Sunday, June 1, 2014

June is Dairy month in Wisconsin... time for a visit to Laclare Farms

National June Dairy Month began as National Milk Month in 1937 as a way to promote drinking milk. Wisconsin held its first June Dairy Month in 1939, expanding the celebration to include milk, cheese, butter and ice cream. June Dairy Month can be celebrated at one of the dozens of Breakfasts on the Farm around the state.  The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board's interactive map at features many of the more than 70 dairy farms across the state that welcome the public to enjoy a hearty breakfast. 

LaClare Family Farm, owned and operated by Larry and Clara Hedrich of Chilton, Wisconsin, kicked off the month on Sunday, June 1st,  with brunch, LaClare Farms cheese and Kerrigan Brothers Wine, a cheese carving into their Chandoka cheese, and a visit from Alice in Dairyland. The farm’s facility was designed for visitors to get a better concept of farming. You can look through windows into the milking area and the cheese aging area.” The facility also features a restaurant and shop where you can find a variety of farmstead artisan cheeses, beer and wine along with other products locally produced.

LaClare Farms


LaClare Farms bought 13 acres to build a farmstead dairy. The new plant features products made from the milk of 600 goats. Greg Hedrich's family had been running  LaClare Farms just south of Chilton with three hundred goats producing milk for seven years.   A champion cheese has put his family's farm on the map. Katie Hedrich, took top honors out of 1,604 entries from 30 states for her Evalon, a hard goat’s milk cheese.

2011 US Champion Cheese Contest
in the Lambeau Field Atrium in Green Bay
(I had stumbled across the championship
going on in the atrium when shopping
at the Packer Pro Shop and managed
to grab a few tasty samples.)
And what Wisconsin dairy celebration would be complete
without cheese carving?
National statistics indicate specialty cheese production in Wisconsin has doubled in the last ten years. It accounts for 22% of the state's total cheese production.

A long-time favorite goat cheese recipe from Chez Panisse Cafe in Berkeley, CA:


4 oz.   goat cheese
7 oz.   mozzarella
2 slices prosciutto di Parma (or slivers of leftover ham)
1 T.   fresh chives, thinly sliced
1 T.   fresh parsley, chopped
1 T.   fresh chervil, chopped
1 t.   fresh thyme
1 t.   fresh marjoram
2 small  cloves garlic, finely chopped
   black pepper
1 recipe pizza dough

Crumble the goat cheese.  Grate the mozzarella.  Cut 2 slices of prosciutto (twice as thick as typically used for a sandwich or salad), into a julienne.  Finely cut 2 T. of chives.   Mince 2 T. parsley.  Chop the leaves of the small sprigs of thyme and marjoram.  Mince the garlic.  Blend all of the ingredients together and season with coarsely ground black pepper.  Divide the dough into 3 or 4 portions.  Roll each portion into a large circle 1/8-1/4" thick.  Put the filling on one half of the dough, leaving an inch of margin space around the edge.  Moisten the edge with water and fold the other half of the dough over the filling to make the edges meet.  Fold the dough at the edges up onto itself forming a running curl, pinching as you go along to seal it tight.  Put it onto the floured paddle and slide it onto a pizza stone in a 450-500 degree oven.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, until they are quite brown and crisp.  Remove them from the oven and brush the tops with olive oil.  Serve them whole and cut with a serrated knife at the table.

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