Chandra, what is your favorite Tillamook recipe?
Loaf LifeNaturally Aged News
Scoops to Soup: Melting Times of Ice Cream
Have you ever scooped yourself a bowl of ice cream and then got distracted? Maybe you took a phone call, went to help your child with school work or, like me, got so involved in the current iPad game addiction of the month (currently Candy Crush Saga and Minion Rush) that you lost track of time? One more game, just one more… Then you remember – My ice cream! Wait, who are we kidding, if we’re scooping a bowl of creamy, tasty Tillamook Ice Cream, it’s surely not going to sit around unattended. It’s going to be eaten. If it even gets into the bowl, that is. Well don’t you worry. After my very non-scientific testing, I can tell you exactly how long you can forget about your ice cream (or savor it) before it melts into soup.
Yes, I sacrificed Tillamook ice cream. But it was for the greater good!
Here’s the set-up. On Tuesday, I stopped by the Tillamook Cheese Factory and purchased Oregon Strawberry, Tillamook Mudslide and Vanilla Bean. Three very classic flavors. After making some room in my freezer (I really didn’t need those green beans and hotdog buns anyway), the ice cream sat all day in the freezer, making sure it was nice and frozen, until Wednesday night. Test night. My house was a comfortable 72 degrees. The sun was coming around to the west and shining in the windows, but it wasn’t reaching all the way to the table. So I needn’t worry about the sun speeding up the process. I scooped one 2-ounce scoop of each flavor into individual bowls. I set my timer and the camera and let the games begin.
Taking the lead was Tillamook Mudslide. It took a little longer for the Oregon Strawberry to show signs of melting. And Vanilla Bean was in the middle. At 90 minutes, each scoop was soup.
My very unscientific findings: Ice cream melts. The amount of time will depend on the variety of ice cream, amount in the bowl and, of course, the temperature of the environment. But in theory, you have a solid 30 minutes before finding soup in your bowl. Even at 45 minutes there was still a small portion of each scoop remaining, enough for a small bite or two. But let’s be realistic, if you leave a bowl of Tillamook Ice Cream sitting unattended for whatever reason, it’s likely going to be eaten by someone else in the house before you get back to it. End result, eat your ice cream quickly, but not so quickly that you get brain freeze.
At the end of my test I was sad to see the melted ice cream drip down the drain. I promptly consoled myself with a bowl of Tillamook Mudslide, making sure I finished it off before the ice cream had a chance to melt.
Clowning Around at the June Dairy Parade
The oohs and aahs of the crowd were heard long before the spectacle was in view. Was it a celebrity? Was it a superhero? Was it a Martian landing? No, no and no. It was much better. It was our Tillamook float in the Tillamook County June Dairy Parade, sponsored by the Tillamook County Creamery Association. Yes, it was that spectacular. And yes, I am tooting our own horn.
This past weekend, Tillamook County celebrated June Dairy Month with the 56th annual June Dairy Parade. This year’s theme was “Clowning Around” and everyone was in full-on clown mode. There were horses dressed as clowns, cows dressed as clowns, cars dressed as clowns, and, of course, actual clowns. What did we do, you ask? We made a circus themed float. Tillie was dressed as a clown and our float was a spinning Ferris wheel. And every Ferris wheel needs riders, which in our case, were Tillamook dairy products all decked out in wigs, clown noses and giant sunglasses.
For several days leading up to the parade, a volunteer group of employees gathered in the evenings to build and decorate our float. They engineered the concept, constructed the Ferris wheel and then decorated the entire float.
The judges were in awe. They couldn’t stop talking about the Ferris wheel after returning to the review stand. They were so inspired that they awarded our Tillamook float the first place trophy in the agricultural floats division and the Grand Sweepstakes trophy as being the best entry overall.
