Say Cheeeeese!

 

“You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.”

-Anthony Bourdain


On a sunny afternoon at the Kendall Square Farmer's market, I stumbled upon two such romantics. The cheese from Grace Hill Farm is a true delight. Like a glutton (the French would call this being a gourmande, which sounds far better), I tasted everything on the table- some of it twice- and settled on the beautiful Wild Alpine you find your shares. Its a buttery gruyere style cheese that is ready for center stage on your cheese board. 

The story of Max and Amy who run the farm is full of everything we love to elevate: passion for products, respect for the land and an admiration for the animals:

"Grace Hill Farm is run by Max and Amy Breiteneicher. The vision for our farm grew naturally out of our shared interests and values – a love of good food and a desire to produce food that is delicious and made with integrity; a love of nature and of living and working closely with animals and the land; and of course, Max’s great passion for cheese. Max is blessed to have been taught cheesemaking and animal husbandry over the years by a series of true professionals at Jasper Hill Farm, Chase Hill Farm, and Sidehill Farm.

After many years of searching for just the right spot, we were so lucky to finally find it here in Cummington. Our land belonged to the Dawes/Thayer family since the 1700’s, passed down through the generations until they were so kind as to sell it to us in 2012. It has been a sheep farm and a dairy farm within living memory, and the old stone walls running through our woods attest to the pasture that used to be everywhere. We are honored to be stewards of this beautiful land, and are grateful for the opportunity to revitalize and restore this old New England farm."

It just might be time to pour a glass of wine and eat a whole chunk of cheese by yourself. That's my favorite time.

WHAT'S IN THE BAG?

HALF SHARE

Omnivore Protein
 - Chicken from Feather Brook Farms; Wild Alpine Cheese from Grace Hill Farm
Pescatarian Protein - Haddock from Red's Best; Wild Alpine Cheese from Grace Hill Farm
Vegetarian Protein -  Plant Deli Breakfast Sausage; Wild Alpine Cheese from Grace Hill Farm
Paleo Proteins -  Chicken from Feather Brook Farms; Eggs from Chestnut Farms
Fruits and Veggies -  Romaine from Clark Farm; Kale from Brookford Farm; Strawberries and Onions from Busa Farm
Grain - Brioche Pullman from Iggy's Bread
Special Treat - Treats from Girlfriend Baking (Gluten Free! Dairy Free!)


WHOLE SHARE

Omnivore Protein - Whole Chicken from Feather Brook Farms; Wild Alpine Cheese from Grace Hill Farm; Eggs from Chestnut Farms
Pescatarian Protein - Haddock and Scallops from Red's Best;  Wild Alpine Cheese from Grace Hill Farm; Eggs from Chestnut Farms
Vegetarian Protein - Plant Deli Breakfast Sausage; Wild Alpine Cheese from Grace Hill Farm; Eggs from Chestnut Farms
Paleo Proteins -  Whole Chicken from Feather Brook Farms; Eggs from Chestnut Farms
Fruits and Veggies - Romaine from Clark Farm; Kale from Brookford Farm; Strawberries and Onions Busa Farm; Fennel from Next Barn Over Farm; Snap Peas from Riverland Farm
Grain -Brioche Pullman from Iggy's Bread
Special Treat - Treats from Girlfriend Baking (Gluten Free! Dairy Free!)


DOUBLE SHARE

Omnivore Protein -Whole Chicken and Chorizo from Feather Brook Farms; Wild Alpine Cheese from Grace Hill Farm; Eggs from Chestnut Farms; Greek Yogurt from Brookford Farm
Fruits and Veggies - Romaine from Clark Farm; Kale from Brookford Farm; Zucchini, Potatoes, Strawberries and Onions Busa Farm; Fennel from Next Barn Over Farm; Snap Peas from Riverland Farm
Grain - Brioche Pullman and Granola from Iggy's Bread
Special Treat - Treats from Girlfriend Baking (Gluten Free! Dairy Free!)


RECIPES

Roasted Kale and Chicken: Epicurious calls this " Google's Braised Chicken". It doesn't explain why it is specific to Google, and we didn't know the world's largest search engine was such a foodie. For this recipe we recommend boiling the sauce down just a bit to concentrate the flavors. It could also accommodate beans or chickpeas if you wanted a heartier dish.

Grilled Spatchcocked Chicken: Spatch... what? Spatchcocking is a process whereby you remove the backbone and flatten it to speed up the cooking process. A Spineless Chicken? Is this a recipe blog or the nightly news? Either way, Martha shows you how.

Grilled Romaine Lettuce:
 A simple and perfect treatment for these giant beauties from Clark Farm. You can add a creamy cheese such as a blue or gorgonzola or some freshly shaved parmesan to the top but it is also just lovely on its own.

Shaved Fennel Salad: Shaved Fennel is a bright contrast to any grilled main dish.  You can use a mandolin, as Bon Appetit suggests or just carefully slice with your chef's knive. Parsley can stand in for the mint here and you won't miss it. Fennel also roasts beautifully if the idea of a mandolin scares you to bits.

Skillet White Fish and Kale: Weeknight cooking can feel like drudgery. This one skillet fish and kale combination take 25 minutes start to finish. It is straightforward delicious and healthy. Win, win, win.

TIPS AND TRICKS

Someone recently asked me how we store leftover cheese. The answer of course is " What is leftover cheese?".

The website www.stilltasty.com is your "Ultimate Shelf Life Guide". For this gruyere style cheese they recommend:

  • To maximize the shelf life of a chunk of Gruyere cheese after opening, wrap the original packaging tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil; for even better results, wrap the cheese first in wax or parchment paper and then cover with plastic wrap before refrigerating.
  • Properly stored, an opened chunk of Gruyere cheese will last for 3 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator*


*Seriously, how is cheese even an uneaten tenant of your fridge for that long? Eat up, people.