Thursday, November 8, 2012

Trip to the Cheese Farm, Soda Factory, and Chocolate Factory

Last Saturday we decided to take a day trip to the country.  I have really missed seeing farms in Germany and the cheese from Europe, especially The Netherlands.  Europeans usually make their cheese fresh, using only the freshest ingredients, including raw milk from grass fed cows and goats.  So I was looking online to see if I could order some delicious cheese from somewhere and I found a farm about 2 hours away, that makes and sells cheese, organic raw milk, organic eggs, and local organic meat, beef and sausage.  I was excited to learn that we could visit the farm, take a tour, and see how they make their cheese.  Very cool!

DH had a men's Bible study Saturday morning so we missed the tour.  However, we were still able to explore the farm, see the cows and baby calves, which Blue Rock loved.  We saw the outside of the cheese cave, hopefully next time we'll get there in time to go inside.  There was also a large white dog who lived on the farm that was very friendly.  Caden tried feeding the calves grass, so sweet.  We also tried between 12-15 cheeses.  It was the BEST cheese I've had since living in Germany.  We saw the machines they used and the owner/cheese expert, said the equipment is from The Netherlands and he follows those methods in cheese making.  We filled our ice chest with lots of local fresh cheeses, milk, and meats. 

Next we ate at a local restaurant.  It was home cooking at its best.  DH and I each ordered a meat plate with 3 veggies.  The meal came with a drink and dessert all for $8!  What a deal!  We shared our food with Blue Rock and still had leftovers.  For a couple bucks more you could order the all you can eat buffet.  Everything is made fresh there and it was packed with locals. 

After a delicious lunch we headed to Dublin Bottling Works, where Dr. Pepper used to be made.  Now they make sodas with pure cane sugar, yummy!  I ordered a dark soda from the soda jerk and Blue Rock had his first taste of soda.  I loved the look on his face!  I asked him if he liked it and he said yes.  He tried a few more small sips then gave it back to me.  We're not big soda drinkers but we bought a big case of a variety of pure cane sugar sodas anyway.  DH said we might as well buy 24 since they'd only be $1 each instead of $1.50.

Next we headed to the small town of Hico to a chocolate factory called Wiseman House Chocolates.  Did I ever mention that Europeans also have better chocolate than Americans?  Especially the Belgians and Swiss.  At this factory, all of the chocolate is made by hand from the same chocolate from Belgium and Venezuela,  They only use fresh ingredients and leave out added sugars, glutens, sodium nitrates, and trans fats.  If you like chocolate you'd love their chocolate.  They offer tours and classes as well.  Think of episode of I Love Lucy when Lucy and Ethel made chocolate.  If you visit, make sure you bring some money because this is the not the cheap chocolate you buy at Target or Walmart.  We tasted some delicious chocolates, then loaded up our small ice chest with chocolate gifts for Christmas.

We enjoyed our day trip a lot.  I am so glad there are so many wonderful places to visit around us that are only a day trip away.

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