Murray’s Cheese

Today, I received exciting news!  A reader commented on a long ago blog post about my troubles with Cold Eeze lozenges and included that she…“Was DELIGHTED to see Murray’s Cheese Shoppe in NYC’s West Village is now carrying your cheese – congrats!”

Wow!  That’s awesome!  In my mind, Murray’s Cheese carrying my cheese would be the ULTIMATE COMPLIMENT!!  Murray’s Cheese in New York City!  It’s an iconic cheese shop!  It’s the stuff cheese legends are made of!  It’s where I would feel like “I’ve Made It” if they carried my cheese!

So, to receive the news that they ARE carrying my cheese was quite surprising.

Why?  Well, The Goat Cheese Lady Creamery isn’t even built yet, and I don’t sell any cheese yet!

002

We’re working on the foundation!

Therefore, I made my first ever call to New York City.  NYC.  The Big Apple.  Matt Lauer’s stomping grounds (yep, still want to be on The Today Show with Matt, just awaiting the call).  I dialed 1-212-243-3289 – Murray’s Cheese.  I have never been to New York City, I have never called New York City, and I have never called Murray’s Cheese.  Until today.

I explained to the man who answered that I am The Goat Cheese Lady and we are building The Goat Cheese Lady Creamery and that it’s not finished yet but we are planning to be open in the Spring and one of my blog readers was thrilled to find my cheese there and were they selling any cheese made by The Goat Cheese Lady?

No, Adam said, they aren’t.  Phew.  Mystery solved.   I’m not sure what she saw, but it wasn’t mine or anyone else’s going by The Goat Cheese Lady (which was my immediate concern and caused me to think I need to trademark my name?…I’ll take some advice, please!)

But that led to my next question…would they consider it when we’re open?  I mean, we’re going to be a tiny farmstead artisan goat cheese creamery and I would have enough cheese to supply his famous store for about a minute, but do they ever feature small creameries?

Drum roll please…

He said, YES!

I’ll keep you posted on that and will most likely combine my stint of cheese sales at Murray’s Cheese during the same trip where I sit on The Today Show with Matt.

– The Goat Cheese Lady

Posted in Farm Life | 10 Comments

What Kind Of Coat Do You Wear?

Is it a Front Door Coat or a Back Door Coat?

Oh!  You thought I meant rain coat, ski coat, trench coat, nice coat?

No.  I mean is yours a Front Door Coat or a Back Door Coat.  There is a difference you know.  At least here there is.

The distinction arose after Christmas when I wore my brand new coat home from dinner and erroniously entered through the back door.

Flash, our overactive, Australian Shepherd kangaroo, has full access to the unfenced back yard thanks to a summer’s worth of invisible fence installation by Yours Truly and The Boys.  She is the welcoming committee each time we come home, the Jack-in-the-box we have to frogger around in order to get in the house.

Upon exiting the car, we’re safe from being jumped on until we cross the buried wire 20 feet from the back door…and then one of two things happens:

  1. We sprint up the porch stairs and into the house in hopes she won’t notice we’re home.  (wishful thinking, never happens)
  2. We get tackled.

When feeling positive toward Flash, I tell myself “she’s just giving me a hug!”  But most days, I have visions of my fist connecting with her face each time she springs to eye level.  (Don’t worry, I’ve never actually done it.)

Unfortunately, this time, I just flat didn’t think about the fact that the brand spanking new coat might be a problem…

008

Front Door Coat

…until she jumped on me and snagged it.  That’s when, after escaping her “embrace,” leaping inside and removing the coat to survey the damage, I decided I must now have Front Door Coats and Back Door Coats.

007

Front Door Coat

The Front Door Coats are strictly to be worn out the front door.  The invisible fence does not allow her to the front yard, and despite my love for efficiency (the car is typically closer to the back door than the front), I’ve either got to suck it up and walk seven more steps to the car in order to protect my Front Door Coats, or I need to make a change: park closer to the front door.

