LEMON BLUEBERRY CAKE - KOSTER DAIRY & JMK HOLSTEINS

June is DAIRY MONTH and the official start of SUMMER! National Dairy Month, established1937, was developed to promote the distribution of extra milk during the hot summer months. This recipe features straight-from-the-farm TEXAS #MILK from Koster Dairy in Comanche, TX.


I believe in real ingredients, real moments, and real food. So everything I make at b. marie bakery is made from scratch using locally sourced ingredients straight from the FARM whenever possible. Regardless if you prefer traditional or something with an extra TWIST, this recipe is the perfect combination of SWEET, FRUITY, & REFRESHING. This local favorite is ideal for any SUMMER celebration!



"We take care of our animals in the best way. Our animals take care of us, too. That is why we provide them with a good life." -John and Michelle Koster


Earlier this month I caught up with John and Michelle Koster of Koster Dairy & JMK Holsteins in my home town of Comanche, TX. However, this isn't my first time meeting the Koster family. In fact, I grew up with their daughter Katy. The Koster family not only raise cattle for the dairy, but also have a prominent Dairy Cattle Show history. Katy, Jeff, and Nina grew up dominating the show ring. A family tradition that has since past along to Katy's children. Although Katy, Jeff, and Nina have since grown up, their numerous accolades at the local, state, and national dairy shows are a testament to the family's commitment for raising beautiful heifers with exceptional genetics. John and Michelle not only strive to be successful in the show ring, but also to produce a high quality milk product.


"I'm lucky my work is my hobby." - John Koster

To learn more about the Koster Dairy & JMK Holsteins, then keep reading below.


WHY DO YOU FARM?

"I have the freedom to be my own boss and to work in a job I love." -John Koster
"Having the ability to raise my family in a way that has helped them understand the circle of life." -Michelle Koster


KOSTER DAIRY & JMK HOLSTEINS


John Koster was drawn to the industry as a young boy and grew up working on his neighbor's dairy in Holland. At a young age he frequented the dairy with his grandfather who was a herdsman and farm manager. He raised goats and would feed the milk to calves which he raised to sell.

"At the age of twelve, his father bribed him to attend a school he didn’t really want to attend by buying him two of his own milk cows. He sold the milk and that’s when he got his first milk check." -Michelle Koster

John’s first milk check was in 1974. He made the journey from Holland to Texas in 1984. He met Michelle and they were married in 1990. They formed Koster Dairy soon after. Texas recently became the fourth largest milk producing state in the nation and currently has 351 dairies. According to the U.S Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agriculture Statistics Service, the industry is experiencing an increase in herd size and increase in milk production per cow.

"We strive to produce high quality milk, using good genetics, with as much homegrown feed as we can. We must be profitable to stay in business, but we are not interested in having the largest cow numbers." -John and Michelle Koster

Koster Dairy has a large percentage registered herd. They raise their own replacement heifers and focus on breeding good cows with hardy genetics to improve herd health and promote longevity.



AVAILABLE PRODUCTS


Currently, Koster Dairy produces fluid milk in addition to selling registered JMK Heifers. They are members of Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) which is a National Milk Marketing Cooperative. You can purchase their milk from your local grocery store which is bottled under Oak Farms fluid milk.

"Milk from our county may end up in Bluebell Ice Cream or Daisy Sour Cream. It could in be cheese or yogurt as well. Most of our milk is bottled in the Dallas plant. Since our product is perishable, it stays close to home and goes on shelves in our local area." -John and Michelle Koster

WHERE DOES MY MILK COME FROM?


Unfortunately, social media outlets are rampant with numerous misconceptions and misinformation regarding food labeling. It is important to understand that the milk you purchase from the grocery store, regardless of the label, is from a local source. You can easily look up the source of any milk product using the code on the packaging and a simple tool called Where Is My Milk From?


The numerical code, 01-56, for each state known as the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) and the Interstate Milk Shippers List (IMS) is located on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website. The FIPS code for Texas is 48 and each dairy or processing facility has a specific code. The IMS list is reported quarterly and can be found here.


The code on the half gallon of Buttermilk pictured above is 48-2002. I typed the code where it says start and dairy code at the top left corner of the Where Is My Milk From website. I discovered that this milk was shipped from Gandy's Dairy, Inc. out of Lubbock, TX. You can also use the IMS to find this information as well. While you won’t know the exact dairy, you’ll know the processing facility and state.


FARMING DURING A PANDEMIC

Farming during any season is a challenge that isn't suitable for everyone, but farming amid a pandemic has its own unique obstacles.

"We took precautions for our employees, but for the most part our jobs went on as usual. We loaded the tractors and milking parlor with hand sanitizer. Masks were provided for our employees. Fortunately, much of our work provides natural social distancing.” -John and Michelle Koster

EDUCATION

Despite what you see on the news or social media, we live in a country with the safest and most affordable food supply in the world. Educate yourself regarding common farming practices and why they're used. The easiest thing you can do is talk to your local farmers.

"We take care of our animals in the best way. Our animals take care of us, too. That is why we provide them with a good life." -John and Michelle Koster

Now more than ever it’s extremely important to support your local farmers and ranchers. When the world stopped they forged on and continued to provide. The future is bright for Koster Dairy and will leave legacy that will carry on for generations to come. When you buy local you're not only helping support your local economy but you're supporting your friends and community.


THANK A FARMER

During times of uncertainty take comfort knowing it's everyday people in RURAL AMERICA working around the clock who provide the most affordable and safest food supply. They are the unsung HEROES who we often take for granted. Now more than ever, be grateful and thank the hardworking farmers, ranchers, and everyone in-between for ALWAYS providing. They have ALWAYS been there...and they ALWAYS will.


As you enjoy your family dinner from the comfort of your home, take time to reflect on how that food made it to your plate. Or how it made its way from FARM to BAKED. #farmtotable #stillfarming #thankafarmer #lemonblueberrycake #recipe #supportlocal


Until next time, check out the recipe for Lemon Blueberry Cake below. Enjoy!



LEMON BLUEBERRY CAKE

RECIPE FROM B. MARIE BAKERY COURTESY OF KOSTER DAIRY


INGREDIENTS:


Cake

1 1/2 c flour

1 1/2 c cake flour

2 c sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

2 T lemon zest

1 T fresh lemon juice

1 c milk, scant

1/4 c sour cream

4 eggs

2 1/2 c blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1 c softened butter

1 tsp vanilla


Cream Cheese Buttercream

1 1/2 c butter, softened

1/2 cream cheese, softened

1 tsp salt

1 T fresh lemon juice

1 T vanilla

2 T heavy cream

907 oz powder sugar


DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium-sized bowl combine flour, cake flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Add lemon juice and sour cream into milk, mix and set aside. Using a mixer with a paddle attachment cream butter, sugar, and lemon zest until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time.

  2. Add a tablespoon of the flour mixture to the blueberries and toss until coated. Set aside.

  3. Alternate flour and milk mixture into the butter mixture until combined.

  4. Add blueberries into cake mixture and combine.

  5. Line the bottom of three greased 8” cake pans with parchment. Divide cake mixture into three 8” cake pans.

  6. Bake at 350 for 25-27 minutes until golden. Cool completely.

  7. Cream butter, cream cheese, salt, vanilla, and lemon juice. Alternate powder sugar and cream. Mix until smooth and combined.

  8. Frost with cream cheese buttercream and ENJOY!





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