This didn’t start off very well. A big part of the reason that I came to Maine this weekend is that I figured I was booked the next couple weekends and by that time some of the places I wanted to go would already be closed. I didn’t expect that Hodgman’s already was. Thankfully I had a support network that provided an option where I got a Ladybug cone.
My knowledge of Smiling Hill Farms starts at the 7-11 on Congress St who used to sell quarts of their flavored milks in glass bottles. Even with the full dollar deposit on the glass bottles that I rarely remembered to return, this was one of the regular staples of my late night diet and my drive south. They made a blueberry milk that always left me reeling.
The Knight family who runs this farm has lived in Westbrook since the 1700s. With a herd of fifty Holsteins, they operate a full dairy that produces milk, butter, cheese, and ice cream. The dairy is in a barn at the base of the estate and overlooks the fields where those cows roam freely. They try to support a sustainable environment and even put their milk into reusable glass bottles.
Samples of dips and cheeses and fudge and butter are a nice treat while you meander around trying to make up your mind (plus there was a sample of vanilla milk to cleanse my palate). With wooden walls, the market has a very rustic quality, yet maintains a sense of cleanliness that never raises the question of how close the robust cheeses are to the cow pies.
My friend Betsy and I decided to bring a quart back to our friends for dessert later on tonight and chose the Indian pudding for the whole gang. She had an apple pie cone, while I chose ladybug – a strawberry ice cream with chocolate chips. I was expecting more of the fresh cream flavor to burst through here, but instead it seems as though they used their strawberry milk as a base since there were no pieces of strawberry within the ice cream. The chocolate chips were square chunks that were spread evenly through the cone.
There is limited seating inside the market – it is definitely a market rather than a parlor, but outside there is more than you can want with picnic tables, a petting zoo, a large wooden train and plane for kids to play on, and marvelous vistas to look at while you eat. In all honesty it might be worth it to come here just to meet the John Deere-a-Saurus.
Cone – small $2.25 medium $2.95 large $3.75
Smiling Hill Farm Dairy & Market
Open year round
Monday-Saturday 11a-7:30p Sunday noon-7:30p