010

Back Door Coat

The Back Door Coat never really has left through the front door in the past, it’s not presentable enough to be worn anywhere except inside the barn or on dates with the goats.  It used to be black, but is now a full spectrum of sunbleached grays.  Although I don’t condone it, the Back Door Coat can be jumped on if need be with no significant change in its tattered appearance.

I am human though. When habit takes over, and I head for the back door, I literally have to stop in my tracks, look down at my wardrobe to determine the appropriate egress for the current coat.

It is a lot of work living in the country on a goat farm with a jumping dog.  Little did I know my choice of coats would be part of the challenge.

– The Goat Cheese Lady

 

Posted in Dogs, Farm Life, funny stories, goats | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Antique Preserves

We have a neighbor we’ve recently come to know; a friendly, toothless, older fellow who parked himself in Penrose back in the 1970’s.  He has stopped by briefly in the past, thrice encountering only the woman of the house yet always seeking the man.

On his most recent visit, he touted himself as “the best neighbor in Penrose!” when he arrived bearing gifts of food.  His generosity was combined with his apparent need to put his mind to at ease regarding a few facts:

  1. How many people actually live here.  (answer: 4)
  2. To confirm that I actually have a husband. (answer: I do.)
  3. To find out if our 12-year-old would rake some leaves for money.  (answer: yes)

As a good neighbor does when another neighbor arrives bearing food, I invited him inside.  After hefting the box onto the counter, he proudly and gregariously unloaded it to display store bought cookies “for the boys” and quite a few home preserved canned goods.

It was the recently unearthed canned goods that drew my attention, as they appeared to break all the canning rules I’ve ever learned.  There were:

  1. Two jars of apple butter dated October, 1994.
  2. A couple jars of gooseberry preserves canned in reused store bought jelly jars dated around 2013 or 2014.
  3. One jar of canned green cherry tomato pickles.  I’m open minded, but can’t say I’d ever heard of or might ever be willing to taste tomato pickles.

I thanked him profusely, proved that I have a husband by hauling him in from his workshop and promised the 12-year-old would call him to see about raking the leaves.

003

Then, I left the preserves on the counter for 2 or so months, debating what to do with them, pondering the issues:

1. He was obviously very proud of them.  It is a lot of work to pick the fruit, make the preserves and can them.  I know.  I’ve done it.  I did not have the heart to dispose of them.

002

2. They were obviously very old.  I confirmed with my husband that it was probably not an attempt to poison us, but just the generosity of a neighbor who hasn’t recently read the Ball Book of Canning and Preserving.

On the counter they lived until recently, when my husband tempted fate and opened a jar of the antique apple butter.  Channeling the boy from Holes who survived in the desert on century old canned onions, he dug in.  Next thing I knew, half the jar was gone and he was still alive.  That was at least a month ago.  Today, he opened the second jar.  Having proven his constitution was strong enough to fly in the face of the FDA, USDA, DEA, CSA, NRA, CSI, FBI (oops, got off track there) and their canning guidelines, I decided to do the same.

008

Approximately 4 hours ago, I had a bite.  23 year old apple butter is actually pretty good!

In other news, I haven’t ventured under the parafin seal of the recycled jelly jar gooseberry preserves and I will be coming out of gardening retirement, despite the urgings of last year’s grasshopper overpopulation, to plant cherry tomatoes.  I will pick them green.  All of them.  And I will learn to make green cherry tomato pickles. They’re an unexpected mouthful of gently exploding tastebud bliss!

Disclaimer:  Please do not use our experience as our recommendation to eat canned goods that might show up on Antiques Roadshow.  You may decide to use this as your urging though:  “how old is too old to eat canned apple butter. and be sure you read the comment by readinglady (z8 OR)”

Anyway, for now, toodle-loo.  I’m off to further contemplate the gooseberry preserves.  I’m feeling brave.

