Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Say Cheese, Please

"Cheese" is a frequently heard word at our house. You can bet cheese can always be found in our refrigerator, often times found on our sandwiches, and usually found in daily cooking. And each night as I walk to our barn for evening milking, I'm snacking on a piece of string cheese. Yes, we have a close relationship with cheese at our house. So it was no surprise to my family when I wanted to attend the Minnesota Cheese Festival and daughter Sara happily came along.
Our adventure began with a workshop featuring Patrick Moore, The Cheese Guy. This cheesy guy shared with us how to Perfect Your Cheese Plate. One thing I learned was that I will need about 1/4 pound of each variety of cheese for each of my guests. I also learned that "What grows together, goes together." In other words, foods grown in the same area where the cheese was produced, are delicious compliments to that cheese.

Then it was off to sample the best cheeses that Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa have to offer as well as wine and beer from local producers. Yummy! Here are some of our favorites-
Sara with Brett from Castle Rock Organic Farms.
Sara chose Castle Rock as her favorite Smoked Sharp Cheddar.
Pasture Pride Cheese is a cheesemaker which produces fine cheeses made from milk produced by small Amish Dairies.
Sara and I fell in love with Pasture Pride's Juusto, which is served warm.

 Of course we sampled the famous Ellsworth  White Cheddar Cheese Curds, even though they are always in our fridge at home! Ama-ZING!
We dairy farmers went out of our comfort zone and sampled, loved, and purchased goats' milk cheese from Stickney Hill Dairy Farms.
I was excited to see Alise and Lucas, and Alise's sister Maggie from Redhead Creamery.
Alise and Lucas, along with Alise's parents Linda and  Jerry, are just breaking into the cheesemaker scene. They plan to break ground this fall on their cheese plant right on their dairy farm in Brooten, Minnesota. You can support them on Kickstarter, like Sara and I have done, to achieve their goal of making "ridiculously good" cheese while also caring for the earth with their go-green attitude. Please hurry, there's only a few days left to reach their goal!
Redhead Creamery's "ridiculously good" cheese curds.

Visit  Dairy Makes Sense  to learn more about the power of cheese.

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