Way on back in 1999, when we were in the process of moving from our Southern California home to Piedmont North Carolina, my husband Will came on ahead to begin his new job in RTP, the high tech-biotech research centered business park created back in the 50’s, on land between Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill. I stayed behind in Carlsbad to finish the details of selling our house. Thanks to Will’s company’s generosity, we had the use of a townhouse near his work, so that we could set our selves down and consider where to look for a house.
Early on, he noted in a phone call to California that Chapel Hill could be ‘it’, based on his visit to Foster’s Market there. “It’s a really ‘Nancie’ kind of place”, he told me, meaning that they had great coffee, fantastic food, and tables where you could sit and read or do some work. He was right, and I have since been found often, mostly at the Chaple Hill location, for PTA committee meetings, deadline-frenzied writing sessions, salad-plate suppers, wood fired pizzas, CHOP NC planning sessions, cakes and pies of magnificent deliciousness, candy-purchasing for Christmas stockings (shhhhh, don’t tell), Foster’s 7 Pepper Jelly restocking, newspaper browsing, and big chunky mugs of coffee.
Summertime means special events at Foster’s including Grill-Out’s at the Durham Foster’s location, and Farm Dinners here in Chapel Hill. Recently Will and I attended the first one of the 2012 season, and we had the very best time.
To find out all about Foster’s Market, visit their website
on their website HERE
and their YouTube video by HERE
Menu from Foster’s Farm Dinner featuring
Chapel Hill Creamery
Portia McKnight shares stories from the world of dairy farming, grass-tending, cow-centric cheese-making Chapel Hill Creamery, home of divine irresistible dynamite-good farmstead cheese.
HORS D’ OEUVRE
Sausage Balls with Chapel Hill Creamery Calavander and Chorizo
Panzanella Salad with Chapel Hill Creamery Pheta,
Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Onions, and Olives, tossed with Foster’s Focaccia
Slow Roasted Whey Fed Pork Loin from Chapel Hill Creamery
Chapel Hill Creamery 5 Cheese Mac and Cheese with House Smoked Bacon
Tomato Pie with Tomatoes from Bluebird Meadows
Foster’s Market Peach Crisp with Farm-Fresh Whipped Cream
Picturing yourself at a happy table at an upcoming
Foster’s Farm Dinner?
Here are the dates, all Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.
Foster’s Market Chapel Hill:
Reservations and information: (919) 967-3663
Now, about that mac-and-cheese…..yes, we got you the recipe. Since it is summertime, those of you with Southern roots (long-time or newly planted) know that vegetable plates are the way to go all summer long. When you need a substantial vegetable, but don’t want to get all overwrought cooking something meaty and complex, turn to one of my very favorite Southern Vegetables: Macaroni and Cheese! Yes, folks, around here and throughout the South, we know that macaroni and cheese is a vegetable (look on any meat-and-three menu, or down any cafeteria line, or ask an old-timer (I’m available but you know my opinion already). Anyway, even without the staggeringly delicious roast pork from CH Creamery’s own whey-fed pigs, this dinner would have been satisfying and complete. Here’s what you need to know:
Chapel Hill Creamery’s 5-Cheese Mac-and-Cheese:
1 1/2 quarts heavy cream (6 cups)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Texas Pete (as much as you like!)
Chapel Hill Creamery 5-Cheese Mix (see below for amounts)***
One pound of your favorite dried pasta
1) Cook the pasta in a big pot of wildly boiling nicely salted water. Cook until tender but still firm (al dente), and drain well. Set aside while you make the sauce.
2) Meanwhile, bring the cream, mustard, and garlic to a lively simmer over medium heat. Keep cooking at a good simmer, stirring often, until it has thickened up a bit, and reduced to about 3/4 of the original amount of cream.
3) Add the 5-Cheese Mix to the cream sauce, and stir to combine them well. Pour over the pasta and toss to coat evenly and mix well.
4) Transfer the pasta with cheese sauce to a large ovenproof baking pan or bowl. Sprinkle with more cheese and bake until the cheese melts on top and is bubbly. (about 25 minutes to 55 minutes, depending on the size and depth of your pan.) Serve hot or warm.
***Chapel Hill Creamery 5 Cheese Mix
1/2 cup shredded or chopped Hickory Grove
1 cup Calvander shredded or chopped
1/2 cup Fresh Mozzarella, shredded or chopped up
1/2 cup Farmer’s Cheese
1/2 cup New Moon (chopped up)