Riding on the float were the Oregon state dairy princess-ambassador and the dairy princess-ambassador first alternate. The rest of the court walked alongside the float. But our float wasn’t the only entry making an impression. We also had our Loaf Love Tour Tillatruck to lead us down the parade route and a walking brigade of nearly 40 farmer-owners, employees and their families who handed out cheese portions, stickers and temporary tattoos. They were having a blast and were just “Clowning Around” along the parade route blowing bubbles, wearing silly noses and sunglasses. Two of our large Tillamook branded semi-trucks, both of which also won first place in the Individual Trucks category, brought up the rear.
It’s sad to have to disassemble our float after so many hours went into its creation. But the Ferris wheel will make a second parade appearance on August 3 at the Umatilla County Fair Parade… just in case you want to check it out for yourself. In the meantime, mark your calendar now for the 2014 Tillamook County June Dairy Parade, sponsored by TCCA. It is always the fourth Saturday in June. See you next year!
Making a Flaky Pie Crust with Tillamook Butter
It’s November and tis the season for yummy pies! Truthfully, I think pies are good any time of the year, but there is something about November with pumpkin pie, apple pie, chocolate pie…
Pie recipes often call for shortening and we wanted to know, can butter be substituted and still make a flaky crust? Since I am still trying to figure out how to make a perfect pie crust (and I took Home Ec, too!), I put my mom to the task. She makes the best pie crusts. The fillings are really good, too. She set about substituting Tillamook Butter for shortening in her favorite pie crust recipe. And the result: “The crust was REALLY flaky,” she said.
Just in time for you to make your favorite Thanksgiving pie, here’s the pie crust recipe and a pie that my mom just happened to whip up, and my dad got to enjoy, for this little experiment.
Mary Jo’s Pie Crust (Nope, my mom’s name isn’t Mary Jo)
Yield: 6-7 single crusts or 3 double crusts
5 cups flour
2 cups cold Tillamook Unsalted Butter (1 lb)
1 teaspoon salt
1 whole egg
Place several ice cubes and about 1½ cups of water in a 2-cup measuring cup and then set aside. Break egg into a 1-cup measuring cup, beat slightly, and then set aside. Cut the butter into small cubes and then set aside. Mix together the flour and salt.
Using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut the cubes of butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a crumble. Do not over mix. The tiny balls of butter will make your crust flaky.
Pour enough of the iced water into the measuring cup with the beaten egg to make 1 cup. Pour the egg/water mixture into the crumble and mix with a spoon or your hands just until all of the flour has been incorporated. Divide into 6 balls.
On a floured board, immediately roll out the crust(s) you plan to use right away. Chilling your crusts after shaping and placing them in pie plates while you make your filling or before baking will reduce shrinkage.
This crust keeps well for several days in the refrigerator and also freezes well. Tightly wrap the balls of dough you will not be using in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped balls in a freezer bag or foil and refrigerate or freeze. Thaw frozen balls in the refrigerator when ready to use. If you don’t want to make a crust every time you want a pie, just pull out a ball of dough, defrost it a little and voila, you are ready for your filling!
The traditional pies are my favorite for Thanksgiving, but sometimes it’s nice to try something a little different. Need a pie idea for your holiday meal? How about this one? It is also really great for summer with a scoop of Tillamook Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
Peach Melba Pie
Yield: 1 pie
4 cups fresh peaches (peeled and sliced)
4 cups fresh raspberries (rinsed)
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon Tillamook Butter (cut into small pieces)
2 pie crusts
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and then roll out and place one crust in a pie plate. Using a knife, trim the crust to the outer edge of the pie plate. Chill. Roll out the second crust and then place it on a cookie sheet and chill until ready to use.
Place the peaches and raspberries in a large bowl. Mix together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Pour the sugar mixture over the peaches and raspberries and gently toss, trying not to break up the raspberries. Pour the fruit mixture into the chilled pie crust.
Place the small pieces of butter on top of the fruit. Slightly wet the outer edge of the crust with water. Place the second crust on top of the fruit, pressing the edges to seal. Using a knife cut off the extra dough from the top crust leaving about ½ inch beyond the edge of the pie plate. Tuck the extra dough UNDER the edge of the bottom crust to fully seal. Crimp the edge and prick or cut the top crust to vent.
