It’s a Petting Zoo, a Food Festival, a Cheesemaking Demonstration, a Chickens in the Road Party!

Sep
29

The pie porch, ready for a party….

Several weeks ago, in the forum, a discussion began about a Chickens in the Road get-together for anyone interested who lived within reasonable distance and it eventually transformed into a party at the farm. (See what you might miss if you don’t visit the forum?!) It was so much fun, we’ll definitely do it again, so keep an eye out for the next one! In attendance: Kathy and Mike from the sheep farm, Missy and Pete from the goat farm, Linda and Leo from the chicken farm with their daughter, Lisa Carper Stott from the local historical society with her mom, Blaze and Kelleh (the organizer extraordinaire!), Amanda and her adorable family, Gizmo the cheesemaking guru with her daughter, and Jerry Waters, who took many of the photos in this post. (Georgia was scheduled to appear, but didn’t feel well at the last minute.) 52 was on hand, appearing live, in person! With me and my crew, the party total was about two dozen.


Some came over the hill through three creeks while others braved the river ford, all for a farm tour to the chickens and the goats…..

….or a walk in the woods….. (Left to right, Gizmo’s daughter, Amanda’s daughter, and Princess.)

….and the food! All the food! Everyone brought something and it was all wonderful. Lasagna, eggplant parmesan, salads, fruit, dips, cheesecakes, cookies, and more. (Be sure to check out the Pineapple Gooey Cake Missy brought–recipe posted in the forum on this page! And find out how to make Kathy’s Hot Artichoke Dip here!)

(Below, left, Linda and Leo. Right, Kathy.)

And Gizmo showed us all how to make cheese! (From left to right, Kelleh, me, Gizmo, Missy.)

Gizmo, right, the Happy Cheesemaker.

Gizmo is also the Relaxed Cheesemaker.

Me: The directions! The directions!

Gizmo: Directions, schmirections. Calm down, grasshopper. I’ll show you the light. And the cheese!

(I totally made up that dialogue. But it’s not far off.)

She brought gallons of her own goat milk and made two batches of ricotta. Like it was NOTHING. She doesn’t even look at the directions!

And before we knew it there was cheese draining in muslin over my sink.

And we munched on fresh-made cheese, broiled on slices of Grandmother Bread drizzled in olive oil and strewn with fresh herbs. Yum!

I made cheese once before, a few days before the party, with Missy. It was so exciting–we made mozzarella. It came out….okay. My first attempt wasn’t anywhere near perfect (maybe it was kinda bad) and I was glad to have a chance to watch an experienced cheesemaker at work. Cheesemaking is a lot like making bread. Bread is just flour, and cheese is just milk. If it doesn’t work out, try again, nobody died. As a beginning cheesemaker, I was a little nervous, too worried about being precise and examining the directions. After observing Gizmo at work, I’m ready to relax and play. I can’t wait to try again! (Full cheesemaking posts coming soon!)

And then, stuffed full, they left us…..

The Giant Puppy was quite sad to see Amanda’s youngest daughter go. Coco decided she was a toddler guardian dog and stuck by her side for much of the party. I think Coco was infatuated with her. She’d never seen a person that little before.

Coco enjoyed her generosity with the cookies, too.

Coco: Y’all come back now, ya hear?

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on September 29, 2008  

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Comments

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  1. 9-29
    6:34
    am

    What a freaking blast that must have been!!!!! The FOOD!!! ***drool*** Arnt GP’s the BEST dogs ever – they love to protect the ‘smaller than they are’ folks!! LOL Wish I lived just over the hills…

  2. 9-29
    6:35
    am

    Oh what a fun day! Wish I could have been there!

  3. 9-29
    6:41
    am

    Sounds like a wonderful party!!

  4. 9-29
    7:08
    am

    Oh what a wonderful party. A perfect day with great food, sharing and your farm. I’m so jealous! LOL! Now if we could only have a cyber party like that.

