The Monday after our first winter stop with the ice cream truck found us in the kitchen.
On Saturday, we stopped in Lancaster for the Opening Day Sales. Thank you to everyone who stopped out! We had a great time AND we sold out three of our four holiday flavors. With seven more stops planned between now and December 19, we needed to restock. So we spent the morning running our ice cream machine and filling pints.
Our newest flavor, sugar cookie, is many steps in the making. Kyle tested our kitchen (and math) knowledge by twelve timing the recipe, which was kinda stressful and kinda awesome and required a very big mixer paddle. And since he's the boss and that has its perks, Kyle got to lick the paddle clean.
After the cookies cooled, we crushed them up and added them to vanilla ice cream flavored with almond extract and jazzed up with colorful holiday sprinkles. This is sugar cookie in a pint - or a cone - and it's absolutely delicious. Very hard not to sample, even on a Monday morning.
We got a little fancy with blending next for our new candy cane ice cream, a creamy mixture of peppermint-flavored red-and-white ice cream with crushed candy canes mixed in throughout. This ice cream is fun and it smells delicious - just like the holidays.
If you were at the farm this fall, you might recognize our last two holiday flavors: apple cider donut and apple pie. These two were favorites for so many of you, so we had to bring them back specially for the holidays.
We didn't have enough time for baking donuts (don't worry - there is still some cider donut ice cream in the truck!), so the last flavor on our list to make was apple pie.
For this delicious treat, we brought out our homemade apple pie filling and whipped it together with vanilla ice cream. This simple treat is amazing - just like the apple pie but without all the work - and perfect for after those holiday meals.
In addition to our regular flavors, these four holiday flavors are available in the truck for the next month.
You can track the truck on Facebook or by visiting our website to see our stops. We hope to see you there! And if you want to treat yourself this holiday season, sign up for our Farm Family Rewards and you can get a free pint when you stop! To join, visit our subscription page!
And we hope that you have a wonderful holiday season, filled with the best kind of Christmas cheer.
We started September so unsure, but October and November were so much fun.
In the barn and on the farm, we enjoyed the company of so many of you. We were so truly happy to see everyone, the weather was beautiful, and we had the best time with our farm guests.
Behind the scenes, we were a mixed bag of caramel apple nuts.
Throughout most of October, we struggled with weird supply chain issues caused by COVID. On one weekend, we were just an hour away from running out of donut mix and our chinny-chin-chins were saved by Kyle's quick thinking and negotiating. One donut disaster we weren't unable to avoid was running out of half-dozen containers, but we eeked through that mess with a combination of bags and people's willingness to splurge on double the donuts they originally planned for.
If at one point you received your food on paper plates rather than our customary paper boats, that wasn't planned. It was a frantic trip down to Dubuque to buy up as many paper products as possible when we found out we were unable to get paper boats shipped in time for the weekend.
And Kyle worked some kind of Internet miracle when he shipped in a huge shipload of caramel so we didn't run out before our local supplier was able to restock. For a few hours there, we were looking at some fall days without caramel apples, but Kyle's persistence saved us from that sad, sugarless fate.
In addition to product problem solving, we constantly had to be on our feet for our employees. Being open during COVID was a heavy decision for us, and we are so glad we decided to go forward, but we didn't do it lightly. One of the most important things for us was to keep both our guests and our staff safe, so we established norms that we felt applied to us and adapted as the season went on.
We also spent quite a bit of time with employee musical chairs, as sometimes staff couldn't make it or some of them had to go into quarantine for potential exposure. We switched a lot of people around, we ran short staffed many days, and we did our best to keep up with everything while keeping our employees' safety paramount.
And truly, we have to say: We have such great staff. They worked hard, for us and for you, this fall. They adapted quickly to the changes that came at them, they accepted things out of our control, and - I know this always sounds so trite, but it's also so true - they did it all with a smile. We absolutely love fall, and although this fall was different from many of the ones prior, we loved it. And we love our employees. They are the cream of the crop, the best thing since sliced bread, the silver lining, the nail on the head, and although Elvis has left the building on our fall season, our employees remain the pick of the litter.
And you heard that straight from the horse's mouth. :)
Thank you for this fall season, everyone. It was wonderful.
Fun on the farm...in blog form!