We had such a good time tasting the flavors, but we can't keep them all to ourselves. We're even more excited to make them available to you! All through the month of June, we'll be at a variety of places where you can visit to taste our ice cream, culminating in a super fun event on the farm! For a list of tasting events, visit our website. More on our ice cream event on the farm below!
At the end of this month, we'll be hosting our first ever Sundaes on the Farm. Drop in Sunday, June 30 from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. and enjoy the farm activities, but - most importantly - try our ice cream! All our flavors will be available for tasting and we'll have pints for purchase. Visit our website or check us out on Facebook for the full event details!
After attending ice cream school, Kyle had a pretty clear idea of what he wanted to do.
The first thing on the agenda was order the ice cream machine. At school, he got to experiment with a few different kinds of ice cream machines, and the one he liked best was an Emery Thompson, which is made by one of the oldest ice cream machine manufacturers in the country. A lot of recognizable names in the ice cream industry started out on this type of machine, including Ben & Jerry's and Haagen-Daaz. (Maybe one day we'll be on their website!)
The ice cream machine is small-ish, but it can produce about 7 gallons of ice cream in about 10 minutes, so it's a pretty powerful ice-cream-makin' machine.
Once Kyle got the machine, he got right down to business making ice cream, which was (I'm not gonna lie), pretty awesome for our staff. Below are some pictures of us making our delicious strawberry and mint cookie ice cream!
To start, Kyle had to get a good recipe for both chocolate and vanilla, and that experimentation process took a week or so. We went through quite a few batches of ice cream, all of which were thoroughly tested by our staff. We offered Kyle some valuable input and we raided the freezer more than once (okay, more than twice) to make sure things were in tip-top flavor.
Since then, we've worked on developing about 10 core flavors that people really enjoy, and the fun part has been learning about all the different types of ingredients and techniques that make ice cream great. What's the best ratio of caramel to ice cream? How many walnuts should be in the mix? And how do you get a really good swirl? We'll be experimenting with more flavors as we develop our brand - and our staff will be right there with us, especially in the fall when we begin to work on the magic equation we've all been waiting for: ice cream + donuts.
We're super excited to follow up what was the best week ever here at the farm with more weeks full of ice cream flavors and tasting. Check out our next blog for all our current flavors. And don't worry, we'll be updating you with any new developments on Facebook and on our webpage!
Can I just wax poetic about loaded baked potatoes for a minute?
Okay, you said no, but I'm going to do it anyway. Sorry.
There's no food that says sweet summer nights to me more than a loaded baked potato in a cardboard boat. Grab it from a food truck and then dish up your toppings at the condiment station. Eat it with a spork (or eventually your fingers because the spork would always break) while walking through the lights and the noise and the carnival color. Just pure deliciousness in the simplest of forms.
Now, baked potatoes are saying sweet fall days because they are making their debut at the farm this season. And I am so excited because I didn't think fall could get better...but it did. Good hearty potatoes with good hearty toppings. I'll be first in line to get mine!
This is just your average premium-selected, dry-rubbed-in-a-special-blend-of-herbs-and-spices, and slow-smoked-for-eight-hours brisket sandwich that you can find pretty much everywhere.
That's a lie. This brisket is pretty special, and you can get it here on the farm this fall season. You don't even need the sauces. They're really just for show.
For a lot of this off-season, Kyle and his food crew have been experimenting in the kitchen. The fruits of that labor are four delicious food and drink options that are new for fall season! And we're going to be featuring them right here on the blog. AND if you pop on over to our Facebook page, you could win a free meal or two...or in this case, a free drink!
Kyle's been making fresh-squeezed lemonade for Night on the Square and a lot of other events off the farm, but this year we're offering it during fall season. It'll be available in the Snack Shack, reopening this fall season in the comeback story of the year (for us at least...more on that in a few weeks). Chat with Judy or me (cause I'll be there on weekends sucking on lemon rinds and stealing donuts) while you watch us make this refreshing and delicious drink! And enjoy!
Things I never thought I'd need to know: Nine hundred dozen donuts will fit into a 12-passenger van...if you squeeze 'em in just a bit.
