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?