posted at 4:16 pm Mon Jun 30th, 2014 by (WherezIt_Staff)
This Independence Day, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, the farm family owned dairy cooperative widely known as the makers of the "World's Best Cheddar," invites you to celebrate our nation like a farmer. Two of our farm families, the Kemptons and the Chittendens, share their Fourth of Julytraditions, along with their favorite family recipes.
"Without a doubt, Independence Day is the quintessential American holiday," says Candace Karu, Cabot Lifestyle Commentator and Favorite Foodie, "complete with fireworks, cookouts, baseball, parades and hot apple pie. But spend your holiday with another of this country's iconic institutions, the family farmer, and you might just have the single most American experience possible!"
For a perfect portrait of a Rockwellesque pastoral celebration, look no further than the Kempton family of Kempton Farm in Peacham, Vermont, who begin their holiday as guests of honor at the town's annual Fourth of July parade. "Our small town, founded approximately 10 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed, was historically a farming community," says Jackie Kempton, whose husband William works on the farm with his younger brother Dylan, father Matthew, and grandfather George. "Today, we're one of only four remaining dairy farms, and each year, the town grants us, along with the other remaining three, a place of honor in the Independence Day Parade. We decorate our tractors and ride through Peacham, throwing Serious Snacking mini bars of Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar to the crowd. The whole town gathers in the morning to watch, and we always feel so grateful and overwhelmed by the support from our community."
Later in the day, the Kemptons, along with friends and neighbors, gather for a family cookout. "With two dozen guests, there are always a ton of dishes to try," says Kempton. "One of my favorites is Cabot's Lightened-Up Warm Artichoke and Spinach Dip. It's fairly easy to make, and always a crowd pleaser."
Members of the Chittenden family call many farms throughout New York and New England home, but the family's ancestral home, and site of the big Fourth of July bash, still remains Fair Weather Farm in New Lebanon.
"Our Fourth of July party, which has became a pseudo family reunion over the years, has been going strong since I was a kid," says Jessica Chittenden Ziehm, who grew up on the family farm, and is now the Executive Director of the New York Animal Agriculture Coalition. "Nearly 30 of us gather every year, all fourth, fifth or sixth generation dairy farmers, at my uncle's farm to share stories, swap dishes and generally enjoy the day. There was so much to enjoy as a kid on the Fourth, but the highlight was always the pool. I can remember charging the picnic table with my brothers and cousins, grabbing a cheeseburger – made with our family's homegrown beef and Cabot cheddar – and racing back to the water so I could go on playing while finishing my lunch. We'd spend the entire day splashing and playing, not seeing dry land again until our parents dragged us out in the evening."
Jessica recommends firing up the grill for Cabot's Portobello Alpine Beef Burgers. "We always served burgers made with our family's homegrown beef," says Ziehm. "The next best thing is to buy your ground beef from your local farmer or farmers' market."
For Beth Chittenden, whose husband owns Dutch Hollow Farm in Schodack Landing, New York along with his father and two brothers, the best part of the day is reconnecting with her family. "It's kind of funny because it's a bunch of farmers getting together to discuss anything related to agriculture. We talk about how the crops are coming in, what additions have been made to the herd and the newest and latest happenings on our farms. And of course, it is always great to see the children. With a family as large as ours, it seems like there is a new future farmer every year!"
Beth's favorite Fourth of July recipe is certainly a crowd pleaser. "Every year, I like to make a large dish of Macaroni & Cheese," says Chittenden. "As a Cabot dairy farmer, I of course keep a large selection of cheeses – like Seriously Sharp, Monterey Jack, Farmhouse Reserve and Tomato Basil – in the refrigerator, and I like to add different varieties to the Macaroni & Cheese each time I make it. Any change in cheddar can add a different flavor to the final dish, but the one constant always seems to be how fast it disappears."
For even more delicious Cabot cookout recipes, visit http://www.cabotcheese.coop/recipes/.
LIGHTENED-UP WARM ARTICHOKE & SPINACH DIP
Makes 12 (1/4-cup) servings
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups baby spinach (5-6 ounces), washed and dried
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed and squeezed dry
3/4 cup Cabot No Fat Cottage Cheese or lowfat (1%) cottage cheese
2 tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
4 ounces Cabot Sharp Light Cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
Whole-Wheat Pita Crisps
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 3 or 4-cup baking dish with cooking spray. (Or use four 12-ounce baking dishes.) (Dip will keep, covered, in refrigerator for up to 2 days until ready to bake.)
2. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes or until softened and starting to turn golden. Add spinach and garlic; cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes or until spinach has wilted.
3. Place artichokes, cottage cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and ground red pepper in food processor; process until smooth. Add spinach mixture and cheese; pulse just until blended.
4. Scrape artichoke mixture into prepared baking dish(es). Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until heated though. Serve hot.
PORTOBELLO ALPINE BEEF BURGERS
Makes 4 servings
1 Portobello mushroom cap, stem and gills removed, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
4 ounces Cabot Alpine Cheddar*, shredded (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
1 pound lean ground beef, 90 to 93% lean
Fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 buns, preferably whole-grain, toasted
4 large slices tomato
4 leaves green-leaf lettuce,
onion slices, reduced fat mayo and pickle chips, if desired
1. Mix mushroom, cheese, breadcrumbs, salt and garlic powder together in a large bowl with clean hands. Add beef and gently break up the meat and toss with the cheese mixture. Gently press meat and cheese mixture together, kneading ever so slightly. Do not over work or it'll be spongy. Form into 4 4-inch patties. Sprinkle with pepper.
2. Brush oil over the bottom of a large non-stick pan and heat over medium heat. Add patties and cook until crispy and browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn gently and continue cooking until the burgers are cooked through and the cheese is melting out the sides of the patties, about 5 minutes more. Let rest 2 minutes before assembling on the buns with optional accompaniments.
*If Cabot Alpine Cheddar is not available in your area, you can substitute for Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar or Cabot Horseradish Cheddar.
BAKED MACARONI & CABOT CHEDDAR
Makes 8 servings
Butter or nonstick cooking spray
2 1/4 cups uncooked small elbow macaroni
3 cups milk*
5 tablespoons Cabot Salted Butter
3 slices firm white or whole wheat bread, pulsed into crumbs in processor or blender
3 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Several dashes Tabasco Sauce
16 ounces (1 pound) Cabot Sharp Cheddar, Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar or Cabot Smoky Bacon Cheddar, grated* (about 4 cups), divided
1. Preheat oven to 375°F Butter 9-by-13-inch or other shallow baking dish or coat with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. Stir macaroni into large pot of boiling salted water; cook for 5 minutes after water returns to boil, or until outside is cooked but center is still firm. Immediately drain in colander and rinse under cold water; set aside.
3. In saucepan over medium-high heat or in microwave on high power for 20 second intervals, heat milk to just below simmer.
4. In pot you used for pasta, melt butter over medium-low heat. Pour 2 tablespoons of butter into bowl, add breadcrumbs and blend together thoroughly; set aside.
5. Reduce heat to low, add flour to butter remaining in saucepan and whisk over heat for 2 minutes, being careful not to let it color. Add milk in small amounts at first, whisking until smooth after each addition; continue stirring until sauce thickens and comes to simmer. Cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes.
6. Remove from heat and whisk in salt, pepper, nutmeg, Tabasco and half of cheese. Stir in drained pasta.
7. Spread one-third of pasta mixture over bottom of prepared baking dish. Scatter one-third of remaining cheese on top. Spoon another one-third of pasta on top and add another one-third of cheese. Top with remaining pasta. Mix remaining cheese into breadcrumbs and scatter evenly over top.
8. Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden on top and bubbling throughout. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
ABOUT CABOT CREAMERY COOPERATIVE
Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919, and makes a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese and butter. Widely known as makers of "The World's Best Cheddar," Cabot is owned by the 1200 dairy farm families of Agri-Mark, the Northeast's premier dairy cooperative, with farms located throughout New England and upstate New York. For more information on Cabot, visit: http://www.cabotcheese.coop.
Cabot Creamery Cooperative is the world's first cheese maker and dairy cooperative to achieve B Corporation Certification, a validation of its attention to environmental and social impacts on stakeholders.
Contact: Bob Schiers
1.888.214.9444 or email@example.com
2657 Waterbury-Stowe Rd., Waterbury Center, VT 05677 (Set as Local)