But that's exactly what we learned last Saturday when we had our baking day for the Friends of Winskill donut fundraiser. In total, we made 930 dozen batches--over 11,000 donuts! With both of our donut machines running, it took us 11 hours to bake and sugar all those delicious rings.
This is our second year fundraising with the Friends of Winskill, and we were happy not only to work with the community members again but also to see this fundraiser grow. We made almost 300 dozen more donuts this year, and in all, helped raise almost $3,000 for the organization. All those donuts will help fund an update to classroom libraries and possibly help purchase a large projector for the Winskill school gymnasium.
Even though we've done fundraisers here and there for local organizations in the past, this is the first year we are offering the chance to bite into an apple cider donut year-round for everyone. Not only will we bake these delicious treats, but we will also take care of the ordering and advertising forms (customized to your liking and with your information) and delivery to your desired pick-up site. As Jim Muench, treasurer for Friends of Winskill, says, "it's an easy, simple, and straightforward fundraiser"—something that is manageable for any school, daycare, organization, or business!
If you're interested in learning more, check out the details below, visit our fundraising website, and get in touch with Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Our slow-smoked buffet, which features Texan-BBQ-style pulled pork, brisket, and sausage, is our most popular option when clients are selecting their menu for their event. It's not only unique to our venue, but it's an absolute feast: 3 meats, 2 sides, cornbread, and all the trimmings. We have had such a positive response to this menu that we figured, hey, let's do an event to showcase these delicious options.
And the Good Ol' Pig Gig was born.
Now, if you just want to eat, check out our website here, go to our Facebook event (linked below), and check out our menu (click below). But after you're done working up an appetite, scroll down to learn a little behind-the-scenes information on the magic behind the meal.
As always with our business, smoking meats is a family affair. Kyle's cousin Eric is the go-to guy when you want this type of food. Eric started out as a little backyard business with a little smoker, doing some small events and parties around town. He then got crafty and bought himself a refrigerator that he converted into a smoker, welding on a spot to make the fire and catch the grease and drilling in vent holes throughout. That worked well for awhile, but today we keep him busy enough that he graduated to trailer-smoker setup pictured below. He can cook up to 18 briskets at one time in this baby!
On days we serve this menu, Eric and his crew start around 6 a.m. to fire up the smoker using a mixture of oak and apple wood chips.
After the fire is going, the cooking process begins.
First, there's PREP. Eric and the gang take a large brisket, sausage links, ribs, or pulled pork and begin prepping by trimming up the cut to remove excess fat. Then they season with a super-special-secret mix of herbs and spices developed over years of cooking and smoking. Each different type of meat takes a different type of herb/spice blend. And into the smoker it goes.
After the prep, there's the really good stuff: the SMOKE. Meats stay in the smoker for 4-5 hours (the brisket takes the longest, the ribs a little less time, and rounding out the race are the pulled pork and sausage, which take the least amount of time). The smoke until they get that gorgeous, flavorful smoke ring 'round the outside.
After their time is up, the meats are taken out, wrapped in aluminum foil to keep in moisture and popped right back in the smoker for a few more hours to finish cooking. In all, they stay in the smoker for 7-8 hours, so if you plan to make this for Christmas dinner, set your alarm to EARLY.
Finally, we EAT. Once the meats have finished smoking, they are cut to order, shredded, or otherwise prepared to hit your plate. And we and our guests usually make quick work of food that has taken so long to bring to the table.
We're excited for you all dig in and have a good time at our first rib-and-barbecue event. We hope to see you there!
Kyle, Callie, and I had a lot of fun last night getting out of the barn to join other vendors at the Taste of Lancaster to benefit the Grant Regional Health Center. We met (and caught up with) a lot of great people, ate some delicious food, and, as a bonus, sat by the Spurgeon Vineyard table! :)
We made a variety of appetizers for people to taste, from delicious finger sandwiches to BBQ meatballs, bacon cheddar tots, and buffalo chicken dip. And, of course, we had our apple cider donuts!
Kyle also showed off some pretty impressive carpentry skills creating this snowman and pallet Christmas memory tree to represent our farm. The snowman was auctioned off at the silent auction to a very happy bidder. We kept the tree, though—it had too many memories!
Thanks for inviting us to participate. We look forward to next year!
Fun on the farm...in blog form!