Tag Archives: dairy

Grass-Fed Glory and a Day in the Country — Clear Spring Creamery Visit

7 May

After getting sunburned at the farmers market on Saturday morning, my friend and I decided to head out to the country that afternoon. On Friday, I saw on my Facebook newsfeed that Clear Spring Creamery was having an open house on Saturday afternoon, and my friend and I were in. I picked up some provisions at the market — a delicious baguette from Atwaters and some awesome cheese from Keswick Creamery and we hit the road. The weather was gorgeous and just perfect for a drive out west. After only an hour and a half, we were out in the rolling hills and mountains of western Maryland near the Pennsylvania border. It was absolutely gorgeous.

After getting a bit lost (and finally finding our way courtesy of my newly gifted car’s navigation), we finally arrived at Clear Spring  Creamery.

There was a group of about 10 people and after sampling some of the delicious raw milk cheeses, Mark and Clare Seibert (farm owners) graciously led us on a tour of the farm.

free-range birds

picking all of the fresh eggs out of the coop

We got to see where the chickens roam freely, pecking at the grass and laying eggs. But most importantly, since Clear Spring is a dairy farm primarily, we saw all of the cows — eating grass of course!

baby calves

cow moos loudly to signal her young to return home

baby nurses from his mom


my favorite cow has a bow-shaped marking on her head!

It was so interesting to learn how the cows are fed particular kinds of grass and how that affects the flavor of the milk, how the cows are led via minimal fencing to graze specific parts of the pasture, and what eggs can look like at the end of a hen’s laying cycle.

Our afternoon at Clear Spring ended with a tour of the milking facility and a peek into where they pasteurize the milk at a minimal temperature (which I really think helps to lock in the great flavor — along with the non-homogenization) and a sample of their chocolate milk. Dairy heaven! If you are ever at the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market, you have got to try some of Clear Spring’s awesome products (like my favorite sippable yogurt)!

one last shot of my favorite ribbon cow posing in the pasture

the happenstance gourmande


Lacktard Speaks Out on Dairy & Recipe: Vegan Chocolate Avocado Banana Pudding

27 Apr

As a person who cannot handle her dairy, a “lacktard” if you will, I should be the poster child for veganism. Unfortunately, I love dairy. I love drinking milk, eating gelato, snacking on cheese, etc. Since the cleanse, I’ve really cut back on my dairy intake, which has helped me a lot. I can even feel the difference in my sinuses without dairy. The uncomfortable bloating and overall gastric distress that I experience whenever I consume dairy is almost enough to keep me away for good. Almost.

When you think about it, humans drinking animal milk is really weird…

Yesterday, I started reading an article in this week’s issue of The New Yorker discussing the trend of raw milk and the legal implications on farmers and distributors. I knew that raw milk was frowned upon, but I didn’t realize that it was ILLEGAL! The article discusses California primarily as this hotbed of illegal raw milking. With California’s bans on foie gras and raw milk, I can imagine some foodie speak-easy-type places popping up all over! Last year, I briefly worked for Virginia artisan raw sheeps’ milk cheese producer, Everona Dairy, at the Dupont Circle farmers market, and I have to tell you that the taste of raw dairy would definitely have me seeking out the bathtub gin equivalent of raw manchego.

If pasteurization and homogenization were created to protect us from the dangers of factory-farmed and commercially produced dairy, why exactly is it mandatory for ALL milk (with good bacteria) to be pasteurized — especially if I trust my local dairy farmer?

Anyways, since I have had a little bit of a dairy intense week, and feel a little more congested than I have in recent weeks, I thought I’d share a recipe for vegan chocolate pudding. It is amazing how with just a couple of fruits and some cocoa powder, a creamy pudding emerges!

Vegan Chocolate Banana Avocado Pudding (2 servings)

  • 2 small bananas
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 tbsp. of good cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. good vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. raw turbinado sugar
  • pinch of salt

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor and chill for 20 minutes.

creamy and smooth just like a snack pack!

Serve in a champagne flute and top with strawberries, enjoy.

the happenstance gourmande