Monday, October 11, 2010

Open Creamery Day

What a great day for a road trip!  When I first took notice of Open Creamery Day I went to the Maine Cheese Guild site and looked at the map showing all the creameries that were taking part and read the info on each one trying to decide what would make for a nice ride and an interesting blog.  Appleton Creamery in where else...  a multiple winner in American Cheese Society competitions seemed like a good place to start.  And I'd never been to Appleton before, so that was also a plus.

 Caitlin Hunter raises 50+ goats on her small farm, about 35 milkers, 4 bucks and roughly 15 older females. That many goats takes her over an hour to milk, twice a day.  From that she gets 30 gallons of milk, which makes 30 lbs. of cheese. A board in the milking room helps her keep track of whose teats need tweaking. You can visit the Creamery website for info on buying her cheeses, which she sells at farmers markets and online November until it runs out..
Her two 15 gallon pasteurizers
The cheese is drained over night

I somehow left home without any money or a checkbook, but Caitlin (and Beth at Townhouse )  thought I looked trustworthy enough to let drive off with a promise to send them a check.  It's in tomorrows Mail! I have a piece of feta for lunch 3-4 days a week, so I couldn't pass up her award winning Sophia Feta, a Chevre in oil with basil and pine nuts, a Zephyr Ledge and one other soft cheese.

Anybody looking for a fun thing to do tomorrow, Savage Oaks Winery on 174 Barrett Hill Rd in Union could use you.

They also have a few chickens who wonder thru the small vineyard next to the house.

The backyard also found a small oven which they bake bread in and pizza on special occasions.

 Appleton Creamery

Caitlin Hunter, Owner
780 Gurney Town Road
Appleton, ME 04862
Lots of good info!

Trying to find a second creamery to fit into the drive was a little harder because, well they aren't lined up like car dealerships on Rte 1.  I finally decided on Townhouse Farm in Whitefield heading back toward Augusta on Rte 17 and then south on Rte 218.  Beth Whitman specializes in Middle Eastern style cheeses and yogurt.  Beth buys her milk from neighboring farms and sells some of her cheeses to restaurants in the Portland area.

Small cups of curd could be had for $3.00 and I bought a large  yogurt,   which I added to some fruit for a very yummy snack this evening.

I tried this excellent hard goat cheese and of course now looking at it wish I had purchased a piece.

Meg houses her cheeses in the "cave" under her barn.

Some of the neighborhood cows in the pasture behind Townhouse Farm.

Townhouse Farm
Beth Whitman
35 Townhouse Rd
Whitefield, ME 04353

All in all a great day!
To find out more about Maine's many artisanal cheese makers go to the Maine Cheese Guild website.  

Two big foodie events coming up back to back in the next few weeks. First Harvest On The Harbor, starting on the 21st.  And fall Restaurant Week ME on the 24th.  I'll be posting a lot, not so sure about sleep.

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