A Life-Altering Moment


So I decided I was going to bake some Apple Pandowdy. I love Apple Pandowdy. And, like, anything made with molasses. Like Shoo-Fly Pie. That’s another favorite. The other day, when sheep farmers Kathy and Mike were visiting, I served them some Shoo-Fly Pie on my pie porch. Princess was out there, entertaining (she’s a personality), and she announced, as she does any time pie is served, that she hates pie. My two strapping teenage boys love pie and I can hardly keep a pie around (for those of you who ask why I don’t weigh 500 pounds–I have two reasons why–17 and 15). But Princess? She loathes, despises, abhors pie. Which just leaves more for her brothers. Then Kathy and Mike set about explaining to her that Shoo-Fly Pie had molasses in it, which was basically like a syrup, and Princess immediately connected this in her mind to a pancake and next thing you know she was demanding a piece of Shoo-Fly Pie. I had served Kathy and Mike the last two pieces of pie, so the next day I made another Shoo-Fly Pie and Princess ate it right up and now she loves pie. Or, she loves Shoo-Fly Pie. I have to figure out how to convince her to eat other pies now….

Back to the Apple Pandowdy! So I was in the midst of making Apple Pandowdy and I suddenly realized I was out of milk.

Which was immediately followed by a revolutionary thought: I’m not out of milk.

In fact, I had the freshest milk in the world right in my fridge. It came out of Clover’s udder just a few hours earlier.

I have milk. I have milk every day. I have fresh, sweet, beautiful milk.

And I hesitated for about ten seconds before I opened the fridge, drew out my morning’s milk, and measured it into the Apple Pandowdy. In the ten seconds of hesitation, I was thinking two things–one, that I’m saving up milk for the gallon I need for cheese. Every few days, I freeze the latest milk haul, saving for that day when I have a gallon and can make cheese. But I only needed half a cup for the Apple Pandowdy. The other part of the ten seconds I was thinking–this didn’t come from the store. It wasn’t stamped and processed and packaged. I am a suburban girl and I have never consumed fresh milk in my life. I am going to take this milk I took out of Clover this morning and put it in our dessert? THAT IS SO DISGUSTING. And then the ten seconds were over and that milk was in my Apple Pandowdy.

Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats have some of the sweetest, richest milk produced by goats, with some of the highest butterfat. It is wonderful milk. And it made a wonderfully rich Apple Pandowdy. Thank you, Clover.

And I slid just a little nudge further off the grid, away from the dependence on stores and manufactured farming and processed foods. I never have to be out of milk again. I can stagger the breeding schedules for Clover and Nutmeg next year so that I will always have one of my does in milk. I have chickens for fresh eggs (soon, I hope!). When it’s icy this winter and I don’t want to drive out, I will have fresh milk and fresh eggs. I am, like, a pioneer!

Okay, I have satellite TV and pioneers did not. But…. It was an amazing feeling nonetheless. As God is my witness, I will never go hungry again. Where is my Mint Julep?

Oh, I don’t have one of those. But I have milk.

Oh, and about that milking thing?

Clover and I……….. We’ve come to an agreement. (Big update with pictures and details tomorrow!!!)


  1. Jodie says:

    :shimmy: 1st commenter! Woo Hoo! I’m happy you’re going off the grid, sort of. Can’t give up TV and the internet. But if war breaks out here, you can survive on some great milk, eggs and vegetables. And the stuff that you’ve canned up!!! YOU GO GIRL!

  2. Maureen says:

    Yeah for self sufficiency! (I don’t know if that’s a word.)

  3. jane says:

    I cant quit laughing!!!! you may soon be the old woman not in the shoe but in the woods with all sorts of critters and things that grow.

    No Princess NOT LIKING PIE!!!! who ever heard of that? Who does not love pie? It is like – no loving your mother or something!!Oh my gosh – well more for us. Tell her admission to the pie porch with Coco is you have to love pie!!!I have a great chocolate pie that makes 2 to die for. I will find it and send it – EVERYONE LOVES CHOCOLATE – RIGHT???

  4. jane says:

    OMG Suzanne – 62? 81 high. in Texas it was 96 yesterday and we were thankful for that instead of 105

  5. Carolyn A. says:

    How wonderful for being able to self-sustain when the weather becomes bad. You go girl! xxoo

  6. Kathryn says:

    I am so happy to read that you have achieved detente! That is a great way to start my day, and I thank you. If you don’t have anything much to do today (hah), please make a stack pie. I am craving one, and I have lost my favorite recipe! I know it is six layers, apples, walnuts, some caramel in there, and I am a goner for the rest.

