Got Milk? Buckeye Country Creamery

I love a good farm visit. And I love getting to know where my food comes from and who is responsible for it.  When I was invited to come and check out Buckeye Country Creamery in Ashland this week, I jumped at the chance.

creamery employee

It’s a family run dairy farm (two generations at work) that’s been operating for more than 25 years.  But only in the last year and a half have they launched their creamery, an endeavor that required a significant leap of faith and capital investment on the part of the Lahmers Family.  But they’re banking on the “If you build it, they will come” concept.  Or rather, “If you milk it, they will come.”

They have a herd of 130 cows right now, which they milk twice a day, and produce 900 pounds of milk daily.  What makes their milk different? The A2A2.  It’s the type of beta-casein protein that is easier on your digestive system.  Many people who cannot usually drink milk, and consider themselves lactose intolerant, can drink A2A2 milk without side effects.  That’s a game changer for some families.

The other thing that differentiates them from other nearby creameries…flavored milk.  It’s a heckofa lot easier to get a child to drink a tall glass of “cookies and cream” milk than plain old cows milk, right?  Buckeye Country Creamery’s line of products include strawberry, chocolate, cookies and cream, and mocha flavored milk. (They add the powdered flavoring during the pasteurization process) These varieties are especially creamy, because the flavors are made with whole milk. They also make drinkable yogurt, mozzarella cheese and ice cream with the same A2 properties.  We got a chance to sample milk flavors, the yogurt and ice cream from Buckeye, and my girls guzzled it all down!  I think the yogurts were gone in a day!

creamery yogurt

For those food conscious readers, their pasteurization process is also worth noting.  The milk at Buckeye Country Creamery is pasteurized slowly, at a low temperature, to keep more enzymes and proteins intact. It’s not homogenized, so the cream rises to the top, as they say.

creamery vat

Locals can buy up the products coming out of the Lahmers Dairy Farm, at their modest store on site…a glorified hallway, really.  They stock the fridge and operate on the honor system.

“Sometimes we get an IOU in there,” jokes dairy farmer, Christy Hulse.

Word is getting out in the Ashland area.  People are popping in on a weekly basis and pick up the essentials.

“We’re going to need a bigger fridge,” Hulse said, with a smile.

creamery fridge

You can find Buckeye Country Creamery’s line of products at 120 locations between Cleveland and Columbus, including the West Side Market, Case Western Reserve University and Miles Farmers Market. (runs about $3.99 for half gallon, $6.99 a gallon)  Click here for a complete list.

Disclosure: I was invited to visit the farm and write about my experience, in exchange for a sampling of their products. 

 

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Honey Glazed Grilled Stone Fruit with Mint Lime Yogurt Dip

When you get fresh organic produce delivered to your doorstep each week, it’s easy to get inspired.  Door to Door Organics has been supplying my family with beautiful fruits and vegetables this summer, and asked me to create an original recipe using their inventory.  There was so much to work with, that I actually created two!  The first I’ll share is a sweet app, or light dessert that my guests (and children) gobbled up.  It’s Honey Glazed Grilled Stone Fruit and a Mint Lime Yogurt Dip.  

I’m excited about this post because it is my first GIVEAWAY!  I have a couple $50 gift certificates to give away as part of my partnership with the online grocer, newly launched in the Greater Cleveland/Akron area.  Details and instructions at the end of the post.  Now, back to the business of recipe creation!

I love stone fruit.  Peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines…they’re all wonderful to snack on, and cook with.  And I was happy to discover how much my kids enjoyed them too.  But just slicing them up and serving them plain seemed boring and uninspired to me.  So I took a couple of items that arrived in a recent Door to Door Organics delivery and turned them into something pretty spectacular, and supremely easy.  That’s what makes me one of their #KitchenMavens,I suppose!

mint-lime-yogurt-dip

The dip is just a couple of ingredients, and can be altered based on what you have on hand.  I made it a couple of different ways to see which I preferred.  My first variety (and my favorite) marries just three ingredients:

-5oz.vanilla flavored Greek yogurt, a tablespoon of chopped organic fresh mint, the zest of half of an organic lime.  I blended those in a small food processor and refrigerated that while I grilled up the fruit.

Other varieties and variations that also worked for me:

-5 oz. plain Greek Yogurt, a tablespoon of honey, then the same amounts of lime zest and mint.

-5 oz. Stoneyfield Low Fat French Vanilla Organic Yogurt (available via Door to Door Organics) plus above mentioned lime zest and mint leaves.  This version was more runny, but less sour and I know some people take issue with the flavor of Greek yogurt.

julia-loves-yogurt

Bonus: this dip can also be eaten just like regular yogurt, as proven by my best taste-tester and recipe-approver, my 20 month old daughter.

The grilled fruit part is even easier.  Just work with whatever stone fruit you prefer.  I like peaches and nectarines best with this, but apricots and plums will also work.  Since the organic plums and apricots have been on sale and in season with my partner in this post, I used those.  (Note: the fruits hold up better when they’re less ripe) Slice them down the middle and remove the pit.  Then brush each side with some honey and place them flesh side down on a grill or grill pan.  Each piece of fruit only takes a couple minutes on the grill at medium/high heat, just enough to get those beautiful grill marks on them.  Remove them to cool, then slice them up.  And….you’re done!  

honey-glazed-grilled-stone-fruit

Double Bonus: Gotta put a Cheftovers twist on this, right?!   These can also turn into frozen yogurt pops.  I took the sliced grilled fruit and yogurt dip that wasn’t eaten, pureed it in a blender, poured it into Popcicle molds and popped them in the freezer for another time.  They were eaten just as quickly as the yogurt alone.  

  Now to this business of a giveaway!  Want to win??  Please do me the “flavor” of following my pals as Door to Door Organics,

 And my followers and friends will get $10 off their first order by using my exclusive  Cheftovers Coupon.

If you want $50 is FREE ORGANIC GROCERIES delivered to your doorstep, please COMMENT on this post.  I’ll be picking a winner at random.  (and if they don’t operate in your zip code, you can always send the e-certificate to a friend who could use it)