Cowgirl Creamery Cooks
At long last, a meltingly delicious cookbook.
Cowgirl Creamery’s Peggy Smith and Sue Conley had considered writing a cookbook for years. However, the duo first wanted to be sure their company would be around for a while. “Until we could really prove to ourselves that it was a viable business, we didn’t think it was a good idea to write about it,” Conley says. Chronicle Books’ former editorial director Bill LeBlond, however, knew they were going to be a hit before they did.
“Chronicle Books has always wanted to do [a cookbook with us]. They’ve been asking us to do one for the last 10 years,” says Conley. “Bill LeBlond took us out to lunch once a year to try to convince us. He finally talked us into it.”
Late last year the San Francisco-based publishing house released Cowgirl Creamery Cooks. The cookbook charts the cowgirls’ journey from their greenhorn days and highlights the folks who have made it all possible — people such as Jean-Claude and Pascale Cazalas of Jean d’Alos in France, Paula Lambert of the Mozzarella Company in Dallas, and Jennifer Lynn Bice of Redwood Hill Farm in Sebastopol, California. In chapters divided by cheese types, you’ll find cultured delights that showcase cheeses in entrees, side dishes, and for a dinner party cheese course. Particularly compelling are recipes for blue cheese butter on a grilled rib-eye, and the cowgirls’ take on classic mac and cheese [see recipes, next page].
Crisp photography by Canal House’s Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton adds an enticing visual element. You’ll be tempted to leap into a two-page spread of aged cheeses with woolly white rinds, take a bite out of a wheel of wine-washed Pierce Pt, or cut into a page featuring a stack of cloud-weight cottage cheese pancakes topped with crème fraîche and strawberries.
Throughout the book, readers are given a glimpse into what it takes —
perseverance — and whom it takes — from the dairy farmer and affineur (the person who ages cheese) to the importer and the cheesemonger — to make your cheese. In the end, it’s all thanks to the efforts of a community made smaller and more accessible because of Peggy Smith and Sue Conley, two enterprising cowgirls.
Cowgirl Creamery Cooks (Chronicle Books, 2013) is available at www.cowgirlcreamery.com.
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