    Have a wonderful day!

  7. Lora says:

    Wow! How cool is that! I always run out of milk.

  8. Beckynsc says:

    Another step toward being self-sufficient. Hope the eggs come soon.

  9. jane says:

    Pies for Princess and admission to the Pie Porch – that would be a great name for a restaurant shaped like a porch!!!

    Kentucy Pie

    4 large eggs
    1 ( 12oz) pkg chocolate chips, melted
    2 sticks of butter, melted
    2 cups chopped pecans
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup sifted flour
    2 tsp vanilla
    Two 9″ deep dish pie crusts

    Combine eggs, sugar and melted chocolate. Add flour and stir. Add the rest of the ingredients. Pour into two pie crusts – bake 350 for anywhere from 40-55 min. check for firmness. this is rich and wonderful – CHOCOLATE

    Yvonne’s pumpkin Pie – also makes 2

    two 9 inch pie shells
    1 ( 15 oz) can pumpkin
    1 tsp cinnamon
    dash cloves
    2 c. cool whip or whipping cream whipped
    1 c. chopped pecans
    1 lb. marshmallows
    1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    dash salt
    1 c sugar

    Bake pie shells first. divide the pecans into each shell and press in to the bottom. bake according to directions on package. put the pumpkin and marshmallows in a sauce pan to heat and melt. Stir and add cinnamon, PP spice, cloves and salt. mix. Heat thoroughly until marshmallows all melted and combined. cool. fold in 2 c. cool whip or whipped cream. pour into the two pie shells. really a wonderful pie.

    I like these because you get two pies.

    Everybody out to the pie porch!!

  10. jane says:

    Hey – what is stack pie? pls send recipe.

  11. Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife says:

    Suzanne, I made your buttermilk pie this weekend. It was really good. I’m going to make your shoo-fly pie tomorrow. I just got some delicious homemade sorghum molasses from a guy in Wisconsin and I’m dying to try it in a recipe.

    Hey – you need to start making some wine!! Then you’ve got three of the major food groups – milk – eggs and spirits!!

    – Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife

  12. Tresha says:

    Where is the Apply Pandowdy recipe???? ok, let me get this straight…. you hesitated before using the milk in this recipe…but you are not hesitating to use said milk in some cheese you will make and eat right? hahahaaa…..BUT I am sure this is a monumental break through…..did you notice how the City Girl mentality only lasted for 10 seconds……. in comparison to the length of time your second guessing would last when you very first moved into the 100 year old farm house!

    I bet your Apply Pandowdy tasted 100 times better to you knowing a major ingredient was the result of your determination to conquer one very protected utter!

    home grown ingredients rule!

    Tresh in Oklahoma

  13. Traci Best says:

    Ahhh The Suspense!

    That is so WAY cool! David and I both want to be pioneers! (With indoor plumbing and a screaming cable modem, of course!)

    LOL… :shocked:


  14. Nancy says:

    Oh, Suzanne, you have milk!!! And pie!! Where were you when I made my first (and only) shoo-fly pie for my daughter’s godparents on her first birthday celebration (she’s 38 now!)?? I had a Pennsylvania Dutch recipe booklet my Mom had acquired many years before – but I did not KNOW there were 2 kinds of molasses. I used the first I saw in the store – blackstrap – and it was a disaster. Even ice cream didn’t help the pucker. :purr: Nancy in rainy Atlanta

  15. Michelle Willingham says:

    Suzanne–yay on being able to use Clover’s milk for pandowdy! 🙂

    I’ve never used fresh milk either, aside from breast milk for my baby, LOL. Anyway, what’s the deal with pasteurizing? Will you need to do that in the future, or is it fine if you use it within a certain timeframe?

  16. kacey says:

    I bet that was a great revelation! That’s kind of cool to know you’ve got veggies, milk, eggs…all at your fingertips!