  5. 9-29
    7:08
    am

    What fun! Good luck with your future cheese making experiences!

  6. 9-29
    7:22
    am

    That looked like so much fun, and the cheese making, now that is awesome! I would love to be able to do that! Just need the goats, milk and the convincing of my husband! Fat chance……

  7. 9-29
    8:16
    am

    Oh how fun! I’m jealous! Not only did they get to visit your wonderful farm, they got to try homemade cheese, AND they got to see 52! :yes:

    Come on ya’ll…share some details! Or did you all have to take an oath of silence?

  8. 9-29
    8:17
    am

    AAHHHHH…..I wanted to come! I was in on that Forum talk you know…. how fun was that?!?!! so great!

    Tresh in OK

  9. 9-29
    8:18
    am

    The last Pyr that I adopted out (in July) also attached herself to the owners grandson. When the grandson is over, Zena is always close to him, patiently following him, putting herself between the boy and any potential harm. When the kids sleep outside in a tent, she also lays in front of the tent. Since we haven’t given her 4 legged critters to guard, she’s using the 2 legged ones instead!

  10. 9-29
    8:18
    am

    How beautiful of you to share your home, Suzanne! Sounds like you all had TONS of food and fun! I also hope to make cheese one day, but I’m not as fortunate as you and some others who have access to fresh milk! I’ll have to purchase mine from the super market (c’est la vie)!

    BTW – it looks like Coco is winking at us (in the last picture)! How cute!

    ;o)

  11. 9-29
    8:36
    am

    :butterfly: Looks like a great time was had by all. Wish I could have been there!! :treehugger:

  12. 9-29
    8:41
    am

    OOOHH I am so jealous, stuck here in South Carolina. Looks like all had fun, good luck with the cheesemaking.

  13. 9-29
    8:53
    am

    I am sad that I am so many states away — too many to come enjoy a farm tour and giant puppy love! Good luck with your cheese making!

  14. 9-29
    8:59
    am

    Sounds like a good time! I love the baby’s little knees–you can tell she’s a busy girl. Good on Coco for being her protector (he really is a knight in shining armor, even if it’s covered by fur).

  15. 9-29
    9:03
    am

    What great pictures. It looked like you all had such a wonderful time and the food looked marvelous. I am so envious and wished I could have been there…quite a long walk from Minnesota though…darn!

  16. 9-29
    9:30
    am

    I like the mix you encourage, Suzanne, people of all ages and styles, good food, and experience in their areas of interest. You do it on your blog and apparently at your parties as well. Your children are fortunate to be able to relate to the world through your filter.

  17. 9-29
    9:35
    am

    How wonderful – loved the pictures – they really tell the story. and making cheese – mission accomplished – thanks clover!!! Yes why on earth where we not picked up too!! Texas isnt that far is it? Loved the flowers out front too. cant wait to see what you do for Christmas. My father was born in WarEagle WV. know where that is?

  18. 9-29
    9:39
    am

    Chessemaking?? Big dogs? Goats? Chickens-who-have-yet-to-lay-eggs???? Drat. I just checked mapquest and it’s an 8 hour drive to West Virginia from northern Illinois. I guess I could do a road trip!!!

    Please share your new cheesemaking skills. Right now I’m knee deep in ice cream and sorbet making.

    – Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife

  19. 9-29
    9:39
    am

    I wish I could have come!

  20. 9-29
    9:43
    am

    Looks like fun!! Completely off the subject; I made raisin bread…..and it worked!!! My FIRST loaf of bread that actually looked and tasted like it was supposed too!!!! Thank you Suzanne and everyone else who offered their suggestions!! I’m spending the day making more loafs :mrgreen:
    THANKS AGAIN!!!!!

  21. 9-29
    9:49
    am

    Awesome, looks like fun, and that bread looks incredible!!! (Your blog often makes me hungry!) :)

  22. 9-29
    9:53
    am

    Looks like it was one jam packed day!Everyone seemed comfortable and relaxed like you all were old friends.

