Queens of the Dairy

Once upon a time, there was a cow named Greely.

She was a beautiful Jersey the color of a new teddy bear.  She had eyes the size of fresh peaches, with eyelashes as long as a bright blue crayon.

Greely lived on a small farm.  But she hadn’t always lived there.

She was born and grew up at a small dairy farmstead called the Chapel Hill Creamery.  The farm is surrounded by green pastures where the cows graze.  Greely and twenty-nine other Jerseys lived quiet lives set to the rhythm of nature; where each cow has a name and a special human friend that makes sure all their needs are met.  The milk from those cows is turned into many different kinds of delicious cheese.

For a cow, it’s a very happy world.

Greely was treated well at her new home, but sometimes she missed the other cows.

One day, a trailer arrived at the cow’s new home.  They unloaded a cow and brought her to Greely’s pasture.  The two bovines saw each other and charged over the field toward each other.

The new cow was Amy, Greely’s best friend from the dairy!  The Jersey girls nuzzled one another, ecstatic to be together again. 

 The cows lived happily ever after, and Greely was never lonely again.

(This is a true story.)

Thanks for your time.

Contact debbie at d@bullcity.mom.

Turnip Gratin with Chapel Hill Creamery Hickory Grove Cheese

Recipe from Chapel Hill Creamery


2 cloves garlic

2.5 lbs. turnips, about 9 medium

1 tsp. dried dill

½ pound Chapel Hill Creamery Hickory Grove cheese

1 cup cream

1 cup coarse bread crumbs

1 Tbs. melted butter

Salt and pepper


Melt butter in a skillet and add bread crumbs, stirring to coat. Set aside.

Rub shallow 8×12 pyrex pan with cut garlic. Butter the pan.

Slice turnips as thinly as possible by hand or on a mandolin. Trim rind on the Hickory Grove and cut into thin slices.

Make three layers of turnips, adding salt, pepper, and some dill to each layer.

Cover with cheese, pour cream over and sprinkle on the bread crumbs.  Cook at 400 degrees uncovered for 40–45 minutes until turnips are cooked through.

Hickory Grove Cheese Straws


1 stick plus 6 tablespoons butter (14 tablespoons), room temperature

3 cups Chapel Hill Creamery Hickory Grove cheese, shredded

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

1/8 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, more or less to taste

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


Put butter and cheese into food processor. Add the flour, salt, cayenne, and Worcestershire. Cover and blend until dough just starts to come together in clumps. Place dough on a floured surface and knead it just until it holds together—Don’t overwork it.  It will develop the gluten and make the final product tough and rubbery.  Divide dough into four equal portions and roll into logs about 8-10 inches long.

Chill logs for at least one hour or freeze up to 2 months and then cut into bite-size slices (about ¼-inch wide). If you don’t want to make all the dough at once, it will last in the fridge for about two weeks or freezer for three months.

Sprinkle the top of each with some flaky sea salt.  For extra special treats, place a lightly toasted pecan half on each, after salting.

Bake in preheated 300° oven for 15 minutes and then spin cooking sheet 180° and bake 15 minutes more.  At this point, without opening oven, turn off heat and let cheese straws sit inside hot oven for 45 minutes.

Remove and let cool.

Makes about 6 to 8 dozen.

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