  17. Jillybean says:

    Way to go Clover for saving the day! I got my first egg yesterday!!! I was so excited

  18. MMHONEY says:


  19. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Michelle, I don’t plan to pasteurize. Pasteurization involves heating the milk to a specific temperature (165 F) for 15 seconds. The point of this is to kill certain bacteria that may be present and it’s required by law for all milk sold to the public. It allows a longer shelf life. It also destroys some degree of nutritive value and changes the taste. “Raw” milk is safe as long as you use proper sanitation and storage and keep your goats healthy. Raw milk is good for up to a week in the fridge or a year in the freezer. I freeze my milk haul every few days as I’m saving up for cheese eventually. Being able to use fresh “raw” milk is one of the benefits of having your own milk!

  20. Suzette says:

    OMG! I cannot WAIT until tomorrow to hear the latest in the Clover saga. I’m telling you…you’re really making me want to change my life so I can have chickens…and goats – in spite of the kicking and battles of will. But, alas…it will never happen, and I’ll just have to live vicariously.

    My daughter also doesn’t like pie. If I didn’t have the stretch marks to prove it, I would never believe she’s my daughter. She is a size 2, and I’m…well…I’m not! Never was. But, anyway, she likes cake, so I guess there’s hope for her yet.

    Shoo Fly pie is a start. Who knows what tomorrow may bring!

  21. Sarah S. says:

    You are a pioneer! I wish I had milk and eggs all the time!
    You rock! :guitar:

  22. Melissa's Cozy Teacup says:

    Jealous-MUCH! I hate not knowing where my food comes form or what it all contains that is not listed on the labels and that the gov. allows certain amounts of things I personally find repulsive to be allowed to wind up in the final product because they can’t manufacture it out (like all the bug parts in peanut butter). If you lived near me, I would so be knocking on your door to buy!

  23. Shari C says:

    Sounds so wonderful…fresh milk,eggs and vegetables without leaving home. I am so jealous.

    Oh,oh, can’t wait to hear what kind of agreement you and Clover came to. I hope Clover didn’t demand to many ‘goodies’.

  24. Gail L. says:

    Suzanne, isn’t it a wonderful feeling to be reaping the beneifts of your farm after all the hard work you put into
    creating it? When you get your first egg you wil be so excited. It’s liberating not to have to rely on stores for everything! Glad the milking has worked out. You really need an old fashioned pie safe now!

  25. Teresa H. says:

    I bet that is the best apple pan dowdy ever! Think you’ll ever get the kids to try drinking the goats milk once you have enough? Or you, will you drink it too? Or are you just going to use it for cheese and cooking?

    I remember getting fresh cows milk from a friend. Lots of cream on it! My son loved it.

  26. Becky says:

    That is really the coolest. I would so have chickens and goats…instead I have an HOA. Darn it.

  27. Blaze says:

    It seems someone forgot to tell Princess that Pie>Cake.

    The enternal debate of Pie vs Cake was decided back in ’89 and Pie won, but just barely.


  28. Donna says:

    Wow, that is very interesting about the Nigerian Goat milk!! By all means, yes, I would use my fresh milk, every chance I got, if it is like that! In Germany, we weren’t allowed to eat the ice cream or milk, due to it being unpaturized, however, I did (and family) and loved it. Also, in Canada, I did the same and had MUCH LESS trouble, then with paturized milk. It was MUCH better on my system. Tasted wonderful too!!! :mrgreen: :sheepjump: Did you tell the kids goat milk was in it? LOL
    I bet you could get Princess to eat chocolate pie! Or make a “Smores” pie somehow out of a graham crust, chocolate, marshmallow cream type thing! OR if she made one, like the Grandmother bread, she would be so proud and eat it! She is a character, isn’t she! :mrgreen: :treehugger: :snoopy: She may like some kind of pie novelty, like Ice cream sundae pie!

  29. Katharina says:

    Suzanne, I had some issues early on with my fresh garden veggies not being from the produce department of the local grocery. HA! As is my freshly picked, organic veggies could possibly be worse than the sprayed, waxed, oiled, old store veggies, eh?

    We would drive a long ways to stock up on unpasturized milk. The only way to get it where I live is to raise your own cow or goats which my neighbors did for several years. The latest research shows that pasturized milk is actually harmful to our immune systems and acts more like junk food, stressing the body. But you won’t hear that from the ADA. Even the dairy farmers enjoy raw milk from their cows. So, cook on, drink on, and milk on, Suzanne. Enjoy!

  30. Treasure says:

    I love to drink Goat’s Milk. Of course mine comes from the store. I get mine at Trader Joe’s. Unfortunely the nearest one to my part of WV is located in Columbus OH – a 65 mile (one way drive) but worth the effort for all of the other good things they sell. Keep on milking.

