CABOT, Vt. (June 14, 2011) — Move over, Moms! Step aside, kids! It’s June and that means one thing for the man of the house: Father’s Day is on its way!
“Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday of every June,” says Cabot Creamery Cooperative farmer spokesperson Mark Hackett. “This year’s celebration, honoring dads across the nation, falls on June 19 and it’s the perfect time for families to pay tribute to fathers for all they do for the family. I really enjoy Father’s Day because it means I get to spend quality time with my daughter and my family in celebration of the great life we have. It’s a special time marked by good company, good times and great food.”
One of Farmer Mark’s favorite things to do on Father’s Day is cook. Over the years, he has prepared a host of special Father’s Day meals that have brought him closer to family and friends. And he loves sharing a few of his favorite recipes with fellow dads, for them to create with their children, too.
“Two of my all-time favorites are Cabot’s BBQ Pork Burgers with Monterey Jack and Cabot’s Grilled Summer Pizza,” he says. “Both are easy to make (see complete recipes below) and kids of all ages can join in the fun creating the meals. It’s fun and engaging and makes for a delicious way to spend a few hours celebrating Father’s Day.”
Father’s Day takes on special meaning for the farm family owners of Cabot Creamery Cooperative. With 1,275 farmer-owners, Cabot has a storied history of dads who celebrate Father’s Day with their children. For example, take Hoosick, NY, Cabot farmer Dave Phippen and his wife Diane who have 11 children, each of whose names begin with an “S”: Sarah, 23; Sean, 22; Scott, 20; Seth, 18; Shayla, 16; Sharon, 15; Stephen,12; Simon, 10; Sam, 9; Synthia, 7; and Silas, one-and-a-half.
“Father’s Day is definitely different around here,” Dave laughed. “We go to church with all the children on Father’s Day and then we spend quality time having fun doing different things, like having a picnic or a special lunch or dinner. With this many children it’s always an adventure!”
The Phippen family milks 60 cows, and all of the children pitch in as soon as they are old enough to help out, says Diane.
“Father’s Day is special for us and we know Dave enjoys being with the family, especially on Father’s Day,” she says.
Half way across the state, at Woodcrest Dairy in Lisbon, NY, Cabot farmer Peter Braun, his wife Michelle and their six children will also be celebrating Father’s Day to honor Peter. Jesse, 13; Hannah, 11; Paul, 9; Seth, 5; Gretchen 3, and Julia, who will turn one year old on July 1, will all be on hand to celebrate their father.
Peter, who has a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, fell in love with farming more than 10 years ago and never looked back.
“Farming allows Michelle and me to work side-by-side with our children, and that’s unique in this day and age. Our two oldest children are really interested in agriculture and they really help out around the farm,” he says.
With 2,700 cows to tend to, that’s a tall order! Given the amount of work to be done each day, Peter readily admits that there’s not always a lot of time to sit back and celebrate Father’s Day. But he’s quick to add that it does make the day a little more special, and the family tries to spend a little extra time enjoying each other’s company on Father’s Day.
In central Vermont, at the Richardson Family Farm in Woodstock, Father’s Day plays an important part in the lives of brothers Gordon and Jim Richardson, whose grandfather James Richardson founded the family farm in 1905. Today Gordon’s sons Scott and Reid work the family farm (Gordon’s third son, Craig, now lives in Ohio) and Jim’s daughters Monica, Leslie and Deborah, pitch in whenever they can.
“Our grandfather James bought the farm back in 1905 and our dad Floyd took over the operation many years later, so farming became a Richardson family tradition,” Gordon says. “I can recall many Father’s Days over the years with my dad, and my dad with my grandfather. There’s not a lot of time to celebrate when you farm, but it is nice to have one day for dads. My wife Patricia and I like to spend as much time as we can with the kids, so it’s a nice way to celebrate.”
With 55 cows to milk and a side business manufacturing split-rail fencing, the Richardson family has their hands full most every day.
“I guess I’m what you call semi-retired,” says brother Jim. “A childhood illness has caught up with me again and I’m not able to do all the things I used to do around the farm. But I try to keep my hand in things as much as I can. My wife Ann and I spend as much time as we can with our three daughters. Monica lives in Burlington (VT) and Leslie lives in Pennsylvania, but Deborah lives next door, so she helps out as often as she can. I collect old cars, so each Father’s Day I’ll load a bunch of the kids and grandkids into the rumble seat of my Model A Ford and we take a drive to the top of the hill on the farm and we have a nice family picnic to celebrate Father’s Day. Being together is what makes it special,” he says.