Make an egg wash using 1 egg and a small amount of water, and lightly brush the top crust with the egg wash. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the crust is golden. Serve with Tillamook Vanilla Bean or Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream.
Note: This pie is juicy, especially if the peaches are very juicy and/or the raspberries break up during mixing.
Fair Time is Fun Time
It’s Tillamook County Fair time! In Tillamook, it’s a time for pronto pups, ice cream cones, exhibits, horse races, Pig-n-Ford races, and thrills on the midway. It’s also time to enjoy a Tillamook Ice Cream cone and support the local 4-H programs while doing so.
TCCA and the local 4-H have been scooping together since 2010. Farmer-owners and employees, alongside 4-H leaders, parents, and students, staff the Tillamook Ice Cream booth together. The proceeds are used to help fund individual programs and provide scholarships. Over the past two years, TCCA has donated approximately $22,500 directly to the 4-H program. And this year, we are hoping to do better than ever. After you have a scoop of ice cream, be sure to check out the bovine beauties in the dairy barn. It is their hard work, after all, that goes into making our deliciously creamy Tillamook Ice Cream.
Umatilla County Fair Parade: Got Cheese?
“From Wagon Wheels to Ferris Wheels” and even cheese on wheels! That was the fun that could be had on August 4 at the Umatilla County Fair Parade in Hermiston, Ore.
In Eastern Oregon, where our second cheesemaking plant is located, many of our local employees like to get involved in community activities. The Umatilla County Fair Parade is one event where they can let their creativity shine while having loads of fun. To prepare for the parade, a group of employees volunteered their time and decorated a float showcasing a miniature version of our cheesemaking plant pumping out Tillamook cheeses and being loaded onto a pallet ready to be shipped to Tillamook fans near and wide. A walking brigade of employees and their families handed out cheese along the parade route to the cheers of “I love Tillamook Cheese,” “Tillamook Cheese is awesome,” and, of course, “Give me cheese, give me cheese, give me cheese!” And the perfect way to transport the cheese along the parade route… why, a Tillamook cheese truck, of course, just miniaturized!
It may have been hot, hot, hot, but the group had fun, fun, fun at the evening parade. The Tillamook float and walking brigade was certainly one of the crowd’s favorites.
Celebrating June Dairy Month at the June Dairy Parade
The liquid sunshine didn’t wash away the fun we had celebrating June Dairy Month during the Tillamook County June Dairy Parade on Saturday, June 23. The decorated cars still rolled down the road, the marching bands still marched, and the dancers still danced. And among all of the cleverly decorated floats was our own float, accompanied by a Loaf Love mini bus and walking brigade made up of TCCA employees and farmer-owners and their families.
Our mission: Use the parade’s theme, “Just Milk It,” to create a float for the Oregon Dairy Princess-Ambassador and her court to ride on in the parade. The result: One very cool looking float that not only took first place in the agricultural floats division, but was awarded Grand Sweepstakes for being the best entry overall.
Planning began in April. And several weeks and several build nights later, our float was ready for the parade. A group of TCCA employees, who volunteer their time and energy each year, conceptualized a miniature Tillamook Cheese Factory, complete with silver silos and a conveyor that delivered over-sized Tillamook products into a shopping bag. A little engineering, construction, painting, and attaching of silver fringe and sparkly bits, and our float was ready for the parade.
The crowds loved it! Or maybe they were cheering because we were handing out free cheese and loaf-ism buttons. Regardless, the float was impressive and we all had a wonderful time.
Mark your calendars now! The Tillamook County June Dairy Parade, sponsored by TCCA, is always the fourth Saturday in June. See you next year!
The Times, They Are a Changin’
A company in the United States reaching its centennial anniversary is worth celebrating.
On June 16, 2011, USA Today published an article celebrating IBM’s entrance to an “elite group of 100-year-old-companies.” According to Jim Collins, management expert and an author quoted in the article, “Companies that survive 100 years or longer are ‘a special and rarefied group.’” At the time of the article, 486 out of 5,000 U.S. publicly traded companies and 23 private companies were 100 years or older.
