Savoring the Seasons: Tasty Massachusetts Dairy

The Recorder, February 7, 2017, by Mary McClintock

Thanks to Greenfield Winter Farmers Market folks and Claire Morenon, Innocent Nwosu and the other CISA staffers and volunteers who created another fabulous Greenfield Winter Fare.

When I wasn’t chatting with friends and folks I’ve never met but who read this column — and who will hopefully send me recipes — I was grinning as I shopped for vegetables, granola, pickled beets, beef and more. And, I checked out the information at the displays and workshops and exchanged dried apples for rosehip catsup and a mango-chili spread at the food swap.

One of the nifty info sheets at the CISA table was an intriguing flyer created by Claire Morenon and the CISA folks titled, “The Math Behind Your Milk,” featuring lots of information about Massachusetts dairy farms.

Did you know that dairy farms make up only 2 percent of the farms in Massachusetts, but account for 9 percent of agricultural sales and steward 10 percent of the agricultural land. I didn’t.

Did you know that Massachusets dairy farms produce more than 27 million gallons of milk each year and 20 percent of the milk consumed in Massachusetts? I didn’t.

Those are just a few bits of information about Massachusetts dairy farms on that flyer and on CISA’s website at:

I encourage you to learn more about Massachusetts dairy and to choose local dairy products to serve your family and friends.

Of course, once I saw the CISA flyer, I thought, “How about some recipes?” And, those smart CISA folks had another handout right next to the flyer — collection of tasty recipes from the Massachusetts Dairy Promotion Board. You can get one and more dairy recipes from: — two of the recipes are below.

Like many people, one of my favorite dairy products is cheese. Along with quesadillas of all types, one of my favorite ways to eat cheese is in lasagna. That’s why I plan to be at the First Annual Lasagna Bake-Off to benefit Montague Catholic Social Ministries on Friday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Peace Church in Turners Falls. Perhaps I’ll have a chance to taste your special lasagna recipe.

Calling all cooks! Check out the information in the Food and Farms section about how to enter a pan of lasagna in the bake-off. Not a lasagna cook, but a lasagna lover? Everyone is invited to taste the many different lasagnas, and I’m sure it will be a fun and delicious evening.

What are your favorite recipes featuring Massachusetts milk, cheese, or yogurt? Any dairy farmers out there reading this column? I’d love to share your favorite dairy recipes and information about Franklin County dairy farms and farmers in this column. Please write to me at:

This Week We’re Eating

Grandma Belden’s Quiche

By Luther Belden Farm, North Hatfield (from brochure by

1 8-inch unbaked pie shell

1 lb. lean ground beef

1/3 C. chopped onion

Salt and pepper to taste

½ C. mayonnaise

½ C. whole milk

2 eggs

1 T. cornstarch

1½ C. grated “seriously” sharp Cheddar cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a saute pan, brown beef and onions, season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, blend mayonnaise, milk, eggs, and cornstarch until smooth. Line bottom of pie shell with beef and onion mixture. Pour egg mixture over the beef and onions and cover evenly. Evenly layer cheese on top of mixture. Place on a standard 9×13 baking tray and bake for 35-40 minutes, until knife comes out clean.

Super-thick chocolate shake

By Fletcher Family Farm, Southampton (from brochure by

2 C. whole milk (use more milk for a thinner shake)

1 C. premium chocolate ice cream (use more ice cream for a thicker shake)

4 T. chocolate sauce

Whipped cream for garnish

Put all ingredients (except whipped cream) in blender. Blend until smooth and well mixed. Be sure not to over-blend. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with whipped cream.

Local food advocate and community organizer Mary McClintock lives in Conway and works as a freelance writer, editor, and book indexer. Send column suggestions and recipes to