  23. 9-29
    10:06
    am

    Looks like a really great get-together!
    By the way, search “making goat cheese” on youtube.com.
    Lots of video on cheesemaking there! :) Have fun!

  24. 9-29
    10:14
    am

    That looks like so much fun. Jealous!

    And I’m with you in the nervousness of cheese-making. I tried making fresh mozz this summer, and I (foolishly) tried to use actual cheesecloth to drain. Most of the cheese disappeared into the sink and I got about a tablespoon of hard nugget for a gallon of high-quality milk. I was profoundly discouraged by the experience, but I’ll have to try again.

  25. 9-29
    10:22
    am

    :hissyfit: I guess I ought to read that forum more often. I usually have trouble with it though maybe because of our internet connection being sporadic at times. (And we have satelite too so it is supposed to be good.) I would have to plan ahead to go that far so maybe next time. And I so want to learn to make cheese. Blessings

  26. 9-29
    10:33
    am

    It looks like you guys had so much fun!

    ::envious::

    And you got cheese! Wahoo!

  27. 9-29
    10:37
    am

    Your steps and porch look beautiful! The party was obviously a great cheesey success! I look forward to cheesemaking tips.

  28. 9-29
    10:49
    am

    How fun! I wish I could have been there! I would have brought lots of goodies! Suzanne, I LOVE your Roosters and chickens. I cannot get over thier pretty colors and the fact you raised them, from just a little EGG. The picture of Dukie following the girls into the forrest is sad…”wait for me..I want to come too”. LOL
    Your decorations are so pretty by the steps!!!
    Yesterday, my husband and I were watching several episodes of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on the food network channel…he loves those…and on one, from IOWA, this man cooks his grandmothers Italian recipes, in his diner and he was making homemade Ricotta cheese and the guy that does the show said it was to die for, fresh, sweet…I happened to be daydreaming at that moment, and quickly asked “how did he do that”? My husband said “he put lemon in it or something”…sigh. LOL
    The cheese looks soooo yummy. I love goat cheese. Chevre? Thanks for sharing! :mrgreen:

  29. 9-29
    10:51
    am

    Ohh, and I forgot…OF COURSE Coco made my day with that little sweetie face I love!!!! Precious big puppy! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  30. 9-29
    11:12
    am

    How much fun. Wish we could have been there! Let us know when this happens again. Any thoughts on having a “camp-in” for those of us from out of town (out of STATE)? We could sleep with the chickens! Never mind…we’ll just find a nice tree to pop the tent in under. lol :thumbsup:

    Blessings from Ohio…

  31. 9-29
    12:27
    pm

    Again, thank you so much for having us all there on Saturday. Blaze and I had an absolute blast, even if we did seem a little shy warming up to all the lovely people!

    And you’re welcome, though I don’t think I did quite as much prep as you did with all the cleaning and fabulous decorations you had ready for us.

    To everyone wondering? The food was absolutely fabulous, and I highly recommend that everyone go get that pineapple gooey cake recipe, and make it tonight. You won’t regret it! Now we just need to get Mr. Pete to give us his lasagna recipe, and we’ll be set to go!

    The cheese-making was very fun. Gizmo is a true cheese master, and Suzanne is well on her way to becoming one as well!

    And of course there were goats and chickens, and President Coco, and I got to hold little Nutmeg (I think?!) and she was just adorable and cuddly… and everything was just incredible.

    Thank you so much for my wonderful Saturday! I’ll try to get my pictures up on the forum tonight for everyone to see! :D :snoopy:

  32. 9-29
    1:26
    pm

    Beautiful! The flowers and decorations at the bottom of the steps of your wonderful porch looked just perfect. Like everyone else, I wish I could have been there, too. But thanks for sharing and do enjoy every moment of your wonderful life.

  33. 9-29
    2:15
    pm

    Ditto to everything Kelleh said! I’ll try to get Pete to put together some semblance of a recipe…he’s been doing it so long he just goes from memory. The secret is his homemade pasta! Store bought noodles just don’t compare. Maybe he can do a pasta making demo at the next get together!