Dairy cooperatives are an even smaller population. In the U.S., the number of farmer-owned dairy cooperatives peaked at 2,374 in 1940-1941.That number rapidly declined; and by 1975, there were 631 dairy co-ops. In 2007, there were only 155. Quickly surveying the annual list of the top 50 dairy cooperatives in the U.S., assembled by Hoard’s Dairyman, less than 10 have celebrated their 100th anniversary. The Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) is proud to be one of those enduring 10.
In reaching its centennial anniversary, a company experiences growing pains along the way. Board of directors and/or company management are forced to react to outside forces like supply and demand, market share, competition, new product development, changes in customer base, etc. The way a company reacts can help or hinder its growth and longevity.
In TCCA’s case, from the day the co-op was formed in 1909, there has been constant change. There have only been seven leaders of our organization, each making decisions, reactively or proactively, in the best interests of the company to keep TCCA sustainable as a business. Some of those decisions were difficult, some were costly, yet each one of them strengthened the co-op and Tillamook brand and ensured it would be around for another decade.
Carl Haberlach: Carl had the foresight to suggest a co-op would make the little creameries in the county more successful and profitable if they standardized the quality of the cheese to ensure that only the best cheese made in Tillamook County was produced and shipped to market. Under his leadership, TCCA developed a quality program that made Tillamook cheese known for is quality, consistency and flavor. The Tillamook brand was trademarked and TCCA began an advertising plan. A market quickly began to develop outside of Oregon and the immediate territory.
George Lawson: George began to modernize all of TCCA’s procedures (modern for 1942) and, with the board, began to plan for the centralization of all cheesemaking.
Beale Dixon: Beale was hired when Lawson unexpectedly died and he picked up the pieces in full stride. He oversaw the final completion of the new, centrally-located Tillamook Cheese Factory and the final consolidation of cheesemaking in the county. Dixon knew it was important to expand the reach of Tillamook and traveled all over the West shaking hands and meeting store owners. In his nearly 25 years managing TCCA, Dixon understood the importance of fighting for what he believed was right both for the co-op and the dairy farmers.
Pete Sutton: Pete saw to the installation of the automated cheddaring system, new cheese vats, the Cheddarmaster and blockforming towers. He knew the value of marketing and promotion. He oversaw the expansion of the Visitors Center at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, making it a true promotional opportunity where visitors could observe the production, view a slideshow, tour a museum and shop for cheese. An ice cream dipping counter was added, which took off like a rocket!
Harold Schild: Harold oversaw improvements to the processes and upgrades to the facility. He saw to the construction of the corporate office, the automated cold storage warehouse (ASRS), allowing TCCA to store approximately 50 million pounds of cheese on-site, and TCCA’s second cheesemaking plant in Boardman.
Jim McMullen: Jim was closely tied to the facility upgrades, and, as vice president of operations under Harold Schild, directly, saw to the construction of the ASRS and Boardman plant. As CEO, Jim oversaw further facility upgrades in Tillamook, the addition of new cheeses and products to the Tillamook dairy products family, and the expansion of the Boardman plant, doubling the size of the facility and increasing TCCA’s total cheesemaking capacity in order to meet the growing demand.
Harold Strunk: Harold, TCCA’s current president and CEO, brought the co-op into its second century. Since 2007, he’s directed the consolidation of multiple, disconnected software systems, databases and spreadsheets into one integrated system to provide TCCA with accurate, real-time visibility into its inventory and financial transactions across the entire company, allowing the company to deliver to its customers what they want and when they want it. He’s lead the company to achieve its Level 2 Safe Quality Foods certification under the Global Food Safety Initiative, which necessitates facility upgrades to remain SQF compliant and to replace or repair aging equipment and facilities that are causing quality and safety concerns. Since 2009 when the company and community celebrated 100 years during a fun, year-long centennial celebration, as a leader, Harold has made strides to position TCCA for future successes, ensuring its longevity and that of our farmer-owners, and, by extension, the Tillamook community.
