APRIL 2023 Cave to Co-op: MIXED DRUM from Twig Farm, West Cornwall, VT

Our Cave to Co-op for April 2023 is Mixed Drum from Twig Farm, West Cornwall, Vermont.

Twig Farm is a small goat farm in West Cornwall, Vermont that has been in operation since 2005. Cheesemaker Michael Lee uses traditional equipment and techniques to make his cheeses, forming them by hand and aging them in his cheese cellar. The twenty-acre farm is located in West Cornwall, Vermont, about 10 miles south of Middlebury. While Michael sold the goats a few years ago to Ice House Farm, he still visits the goats and buys milk from this herd to make cheese.

Michael makes all Twig Farm cheese by hand, using traditional techniques and equipment for small-scale artisan cheese production. The cheese ages in a cellar with a temperature and humidity-controlled environment. Prior to making Twig Farm cheese, Michael worked as an apprentice at Peaked Mountain Farm in Townsend, Vermont, and before that was a cheese manager at South End Formaggio in Boston, Massachusetts.

One of the most striking features of all of Twig Farm’s cheeses is the natural rinds they wear. Occasionally likened to a Jackson Pollock painting, the rind has different color patches and the occasional spot of fuzz. These are all a result of minimal handling during the cheese’s time in the cellar, and the natural flora in the cave.

Mixed Drum is made in the fall when the goat milk production slows down and cow milk from neighboring Mose Dairy Farm is blended in. Don’t be fooled by its rustic exterior! Aged a minimum of 90 days, this semi-firm raw-milk cheese is delicately flavored with notes of roasted almond and lemon peel. Incredibly versatile for pairing: Loire Valley Chenin, off-dry cider, a mid-weight stout or a light red wine would make excellent partners for a little wedge of this goodness!


Penne w/ Mixed Drum, Serrano Ham, & Sun-Dried Tomatoes


8 oz penne
1 lb Mixed Drum, shredded
¼ cup milk
½ cup crème fraîche
1 T butter
½ tsp freshly ground white pepper
⅓ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
6 oz Serrano ham slices, torn coarsely by hand into chunks


1.Preheat oven to 375°F.

2.Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain through a colander. Set aside.

3.In a saucepan, combine cheese, milk, crème fraîche, and butter. Cook over medium-low heat until the cheese is mostly melted and you have a creamy sauce. To keep the cheese sauce from breaking, remove the sauce from the heat before the cheese is entirely melted. Season with pepper, adding more to taste if you like.

4.In a shallow buttered casserole dish, toss pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and Serrano ham. Pour the sauce over the pasta, then stir together until combined. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the top is golden brown and bubbling around the edges.

5.Serve immediately

Pan con Tomate y Mixed Drum


8 slices ½”-thick ciabatta
Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing and drizzling
2 garlic cloves halved crosswise
4 tomatoes halved crosswise
Kosher salt
Shaved Mixed Drum cheese for topping


1.Preheat the oven to 375°.

2. Brush one side of each bread slice with oil and arrange oiled side up on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, until golden.

3. Rub the toasts with the garlic cloves, then rub with the tomato halves until all of the flesh is gone; discard the tomato skins. Season the toasts with salt and pepper.

4. Top with Mixed Drum, drizzle with olive oil and serve.