  34. 9-29
    2:28
    pm

    Oh, tell me someone snuck a picture of 52 lol. The only thing missing were eggs! Sounds like you all had a wonderful day.

  35. 9-29
    2:37
    pm

    I can only echo what Kelleh said. Thank you Suzanne for having us! Thank you to Kelleh for organizing everything. I don’t know about the master or guru part. I do enjoy making cheese, and certainly willing to show/play with others who like to also.

  36. 9-29
    2:43
    pm

    Such a fun time! Wish I could have been there!

  37. 9-29
    3:20
    pm

    Wow, it looks like a fabulous time. I’m so jealous that I don’t live closer!

  38. 9-29
    3:29
    pm

    Awww, I wish I could have been there! Sounds like a wonderful time!

  39. 9-29
    4:18
    pm

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time!

  40. 9-29
    5:05
    pm

    What great pictures and your cheese and bread looks great.

  41. 9-29
    5:36
    pm

    Wow, that looks like such a great time!! I want to move closer so I can come play too. Can’t wait to see future cheesemaking posts too.

  42. 9-29
    5:49
    pm

    Of course we are all jealous of you all who live so close.

    all day long i have thought of your sentence about if the cheese does not turn out – try again – NOBODY DIED.

    wow how true – how we could use that one for so many other times too. it was a powerful statement.

  43. 9-29
    6:33
    pm

    GOOD LUCK WITH THE CHEESE MAKING. MOTHER ALWAYS HUNG THE CHEESE-BAG OUT ON THE LINE IN THE YARD TO DRIP….
    THE OLD FASHION CLOTH-LINE HAD GONE BY THE WAY OF DRYERS. NOTHING CAN BEAT THE SMELL OF QUILTS AND SHEETS DRYED ON THE LINE OUT IN THE SUN AND WIND….
    PLEASE NOTE WE ARE COMING INTO THE FOREST FIRE SEASON – PLEASE TELL EVERYONE TO BE CAREFUL.

  44. 9-29
    7:13
    pm

    Thanks for documenting the day for all of us that are too far away to come to the farm; what a delightful day it must have been!!

  45. 9-29
    7:52
    pm

    What a fun day. Too bad West Virginia doesn’t move a little closer to Oregon or the other way around.

  46. 9-29
    9:56
    pm

    I feel guilty when I get on the computer, so I usually just sneak a peek. I missed the party! I want to see the goats and 52 and Princess and Coco and Dukie and especially SPARTACUS! I love Spartacus. I want to make cheese too. Waaaaaaaah! I want Missouri to be closer to WV.

    tabbimama

  47. 9-29
    11:06
    pm

    Wish I could have been there…thanks for giving us a glimpse…looks like a wonderful time..I want a COOKIE!!

  48. 9-30
    2:41
    am

    Don’t worry Coco, I will be headed to North Carolina (in June) and can stop by on the way to bring you LOTS of yummy cookies! :snoopy:

  49. 9-30
    8:48
    am

    What a beautiful kitchen

  50. 10-6
    12:03
    pm

    It was a wonderful day! I wish everyone lived close enough to attend.

  51. 10-7
    2:24
    pm

    Looks like everyone had a wonderful time! Wish I could have come but it is just too far a trip for me.

  52. 9-18
    6:50
    am

    Sure wish Kansas wasn’t so far from West Virginia…I’d love to come and meet you all and have a go at cheese making with Gizmo…pet Coco and meet the other farm animals. Suzanne you’re such a kind soul. I’ll be looking forward to seeing pictures of your ‘Chicken In The Road’ party! Maybe one day hubby and I will take a holiday out east to see the fall colors and time it for your party if this becomes an annual thing…what a great idea!

  53. 7-30
    2:36
    pm

    I’m confused..nothing new. The first pix looks like string town, some of the others like sassafras. Am I way over the hill? Fill me in

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