Indeed, family is what Cabot is all about. You only have to go down the road a piece to the other end of Woodstock and you’ll find the Fox Valley Farm, owned and operated by Cabot farm-family owners Jim and Beverly Lewis, fifth-generation dairy farmers. Bill and Beverly recently celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary.
“My grandfather Robin Lewis founded the farm back in 1912, and my father Ora ran the operation after him,” Jim says. “I took over from dad in 1977 and today my sons Jeff and Scott help run things. And now Jeff’s sons Adam and Bradley are working the farm, too. Adam has a degree in dairy herd management from Vermont Technical College and Bradley is a sophomore in high school and he enjoys working the farm in the summer. And Scott’s son Brian pitches in, too.”
In addition to Jeff and Scott, Bill and Beverly also have a daughter, Lisa, and six grandchildren (3 boys and 3 girls), all of whom live within a half-mile of the farm. Jim adds that farming is a true family affair and that everyone’s spouses pitch in after their regular jobs or whenever they’re needed. With 60 cows to tend each day, there’s not a whole lot of time to celebrate things on the Fox Valley Farm, but Jim says they do what they can to make Father’s Day special by having a picnic or spending time with the kids.
“It’s family that keeps this farm going, so we’re close to each other every day,” Jim says.
Father’s Day couldn’t be more special than that.
Grilled Summer Pizza
Makes 4 Servings
2 large vine-ripened tomatoes
1 pound homemade or store-bought pizza dough
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 ounces Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar or Sharp Cheddar, grated (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1. Prepare medium-hot fire on one half of charcoal grill or preheat one side of gas grill to high, leaving other side unlit (if gas grill has only one burner, preheat to high and lower heat to cook second side.)
2. Remove core from tomatoes; cut in half crosswise and gently squeeze out as many seeds and juice as will come out easily. Cut into thin slices.
3. Divide pizza dough into 4 equal balls; on floured work surface, roll/stretch each ball out into approximate 6-inch circle. Bring dough and toppings to grill.
4. Place two dough circles on heated side of grill; when dough is puffed and browned on underside, about 2 minutes, turn over with tongs and cook until second side is lightly colored, about 1 minute longer.
5. Remove crusts from grill. Drizzle each with some of oil. Cover with half of tomato slices and season with salt and pepper. Top with half of cheese and scatter half of thyme leaves on top. Return to unheated side of grill (or reduce heat on one-burner gas grill to very low). Cover grill and cook pizzas until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes. Slide pizzas back over heat or increase heat if crust needs additional crisping on bottom.
6. Use tongs to slide pizzas onto serving plate or cutting board. Repeat with remaining dough circles and toppings.
BBQ Pork Burgers with Monterey Jack
Makes 4 Servings
3 slices smoky bacon
1/2 finely chopped yellow onion
1 pound ground pork
3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup thick tomato-based barbecue sauce
1- 1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces Cabot Monterey Jack, sliced
4 soft onion rolls, split
1. In small skillet, cook bacon until crisp transfer to paper towel to drain.
2. Remove all but about 2 teaspoons fat from skillet; add onion and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Spread on small plate to cool.
3. Preheat grill to medium-high.
4. Chop or crumble bacon into small pieces and put in medium bowl; add pork, 3 tablespoons of barbecue sauce, Tabasco sauce, salt and onions; mix gently to combine. Shape into four 3/4-inch-thick patties.
5. Brush grill with wad of paper towel dipped in oil to prevent sticking. Brushing with additional barbecue sauce, grill burgers until cooked through to center, 5 to 8 minutes per side.
6. Top with cheese and cover with grill lid or foil until cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Serve on rolls.
ABOUT CABOT CREAMERY COOPERATIVE
Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919, and we make a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, and butter. Best known as makers of “The World’s Best Cheddar,” Cabot is owned by 1275 dairy farm families located throughout New England and upstate New York. For additional information on Cabot Creamery, visit http://www.cabotcheese.coop
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