If you love adorable Guernsey calves and learning more about where our dairy products come from, you’ll love Darleen of Guernsey Dairy Mama! Lucky for Darleen, I had JUST the recipe to share with her feature. When I was in Charleston, South Carolina nearly two year ago, I had the most amazing smoked gouda mac and cheese at an adorable restaurant called Poogan’s Porch. Ever since then I’ve been looking re-create it. So I finally got ahold of a country ham. And I made it! It was glorious!
DAIRY: DARLEEN OF GUERNSEY DAIRY MAMA
Williamette Valley of Oregon
I am a third generation dairy farmer, but this life is not always where I thought I would end up. I loved growing up on the farm, but my interests were leading me in other directions. After a year off the farm after High School, I knew in my heart that I belonged back there. So I came back and the rest is history, I couldn’t be happier with that decision.
Who Farms with you?
My husband Ben and I joined my parents as partners in 2008. I have always been on the farm full time, my husband was able to join full time in 2010. We are completely family run, with the addition of two little farm boys that rounds out our work crew. We can and all do help with all the daily work from milking to calf feeding and everything in between. Our days are full! What has been the most satisfying part of farming for you?
Number one getting to work beside my family. Some days are so hard being a farm Mama, but I wouldn’t have it any other way getting to be with my boys throughout the day and having them work with me. Those lessons they are learning early in life will translate ten fold as they age! The second part of that satisfaction in the lifestyle we have chosen is producing a healthy, safe and delicious product for consumers.
What message to the general public about what you do?
I want consumers to know that we truly love what we are doing. It is so much more than a job to us, this is our life. So we take great pride and care in doing the best we can in all aspects of our operation. We want the best for our Ladies and the land that provides for them so that future generations have the same opportunity to continue this tradition of providing dairy products for our community.You can find more from Darleen over on her blog Guernsey Dairy Mama, on Facebook, check out her adorable photos on Instagram, tweet her, or even browse her Pinterest!
While the recipe calls for country ham, which is a variety of cured ham that is typically very salty, you can also use regular ham. If you don’t use country ham, be sure to add some salt for flavor. I found with the country ham and cheese, this mac and cheese needed no salt at all. This dish is pretty much a dairy lover’s dream. Cream and lots of gouda!
- 8 ounces country ham, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 quart heavy cream
- 1 pound smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
- 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
- Pepper to taste
- 20 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked until al dente
- In a large heavy bottomed pan, cook the country ham until most of the fat is released (render) over low heat. Add the onion, let cook for 3-5 minutes then add the flour. Whisk in the heavy cream. Let the mixture simmer until reduced by about one third. Be careful not to boil or the cream will burn.
- Once reduced, add the gouda and seasonings. Cook for another 3-4 minutes to let the cheese melt fully. Stir in the elbow macaroni and take off the heat.
- Garnish with chives and enjoy!
- If not using country ham, add salt.