I don’t make the trek to Little Rock that often, but I should. My down-South friends post delicious-looking photos from charming restaurants in their backyards and share fun-loving Instagram Stories that make me want to jump in the Subaru and make the almost four-hour drive just in time for dinner. If only I were more spontaneous.
Earlier this week my friends Debbie and Kellee met up for dinner at The Butcher Shop, a Little Rock restaurant that has been a local gem for more than thirty years. Think hand-cut steaks, slow-roasted prime rib, and one-of-a-kind desserts. Yeah, it’s that kind of comfy-cozy place.
As part of the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board’s Kitchen|Fields Table Tour, January’s featured dish won’t come from The Butcher Shop’s well-seasoned grill, instead it will come from their oven. In support for Arkansas soybean producers, they have created a one-of-a-kind white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie dough cheesecake.
So while Debbie and Kellee were enjoying their steaks and looking forward to dessert, I made the cheesecake in my kitchen. That’s right. I jumped over to the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board’s website and followed the exact same recipe for the cheesecake.
But wait… you may be thinking, “Cheesecakes aren’t made with soy.”
You are correct. Well, kind of. The Butcher Shop does make a vegan cheesecake using cheese made from soymilk. However, this recipe is purely made from milk-based cream cheese.
So, where is the soy connection?
CREAM CHEESE COMES FROM MILK.
MILK COMES FROM COWS.
COWS EAT FEED.
FEED IS (OFTEN) SOY-BASED.
I never really made the connection before.
In fact, in our very own Northwest Arkansas backyard this milk-cow-feed connection takes place at the Davis Riverview Farms in Prairie Grove. Every other day, milk is picked up from the farm and taken to the Hiland plant in Fayetteville. Their milk is repackaged into cream cheese, butter, cheese, cream, skim milk and whole milk and well, you get the picture.
Dairy owner Cassie Davis shared with me about how her husband took over the dairy in 2010 from his father… who established the farm in the late 70s. I asked her how it feels to know that her cows provide food for so many of us.
“It is really a great feeling to know that what we’ve poured our hearts into is literally sitting in the fridge of every house… We buy milk and most every other dairy product on the shelf from cheese to ice cream, butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, and cream cheese. I am able to feed my family products that we had a hand in making. Because of the diversity of dairy, I can be reminded anywhere I go, that what we produce makes people smile.”
I love that!
At the end of the day, it feels good to know that little ol’ me is indirectly supporting Arkansas largest row crop whenever I purchase local milk from cows raised on soy feed. And it feels good to know that you are as well.
Check out the cheesecake recipe. It was my VERY FIRST TIME making cheesecake and it turned out perfectly. All you have to do is follow the directions.
Eat well, my friends. Eat well.