-The Goat Cheese Lady

 

 

Posted in Experiments, Farm Life, gardening | Tagged , | 5 Comments

We Broke Ground!

Saturday, Larry the foundation guy, began squaring and flattening and digging for The Goat Cheese Lady Creamery foundation!

017

It’s actually happening!  This is a side job to his full time job pouring foundations during the week, so it’ll be completed over the course of several weekends and I’ll keep you updated.  Thanks again to EVERYONE who has been so supportive!

In other news, we have a new dog.

010

Oh ya, like we need new dog.

If you’ve been here, you know we already have Montana (awesome dog) and Flash (crazy dog).  If you know me, you know I’m not a dog fan.  Herbert likes dogs.  I don’t.

Did I mention, that on the first birthday I had after marrying Herbert, he GOT ME A DOG for my birthday?  Granted, I end up liking the dogs after they turn 6, but I’m not typically known for needing THREE dogs.

And, no.  The dog doesn’t have a name yet.  He’s a 5 month Anatolian Shepard who – don’t you dare tell Herbert I said this – will most likely be pretty awesome, but at the present moment he doesn’t realize his duty is to protect all of our farm animals, not bark incessantly at the pigs.

And, two more things.  My thumb drive, the one I use to take with me to the library to print out all of my product labels and anything else that needs printing, has been thoroughly cleaned.

023

Literally.  I found it in the dryer.  A washed, then dried, thumb drive doesn’t work anymore.

The last thing is, when you make cajeta (aka Goat Milk Caramel), don’t pour all the baking soda water in the hot milk at once.

027

Trust me.  It explodes.  Not literally, but close.  (That pot was really only half full with sugar milk…adding the baking soda caused it foam up and triple in size…all over tarnation…it was still roiling violently when I had the presence of mind to take this picture…one second after the volcano erupted.)

Bye.

The Goat Cheese Lady

 

Posted in Dogs, Farm Life, funny stories | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Maybe I’ll write a book.

It’s dangerous cutting onions.

016

Which is what I was doing just before calling my sister.

We were both cooking dinner.

I told her I’ve been thinking about (for 6 years) writing a book.  I think about it every winter when things slow down and there is time to contemplate such projects.

I told her that when researching writing a book a few weeks ago, I looked at the Chelsea Green Publishing website and read their requirements for submitting a potential book.  The two points that stuck in my mind were (in my reworded nutshell):

1. Why is your book different than all the others out there?

2. What’s so special about you?

I told her that I asked an honest friend, What’s so special about me?  Would someone want to read a book I write?  My friend said I’m an inspiration.  Then someone on Facebook said the same thing.  Is that a reason to write a book?

Then I told her that I spent the afternoon reading old posts, mostly from the first year (2010) of my blog.  You should grab a coffee and do that too.  Some are pretty funny.

So, pretty much, that’s where I am.  Should I? or Shouldn’t I?

– The Goat Cheese Lady

Posted in Farm Life, Opinion | 10 Comments

Thank you! We made it! (and 10% off)

Around August 1st, I started selling $100 Boxes of my farm-made goat milk soaps, lotions and lip balms with the goal of selling 130 to make the $13,000 necessary to to pay for the cement foundation of The Goat Cheese Lady Creamery.  I went to Farmer’s Markets at the Penrose Community Library and Ranch Foods Direct, posted on Facebook and Twitter, sold my wares at the Colorado Springs Senior Center Craft Fair and at our little town’s annual Apple Day Festival, spent an evening at Tailored West in Canon City for First Friday, sent emails and told my story to anyone who would listen.  The first person to buy a $100 Box was Norma at the Ranch Foods Direct Friday Farmer’s Market, a kind woman I had never met before.

People I know, people I don’t know, businesses and non-profits all bought $100 Boxes with plans to use the lotions, soaps and lip balms as hostess gifts, Christmas gifts, employee and volunteer gifts, products to sell in their stores, teachers gifts, donations, stocking stuffers and to keep some for themselves.

