Holiday

Holiday Notes from the Vat

Kohlrabi the cow says to eat more cheese.!
Hello, hello. Ho Ho Ho. Happy holidays. Its the countdown to Christmas (and New Years)! 

Hopefully, this finds you adequately egg-nogged and ready to face what is undoubtedly one of the busiest times of the year. But fret not, we have some deliciously special holiday offerings to share with you, your friends, and loved ones. Give a warm season’s greetings to the return of Rarebird and Bette Davis Eyes!

 

 

CHEESE! CHEESE! CHEESE! 

The Unctuous Rarebird

Rarebird: The cheese that definitely keeps on giving! First of all, the paste is unctuously buttery, it literally melts in your mouth. AND THE FLAVOR! Our tasting notes include everything from beef stock and mushrooms to shell fish and broccoli rabe. Every bite offers something different with flavors about as episodic as Star Wars. This is a beautifully complex batch that’ll go perfectly with everything Holiday. Raw.

Buttercup Brie: The return of everyone’s favorite. Grassy, buttery, decadent! Why be nice when you can be naughty? Pasteurized.

Mooncakes, Mooncakes, Mooncakes! A wilder, limited version of our Buttercup Brie. It features a smorgasbord of penicillium mold strains in addition to the pure-white that we’re accustomed to. PLUS, we’ve added a dash of vegetable ash mixed with a delicate dusting of smoked paprika in the background. What you’ve got here is the unctuous butteriness of our standard Buttercup, plus an intriguingly earthy, mushroomy, vegetal finish. Distinctly cavey-mushroomy, it’s like going spelunking in a cavern with pleasing mushrooms and sea of butter underneath you. Mhmmmm….sea of butter.  Pasteurized.

Toma Birra
Similar to Herdsman but with a frat party, hoppy-edge from the lager used in the wash. Sharp n sweet, flaky texture. Late June milk, a lil slice of summer party. Raw Milk.

blue-veined cheese

A rustic blue, our Bette Davis Eyes

Bette Davis Eyes
This is a decidedly rustic blue. Did someone say Ovaltine?! Fudgy texture with a host of malty notes and overtones of earthiness and slate. This would be great partner to the dark beers of winter or a port wine.  Try on a broiled cheesey toast with mushrooms and thyme.
Raw Milk.

 

Herdsman
Available now in petite, personal-sized wheels made in late July. They’re dense and cheddary in texture, with that nutty, grassy tang that everyone loves about Herdsman. A little taste of summer to brighten up the impending chill. Notes of candied lemon and horseradish. Raw milk. 

Havilah
This cheese just gets better and better over the years. Pictured below are some tasting notes from recent Official Tasting Panels. Raw Milk.

 

Full Nettle Jack, Lawrenceville Jack, Jack Reserve, and what will likely be your only week chance at Abbruzze Jawn till May/June.
HOOO HOOO HOOOO! Merry Christmas and Happy Jack. The rare and the illusive make a special Holiday appearance for one week (maybe two) only. Get them while you can for your  holiday cheese plates, or you’ll start the new year full of regret. Raw Milk.

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

Wishing You All the Joy and Merriment of the Season

red-sunset-w-cows

The cows are milked, the Christmas trees have been sold, the cheese room is dark, we are getting ready to close up the store until Tuesday…

The hustle and bustle of the holidays are slowly calming to a merry twinkle.

All of us on the farm would like to wish you and yours a cozy holiday season full of good food, good people, and laughter.

Merry merry, happy happy.

Cherry Grove Farm

 

P.S. We will reopen the farm store on Tuesday at 10am. (LOTS of eggs will be on hand.) See our news feed for holiday hours.

Roasting a Pasture-raised Turkey

Pasture Raised Turkey Roast Recipe

To Roast a Pasture-raised Turkey

As a pasture-based farm, everything we do revolves around the grass and moving our animals from field to field. This system of farming is as old as the fields themselves, and when done well, give our animals and our land the space to thrive.

The last two seasons we have raised a small number of heritage breed Bourbon Red and Royal Palm turkeys. You may have seen them around our garden or the farm cottage, pecking at the fall berries and bugs they find as they roam.

Nothing says Thanksgiving more than that signature golden brown roasted turkey, but if you have chosen to roast a pasture-raised bird there are some things you need to know to get the most from your roast.

Pasture-raised turkeys roam around outside and eat primarily grass and insects, so their food and activity level — both of which affect flavor — differ from those of their grain-fed cousins raised in confinement. Heritage breeds are old-timey birds, developed before factory-farming, that thrive in a free environment. They are built to roam, unlike their confined cousins, the factory farm birds who so heavy of breast and short of leg that they can’t thrive out in the open.

But back to roasting! Our birds are fresh at pick up, and so must be refrigerated once you get home. Some folks choose to bring their bird, but we wanted to share an old fashioned no brine, slow roast method that allows you to taste the natural flavor and juiciness of the bird. This is an old-time recipe for an old-timey, heritage breed turkey.

A room temperature turkey will roast more evenly, so early in the morning remove the turkey from the refrigerator, rinse thoroughly, and pat dry (about an hour before putting it in the oven).

Before putting in the oven, place a good handful of fresh herbs, like rosemary, thyme, and sage, in the body cavity. Rub softened butter, salt, and pepper to the outside skin. (Another alternative is use good olive oil in place of the butter.)

Placed the bird breast down in a roasting pan on a bed of onions, celery and carrots in about a 1/2 to 1/4 inch of chicken broth. The veggies will help keep the bird moist and contribute to a great tasting gravy.

The basic reason most turkeys are dried out and tough is because they are overcooked. The USDA used to recommend cooking a turkey to 180 degrees, to assure all bacteria was killed. That also cooked out the flavor and moisture.

The USDA now says it’s safe to cook a turkey to 165 degrees. Remembering that meat keeps cooking when you take it out of the oven, cook your bird to 160, remove from the oven, and cover tightly with foil to rest. Your internal temp will keep cooking and top about around 165. Use that rest time to make gravy or reheat your sides.

Cooking times are a guide, it is the cooking temperatures that matter, so get a good digital thermometer. You want to roast a pastured bird (this goes for chickens as well) at a lower temperature, so start at 325 and after an hour lower the temperature of the oven to 300. About 30 minutes before the turkey is expected to be done, check the bird’s internal temperature. Pastured-birds can cook more quickly than expected.

10-13 lb. – 1 ½ to 2 ¼ hr.
14-23 lb. – 2 to 3 hr.
24-27 lb. – 3 to 3 ¾ hr.

Baste your turkey twice, when you lower your oven temperature to 300, and again at about the 30 minute mark when you check the internal temperature. Resist the urge to poke the turkey with a fork to check juices. That wastes precious juices that need to stay in the breast meat.

Last year we had great reviews from our customers who roasted their first pastured heritage turkeys. For-armed with a little old time cooking knowledge its not hard to roast the perfect thanksgiving turkey!

Tag us on your turkey “beauty” shot if you are roasting a pastured Cherry Grove Farm bird this year! #cgfpasturedgoodness @cherrygrovefarm

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.

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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 – 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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