great balls of cheese!

say cheeseWhat got my eyes rolling this morning?  This:

Jan 13, 2014 07:42 AM

The Main Course

Cheese Ball Comes to Philly to Benefit Birchrun Hills Farm

Those with an affection for all things fromage will be delighted to hear that, with the help of author and Wisconsin native Tenaya Darlington, a grand dairy affair will unfold Sat., Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m.–midnight, at Philadelphia’s Ruba Social Club (414 Green St.).

Darlington, scribe of Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese and blogger of Madame Fromage, has organized the cheese-focused soiree with one incredible mission: to help Birchrunville’s cheesemaker Sue Miller, of Birchrun Hills Farm, raise funds for a future cheese cave. ….the Miller family trucks their milk off their farm to a facility to age their cheese, and with the addition of a farm-based cave, they can eliminate this step and keep the entire operation on the farm.

Admission to the cheesy fete is $10 per person, with all proceeds donated to the Miller family.

I am all for supporting your local farmer, but this is a bit much don’t you think? A benefit in Philadelphia for the Miller family? As in Supervisor Farmer Ken Miller and his bride Sue the Cheese Lady? Of West Vincent Township?

What is it kids say? For realz?

The Miller family is not my favorite charity and they shouldn’t be a charity at all, should they? I think this whole thing is terribly classless and tacky. They don’t have some dread disease and need medical bills covered.  They haven’t had a devastating disaster hit their farm.  They just seem to enjoy the benefits of OPM. Other People’s Money.

They have lived off the fatted calf a long time, eh? I know farming is hard work but where else could you farm on taxpayer owned township farm land and have all the perks of being a supervisor and what do they call it, roadmaster? West Vincent is intriguing to say the least at all times….

I am sorry but I think Madame Fromage is off her rocker!   Apologies to Madame Formage, but even if you don’t know and/or appreciate the shenanigans in West Vincent Township, for what Sue Miller charges for that cheese (which honestly I still don’t know why people rave about it, it really is not exceptional in any way), wow you would think they would be able to do their own farm renovations and additions right? Or be able to go to a bank and get a loan? Or apply for some organic farming grant? But wait, they really aren’t organic are they?

I am sorry but this to me is just so wrong.  I know a few farmers and cheesemakers here in Chester County and elsewhere, and wow I never heard of any of them throwing themselves in essence a beef and beer (oopsies wine and cheese) to get other people to pay for them have you? Sorry but wow, no thank you.

And my dislike for Birchrun Hills Farm precedes anything I became aware of in West Vincent and the odd way those folks practice politics and treat neighbors. My dislike for that farm began the first season of Bryn Mawr Farmers Market.  One of my friends founded it and when it opened I was so excited to have a market close to my then home.  I wanted to support as many farmers as possible. 

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I remember distinctly trying to ask Sue Miller  and whomever was with her about their cheeses (as I was hello forking over my money to buy some) and they could not have been any more unpleasant.  I decided at that time that if they couldn’t take a minute for customers that this was in effect a small business I wasn’t going to patronize. And I appreciate finely made cheeses and truthfully, theirs was nothing special. And it was over-priced.

As am amusing side note, I happened to see Supervisor Farmer Miller at the fabulous event the Historic Birchrunville Neighbors Association had at the Birchrunville Store Café last evening.  If he is so counting his pennies, I wonder did he buy his own ticket or did someone treat him?  We were not introduced, so all I did was observe his strategic placement of self in front of the bar for the majority of the event. 

I did make the acquaintance of David Brown former Gladwynite turned supervisor.  Poor man seemed surprised to meet me at a genteel event such as this, but at least he was polite and obviously knows how to behave in public.  Can’t say the same for certain cheese ladies….maybe that is why she wasn’t by her hubby’s side last night?  But if I were a politician I would have wanted to go too last evening.  This group is not only great company, but they are doing terrific things and are a force to be reckoned with.  (And may I say again it was the loveliest of evenings? The village of Birchrunville was lit up luminairies and the Birchrunville Store Café is just a marvel it is so wonderful.  And I love their chicken windows on the porch, naturally.

If you have fallen and hit your head and want to put more money in Ken and Sue Miller’s pockets, by all means, attend.  As for me, I will simply continue to patronize the many other fine cheese makers in Chester County who are simply content when you like their cheese and buy it. If you go I wouldn’t think your ticket is a real donation, unless of course Ken and Sue Miller have morphed themselves into some sort of non-profit. 

By all means, support your local farmer.  But please, support the ones who are deserving. Not the ones who are shameless. 

Cheese Ball II: A Cave Raising

Posted by on Sunday, December 29, 2013

Maybe you remember Cheese Ball 2012? …..But believe me, I haven’t forgotten the fun we had or the mix of guests dressed in everything from tuxedos and ball gowns, to overalls and even capes…. Anyone who loves cheese is welcome at the Cheese Ball…..All you have to do is bring a cheese to share and $10 — the money will be donated to local cheesemaker, Sue Miller, to help her build a cheese cave (more details below) at Birchrun Hills Farm….I’m calling on the Philadelphia cheese community to help raise a cheese cave for one of our own. Many of you know Sue Miller, of Birchrun Hills Farm…Sue and her family are life-long dairy farmers in Chester County, Pa. They started farming because they love animals, and they began making cheese in order to keep farming once milk prices dropped. Now they truck milk to a small off-site facility several times a week and age their cheese in a cave the size of a closet. In order to expand their business with their two grown sons, the Millers need to build. Financing a major building project when you’re self-employed is difficult. In 2014, Sue Miller plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign. I want to kick it into gear.


I am sorry but this isn’t my kind of wine and cheese event. And I think Madame Fromage could have found those more worthy.  Truthfully, if it wasn’t the Millers as beneficiaries it might be fun.  But with all the water under that bridge, I can’t just paddle across. But hey you never know….maybe she is onto something…..

Sign me, cheez whiz on this

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