People even made $100 donations…”no box necessary,” said one anonymous note. One of my college friend’s mom sent $50.

A woman I had just met at the library made copies of my $100 Box Story and gave it to all of her friends.  Another woman passed out my story at Bingo.

My mom provided free labor every week, labeling lotions, soaps and lip balms, packing boxes and bringing lunch.

Telling my story opened up doors to new referrals for pouring the foundation and opportunities to get new bids.  Just two nights ago, we signed a contract with a man who will bring his team…weather permitting…THIS SATURDAY to break ground on the foundation!!!

040

Thanks to everyone who had any part of this chapter in my dream of building The Goat Cheese Lady Creamery.  Because of you, I blew past my goal and sold 147 boxes!

Throughout the process, hundreds of people have told me how much they love their goat milk soap, lotion and lip balm, so I’ve decided to keep the online store open.  You can still buy $100 Boxes or you can buy individual soaps, lotions or lip balms until we run out.  All of the money will go toward sustaining our family, our farm and building The Goat Cheese Lady Creamery.  We also have gift certificates for The Goat Cheese Making Class and The Kids Class at the store.

For the past 4 months, I have been in awe of people who came out of the woodwork to support our local business and help me realize my dream.  I appreciate you, to the point of tears.  Thank you.

Happy Holidays,

Lindsey

P.S. When you check out at the store, type in the code THANKYOU to get 10% off your order.

Posted in Farm Life | 2 Comments

Sometimes, It’s Better To Come In Second

I had the honor of being invited by my sister to attend the Colorado’s Finest celebration dinner last Thursday night featuring “young professionals between the ages of 25-45 who are successful in their chosen career,” who had spent months raising money for Cystic Fibrosis (CF), to find a cure. The Honorees, as they are called (my sister being one), are chosen by others to raise at least $2500 for the event while spreading the word about CF. There were 23 Honorees Thursday night, and as it turns out… the event becomes quite competitive.

img_5470

Me, Mom and Ashley

And, Compete.  They.  Did.

History was made Thursday night. Never before have ANY of the honorees raised more than $17,000 and by that night FIVE of them had raised more than $17,000! Even more incredibly, my sister had raised $31,530! Passionate about curing Cystic Fibrosis because of close friends who have it, she set her own personal goal to raise $20,000 and blew it right out of the water.  As of Wednesday night, she thought she had won.

Enter, Tyson.
I met Tyson Thursday night and, after having just learned that he beat my sister by raising $670 more than she, I responded to his firm handshake by briefly attempting to break it with my outlandish goat milker grip.  (I, too, am just a hair competitive.)
But when he took the stage to accept his winning award, he gave her all the credit!  Sometime during the day on Thursday, his friend called and said, “Let’s win this thing!  Let’s go in halfsies.”  So, they did.  At around 4:59pm (donations were accepted until 5pm), Tyson donated $6,000 and his friend donated $6,000 to bring their total from $20,000 earlier that day up to $32,000 that night!  He actually said if it weren’t for my sister raising so much, he wouldn’t have been pushed to beat her.
Incredible.
The event spread the word about Cystic Fibrosis, bringing more young professionals into the movement to help find a cure. My sister exceled at sharing her passion for curing Cystic Fibrosis and masterfully raised more than anyone in the history of the event.  And, thanks to Tyson and his donors for responding to the call to competition, they raised even more. She pushed him. She came in second because she pushed him to come in first.  And, there, at 4:59 pm, was an extra $12,000 toward finding a cure for CF.
Congratulations to all of the Honorees for all of the fundraising and hard work that you did to spread the word about Cystic Fibrosis: How close researchers are to finding a cure but how important it is that we continue to raise money so that everyone with Cystic Fibrosis will be able to live.
Congratulations Ash, I am proud to be your sister.
–  Love, Linds, The Goat Cheese Lady
P.S.  And…Happy Birthday!
Posted in Farm Life | 2 Comments