I knew when summer finally arrived it was going to hit us hard, and OMG did it ever! While it’s not expected to last much longer, Philadelphia has been hit with temps in the high 90′s for the last 3 days, and let me tell you, it’s sweltering! I got to walk 6 blocks in center city yesterday afternoon, and when I finally reached my destination I needed a change of clothing, it wasn’t a pretty sight! But I did manage to get home without suffering from heat exhaustion, which was a very good thing, after all we couldn’t miss Guest Post Friday!
Today my friends I’ve got a different type of guest post for you, while speaking to my friends at the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, I expressed my interest in visiting a local dairy farm to see for myself how it was run, and hopefully get to sample some really fresh dairy products! While were working on making that happen, they introduced me to one of their farmers down in Maryland, and I talked Julie into writing a guest post for you today!
So without further ado it’s my great pleasure to bring you Julie and………
A Twist of Fate is Dairy Good
Sometimes life takes such funny twist and turns.
I grew up in a small town that was the poultry capital of West Virginia and only knew of one dairy farm family. My father was the vice-president of marketing for Hester Industries, a company that produced and sold pre-cooked chicken. I always thought that I would follow in my father’s footsteps.
As I began to work toward my career goals, I took a few marketing classes and worked for Baer Foods in Hagerstown, Md. It was during that time I met my future husband, John. John didn’t come from a dairy farm background either, but the charm of the dairy cow built a wish in both of us to become farmers.
Soon after we were married we purchased a dairy farm in Taneytown, Md. and started milking cows. In 1994, we bought several Jerseys, a breed of cow that is small framed and browned colored. That was when I knew that my life would never be the same.
I fell in love with the little brown cow. My days are filled with the care and concerns of our “girls.” Although John works full time off the farm at the family-owned sign company, he is involved in the farm daily, working with me to make large decisions and helping to fix machinery and fencing. Our dairy farm, Stoney Point Farm, now has 60 adult Jerseys, 70 young cows and 185 acres of farm ground.
The days on the farm can be very long, even with our children grown and out of the house. Time to cook is not always easy to come by, but I’ve found ways to eat healthy and still make quick meals. Cheese is my favorite ingredient to keep on hand for this purpose. It is such a versatile food!
In the winter, I like to prepare crock pot meals, which I serve with salads topped with Feta cheese or Blue cheese crumbles. In the summer, you can’t beat fresh strawberry jam on top of cottage cheese for an easy lunch. When I’m working, it’s easy to eat cheese with crackers, apples and grapes on the run. For a quick dinner, I’ll make a grilled Swiss cheese on rye bread, served with a crunchy dill pickle. And, I always sprinkle the tops of my casseroles with cheese for a burst of flavor.
A family favorite dish is “Orange Salad.” My daughter always requests it for when get together for a family meal. With cottage cheese, mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple, orange Jello and real whipped cream, it’s very easy to make and has a taste perfect for a summer picnic.
The twists and turns of my life have led me to a wonderful place. Demanding and fulfilling work, an appreciation for the beauty of nature and the challenging, but rewarding task of caring for animals. In the end, I love what I do, and am so proud to help provide you with delicious dairy foods like milk, cheese and yogurt!
- 24 oz cottage cheese, small curd
- 20 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
- 15 oz can mandarin oranges, drained and pulled into thirds
- 6 oz box of orange gelatin
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ¼ cup sugar + more to taste
- Place medium mixing bowl and beaters in freezer.
- Drain pineapple and set aside.
- Drain mandarin oranges, and pull pieces into thirds, Set aside.
- Remove chilled bowl and beaters from freezer and whipping cream from the refrigerator. Pour the cream into the chilled bowl. Whip the cream lightly on low for 30 seconds, until little bubbles form in the cream. Increase beater speed to medium, beating for 30 more seconds, until the beaters leave a trail. Increase speed to high. Add vanilla and sugar. Continue beating until cream is thick and smooth and beaters form soft peaks when lifted.
- In a large bowl, gently mix dry gelatin, cottage cheese, crushed pineapple, mandarin oranges and cream together. Refrigerate until completely set. Enjoy!
What a great way to celebrate June ‘s Dairy Month. with such a tasty salad! If you would like to learn more about Julie and her family, just click on the link and pop on over to her bio on the Mid -Atlantic Dairy Associations web site, DairySpot, and while you’re there take a few minutes to check out my page too!
Thanks so much for stopping by today, I hope you enjoyed a look into the lives of some of the folks that work so hard to bring those wonderful dairy products to our table.
Stay cool and don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water, See you all real soon!