and on the sweeter side, notes of hazelnut, salted caramel, honey, and vanilla. This is the perfect time of year to fall in love with Havilah again. Raw milk.

Oooumammi
Oooumammi is ready to take its rightful place as the star of your summertime cheese board. This cheese is a love child between a vegetal brie and an earthy tomme – the mottled rind on these raw milk wheels is just the beginning of the beauty that is Oooumammi. Underneath that dappled bloomy rind lies a fudgy creamline and a dense center paste packed with flavor. Earthy funky flavors of mushrooms and root vegetables are balanced by notes of salted butter, savory meats, with hints of anise near the finish. Raw milk.

Rarebird
Rarebird batches are always exceptional – they are each made with only the milk of 1 day – a perfect snapshot of the farm and the cows at that moment in time. Our delicious fresh raw milk is formed into small wheels in baskets, and for the next two months they each undergo a delicate washing by hand, which helps to form that beautiful creamsicle-colored rind. This batch is fudgy and creamy, with a texture that just about melts in your mouth with every bite. Flavor starts out clean, with notes of fresh cream and warm, yeasty bread straight out of the oven, and then develops just a hint of grassy funk near the washed rind. And Rarebird always leaves a last sweet goodbye: hints of almond and vanilla dancing across your palate at the finish. Raw milk

Herdsman
These six month old winter Herdsman baskets start off with notes of cultured butter and creme fraiche, lemony citrus, and fresh sea salt, finishing off with hints of toasted cashew, caramel, and a bit of sharpness. This batch is firm and flakey, very versatile – equally great for snacking or for cooking! Raw milk

Toma
In store only this week

This rustic raw milk farmhouse Toma batch boasts a delectable dense texture with an enticingly piquant aroma. Each bite of these wheels is buttery and bursting with flavor – layers of grassy notes atop hints of autumnal fruits and roasted nuts. In addition, there is a subtle minerality running in between all the stronger notes that really ties this flavorful batch together. Raw milk.

 

Buttercup Brie
On sale this week at 20% off in our farm store and at our farmers markets. Made from pasteurized milk.

Toma ready for tasting at the American Cheese Society Festival of Cheese.
Our cheeses found a place at the table among 500 of the best in the country.

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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