  31. Robin G. says:

    Sounds wonderful. I am so jealous. Think I could squeeze a chicken into my apartment?

  32. Tresha says:

    ok, I am a dork…I see the pandowdy recipe on the right here.. I am going to make it tonight…just to honor your day of using RAW milk in your first recipe!

    Tresh in Oklahoma…that is somewhat blind…ha

  33. Granny Sue says:

    I love the photo of Clover with her box of rocks! looks really….yummy?

    There is nothing like having your own food. Our hogs are off to the slaughterhouse so we’ll have fresh hams and bacon soon. The chickens are laying, the turkeys are ready to dress out, and the apples are ready for cidermaking and apple butter. Life in the country is good, good, good.

  34. catslady says:

    I have one daughter who doesn’t care for pie but then she’s never had yours!! The processed foods that we eat today are probably killing us. My mom lived on a farm but the only animals were chickens and one horse until it died. My mom is 86 and that’s is probably because she ate so healthy for so many years – fresh vegetables and very little meat and nothing that came in a box.

  35. Estella says:

    I was raised on a farm(a long time ago). I never had milk or eggs from a store until I married. My Dad raised our own pork and beef, too.

  36. Susan says:

    Yay! You will never be without milk again! Looking forward to the photos. :shimmy:

  37. Brandy says:

    Ooh, I’ve made apple pandowdy. Bet yours was better! *G* YAY for fresh milk and one more step to non-reliance! Can’t wait to hear the ongoing Clover saga.

  38. SuzieQ says:

    Clover says-“You have your Apple Pandowdy, now may I have a cookie..or two….or three?”

  39. Donna Mc says:

    Hey, if Princess likes the little mint ‘Andes Candies’ she’ll love my pie recipe. It’s JUST like the Kentucky Pie mentioned above (so I won’t post the entire recipe), BUT I ran out of vanilla one day & used peppermint extract in it’s place. NOW it’s a Chocolate Mint Pie!!!
    (Nuts are optional…I leave them out.) I make 2 every Thanksgiving, and my teen nieces & nephews have declared it awewome, and said ‘Aunt Donna, you rock!’ *G* Give it a try. If you like it really chocolatey use the entire bag of chips, if you like it less choc…just cover the bottom of the pan w/ chips.

  40. hawkswench says:

    Suzanne are you going to build a barn for the goats off the basement door so you don’t have to go outside in the winter? Along with a breezeway to the chicken house?

  41. maddie says:

    Suzanne. Yay! I’m so envious of your fresh milk and future fresh eggs. The apple pan dowdy looks, well, scrumptious. 🙂


  42. Yoga Grl says:

    How exciting to be able to have this experience! I will certainly live a bit vicariously through your blog.

  43. smiledarlin says:

    Goat milk works wonders!!
    My daughter has a Great Dane named Bruin. He’s 4 yrs old and her baby. In June he had an injury that caused a cervicle disk to bulge. His pain meds caused him stomach problems and he lost over 10 pounds in a week. Her vet suggested she mix goats milk in with his food to help him gain weight back. He LOVED IT!! He put on 15 pounds in less than 2 weeks and his stomach issues are over.

    Good thing her Daddy raises goats!! Handy milk….

    I also have a friend whose baby was alergic to formula so she got goats milk and developed normally and is healthy…

    Lucky you… self suffecient- in the beautiful country… and Apple Pandowdy to boot!

  44. Christy O says:

    I love this post, thanks for the honesty about using the fresh milk. I can see myself having this same debate someday.

  45. Melissa says:

    Well, I’ve never heard of Apple Pandowdy but now that I have, I simply must have some! My problem is, now that I’ve read this entry I can’t just have any old Apple Pandowdy, I simply must have Apple Pandowdy made with goat milk!! I guess I’d better get busy finding someone with a goat!

  46. Sharon says:

    Suzanne: When I was a kid (child), we had cows, pigs, chickens and all that stuff, but we, at one point, had an elderly Nanny goat who gave milk any old time we decided to start milking again, it had nothing to do with being with child. After your Nanny dries up, just go out there some day and give it a try, it just might work.

    Good Luck, you’re doing a great job. Sorry I missed you at the Black Walnut Festival. You should have some of your stuff in the agricultural display, or maybe you did. I usually have a chair or two and some of my canned goods, but missed out due to time, or lack thereof.

    Great Job – Hang in there.


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