Each of TCCA’s leaders faced tough decisions during their tenure: Do we help the company grow, increase sales and expand the market for Tillamook cheese and invest in its future, ensuring the company and its farmer-owners will continue to be successful? Or do we stay a regional co-op with a market limited to the Pacific Northwest and risk the longevity of the company? TCCA’s history has shown that it was a wise choice to choose to grow. In the last 50 years, TCCA has grown from a local cooperative primarily serving customers within the Pacific Northwest to a $500 million national organization with distribution to all 50 states, and we offer our thanks to the leaders that have helped keep our farmer-owned co-op strong over 100 years.
Krantz, Matt, and Swartz, Jon. “IBM joins elite group of 10-year-old-companies.” USA Today June 16, 2011. Online.
Cropp, Bob, Graf, Truman. “History and Role of Dairy Cooperatives.” January 2001. Agricultural Cooperative Service, USDA
Shields, Dennis. “Consolidation and Concentration in the U.S. Dairy Industry.” April 27, 2010. Congressional Research Service
Cow of the Month: Brown Swiss
From far away, you may confuse this Brown Swiss for a Jersey. But get a little closer and you’ll notice a difference. A big difference. A difference of a couple hundred pounds.
Brown Swiss are a larger cow with a fuller body. They have large, cute and fuzzy ears that are as soft as they look. This breed was developed in the northeastern part of Switzerland, and, according to the Brown Swiss Association, the breed is believed to be the oldest of all dairy breeds. But since none of us are that old, we’ll leave it to the historians to figure out. Many farmers like the Brown Swiss because of their temperament; they have good feet and legs, and are weatherized. That’s just a fancy way of saying that Brown Swiss seem to be able to thrive and survive in hot and humid climates to cold and wet climates.
In Tillamook, Brown Swiss is a breed that was more popular a generation or two ago by farmers who emigrated from Switzerland. Today, there are probably less than 400 in the county.
~ Chandra of the Tillamook Team
Chain of Milk
In 1949, the new, centrally-located Tillamook cheese plant was opened. It was large and modern, a “show place of the Pacific Coast.” An expansive wall of glass windows in the cheesemaking room let sunlight shine on the stainless steel cheese vats. And outside, there was the milk chain.
In the old days, farmers would deliver their milk to the small creameries first by horse-drawn wagon, then by pick-up truck. The cans would be hefted onto a platform, weighed, sampled and then often would immediately be poured into a waiting vat.
At the new 1949 plant, farmers would deliver their full cans of milk to milk receiving where they were unloaded into the milk chain. This automatic, continuous belt conveyor moved the full cans into the receiving room where they were weighed, sampled, emptied and washed before being sent back out to the waiting farmers.
And it wasn’t only for milk, there are more than a few stories from local adults who remember playing as kids on the milk chain, riding on the conveyor or creating a blockade and holding back the empty cans.
By the late 1960s, milk cans were becoming obsolete and were replaced with tanker trucks. Of the two received bays at the Tillamook plant, one was removed in the late 1970s to make room for the Visitors Center expansion. The second one was converted into our current milk receiving area. Today, we use refrigerated tankers trucks to pick up the milk from the farm.
Cheese for Christmas? When it’s Tillamook Cheese – DEFINITELY!
In our stash of historical photos, I found a few shots of our cheese all dressed up for the holidays. This particular photo is from 1959. The round of cheese was called a gem and weighed in at a tasty 3 pounds. I wouldn’t mind seeing this under my Christmas tree or tucked into my stocking that I hung by the fireplace with care.
Hint, hint, Santa!
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Beer and Cheese Pairings Sat, December 14
Pelican Pub will be at The Cheese Factory from 12-4pm sampling seasonal ales!
Pictures with Santa at the Cheese Factory Sat and Sun, December 14 -15
Santa is stopping by with his elves from 11am til 2pm to meet you & find out if you have been naughty or nice this year!