Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cows Outside

Took a late autumn road trip today to Bobolink Dairy and Bakehouse in Milford, NJ. It was a spectacular day here - sunny, 65 degrees - the perfect day to head to the country. I've wanted to visit Bobolink Dairy for quite some time to sample their grass-fed cow's milk cheeses and wood-fired breads, but just never seemed to get there.  Today, with the top down on the convertible, we breezed along Routes 80, 287, and 78 to the rolling hillsides of Hunterdon County.  Once you get past the crowded highways, New Jersey has some beautiful back roads. 

We arrived at Bobolink just as Geb was starting a tour - lucky us!  There was a group of about 30 people who followed Geb for an hour all around the farm, learning about the organic process of raising grass-fed cows, using the milk to create delicious artisanal cheeses, meeting the cows up close, and sidestepping cow patties along the way.  Bobolink is set on 185 beautiful acres of pristine New Jersey farmland and the cows lucky enough to call this home get to live out their days roaming the pastures.

After the tour, visitors sample the cheeses and rustic breads (now if they only had a vineyard on the property, this would be the perfect afternoon!).  We sampled 5-6 cheeses and bought the "Jean Louis" to bring home (we were told that the owner of Bobolink apprenticed with the late, world renowned chef, Jean Louis Palladin, and named this cheese after him).  

Along with the cheese, we bought their rustic Rosemary Epi (which we promptly tore into the minute we got in the car), the hearty Baby Rye bread, a delicious Garlic and Pork Fat Ciabatta, and for tomorrow morning, a delectable Cranberry Walnut Breadstick (yeah, I might have gone a little bit overboard on the breads...). 

Once home, we had a tasting of the cheese accompanied by a dollop of raw honeycomb from the Savannah Bee Company. The pairing of the creamy cheese with the essence of wildflowers in the honey was divine. A fruity Malbec completed the picture.

Living 20 minutes from NYC, we don't get much in the way of quiet here.  So standing in the midst of the pastures and the almost past-peak autumn foliage, I was repeatedly struck by the sound of quiet. There was a soft breeze in the air picking up nature's beautiful scent, an oakey wood fire burning not too far away, and there were cows outside. Let that picture fill your mind for awhile - it's good for what ails you. 

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