I have been out of the blogging loop for a while. I have been suffering from the winter blues and it is only the first day of winter! I hate the short days and cold weather which leave me a little (or a lot) uninspired... I have been plagued with a number of odd occurrences lately including keys locked in the trunk at a market, my wallet left at Whole Foods, being stuck in an elevator (yes only for a few minutes but long enough for a panic attack!) and a broken computer... Equipped with a new motherboard, two weeks of vacation time, and my wits about me (hopefully) - I'm back.
Last Sunday Matt and I took a ride out to Hunterdon County to visit the new home of Bobolink Dairy. The dairy recently moved from leased land in Vernon, NJ to its permanent home in lovely Milford, NJ. The dairy specializes in artisanal raw-milk cheeses from grass fed cows and freshly baked rustic breads. We attended the "Meat and Greet" which entailed a tour of the dairy and a tasting of cheeses, meats and breads. The tickets were $5 a person and we sampled fabulous products and got to take home a loaf of fresh baked bread - what a bargain! I also learned a lot! Despite the rainy weather and the slip sliding through the mud, we had a great time.
Nina and her husband Jonathan are the owners and they are extremely passionate about their work at the dairy. The quality of their cheeses is attributable to the condition of the cows which live a stress free life out in pastures. The domain of their website is cowsoutside.com - and that is just what you find at the dairy - cows outside. The cows do not receive antibiotics or hormones and eat the grass in the fields, as they should. Jonathan has a long history of making award winning artisanal cheeses. He started out making his cheeses with ordinary milk. Running his own dairy has given him complete control over the quality of the milk and its handling at every point resulting in the best possible cheeses.
If you get the chance, Bobolink is a great place to visit. Their cheeses also can be shipped and would be great for the holidays. They are also at the Union Square Greenmarket in NYC on Fridays. I brought home the Jean-Louis (amazing!) and the world's best cave-ripened cheddar. The breads are also fantastic. We brought home the Rosemary Epi and the Cranberry Walnut. I froze them and have been indulging on delicious hunks warmed in the oven - so good! I grew up in Hunterdon County and it is so nice to see that one of the old farms is being preserved and worked by such nice, passionate people. We are also fortunate that we have some of the world's best cheese right here in NJ.
I was born and raised in NJ, first in Hunterdon County, later relocating to Monmouth County, and finally I am in Northern Ocean County. I work In Middlesex County and went to college in Mercer County. Whew... Therefore, I have knowledge of much of the Garden State. I am passionate about food; especially local foods. I have been addicted to farm markets since I was very young. I have a great husband and two of the best daughters anyone could wish for. NJ is an epicurean's delight! I would love your comments and questions.
One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story