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KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE (JFK+50) One of the great privileges I had in my 40 years in the classroom was the honor of teaching some really great students who went on to have successful careers, but, to my knowledge, none of these students ever made headlines in the New York Times.

Today, while having coffee at Starbucks, I opened the NY Times to the Dining section & there is a half page color picture of one of my best students, Colleen Cruze.  And Colleen is not just a former student.  She is one of my Facebook friends & we just talked with her last week in Market Square in downtown Knoxville.

 After graduating from Carter High School, Colleen earned a degree in agricultural science from my alma mater, the University of Tennessee here in Knoxville (GO VOLS!)


This is such an honor for Colleen and her family’s dairy business as well as the Knoxville area, I thought it appropriate to write on this story in today’s JFK+50 posting.


Cruze Farm is located at 3200 Frazier Road in East Knox County, Tennessee where Colleen’s dad, Earl, milks Jersey cows & churns buttermilk.

According to the Cruze Farm Facebook page, www.cruzefarmgirl.com, they bottle cream top whole as well as light & chocolate milk.

The Farm has a stand on Saturday’s at Market Square in Knoxville.

We will now give a brief summary of the article in today’s NEW YORK TIMES.


Real buttermilk gets its due.

By Julia Moskin

Dining section, The New York Times

September 12, 2012

This article is headed by a half page color photo of Colleen Cruze on her family’s dairy farm.  The caption reads as follows:

“Tradition:  Colleen Cruze, outfitted for work at the Cruze Dairy Farm in Tennessee.  Her father has long championed real buttermilk, & the farm produces about 4000 gallons a week.”


Cruze Dairy Farm, Knoxville, Tennessee



The 1st part of the article discusses the dairy farm at “Kate’s Homemade Butter” located in Minot, Maine.  This dairy makes more than a million pounds of butter each year.

Ms. Moskin’s points out that “few cooks know…that commercial buttermilk isn’t really buttermilk” but is made from low-fat or skim milk & includes additives resulting in a “facsimile of the real thing.”


The article goes on to say that Daniel Patry of Kate’s and the Cruize Farm in Tennessee as well as others “have begun to bring old-school buttermilk  to greenmarkets & groceries…”


Julia Moskin writes:

“‘My whole family bathes in it,’ said Colleen Cruze, 25, the creamy-skinned scion of the Cruze Dairy Farm outside Knoxville.


Her father, Earl…has been spreading the real-buttermilk gospel around the South for decades.” 


Colleen & Earl Cruze, 2011





At Market Square on Saturdays, Ms. Moskin tells us that Colleen  “is tireless in persuading customers to drink shots of straight buttermilk.”  She quotes Colleen saying:

“People are very afraid of it.  I have to remind them that it’s just like yogurt.”


Cruze Dairy Girls


*Hannah Cross, Leigh Cooper, Ayaka Nishijima, Jaanki Purohit & Jennifer Cross (Jennifer is also one of my former students & FB friends).


The article includes 2 buttermilk recipes including “Salad with buttermilk-basil dressing & buttermilk corn bread crutons” adapted from the chef Bart Vaughan, Foothills Milling Company, Maryville, Tennessee.

You can access the NY Times article at this link:


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