This weekend was chock-full of celebration! The man turns 33 today, but Monday birthdays are no fun. So instead, we dedicated the entire weekend to having as much fun + relaxation as possible.
My favorite part was the surprise visit to a Penrose, Colorado goat farm for a four-hour cheese-making class. Yum!
To kick off the weekend, we invited a group of about 10-15 people to our neighborhood dive bar, The Spot Bar & Grill, in Wash Park. We ordered greasy food, drank beer, and then partook in delicious chocolate-chocolate-chip bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes. The man has a family tradition of this type of cake at home, so I surprised him with something familiar.
The next morning, we slept in and went into full lazy mode. The only outing we took before Operation Secret Trip was to pick up some yummy bagel sandwiches from Moe’s Bagel. We shared one with spinach and tomato, and another with smoked salmon.
OPERATION: SECRET TRIP
After that, I told Nick only this tidbit: That we’re spending the night in a town an hour away, so that we’re closer to our secret outing, which is early Sunday morning in another town an hour away from that. He was thoroughly confused, but eager to learn more!
As we approached Manitou Springs, I let him know that we’d be staying there in a little rinky-dink hotel (Pikes Peak Inn) smack-dab in the middle of the main street. We’d play it by ear and do whatever he wanted to do!
We ate nachos and a BLT and watched the Gators get creamed by Tennessee (boo!). The nachos were SO delicious!
After that, we went back to the hotel and watched hours of TV with full bellies. We really needed to maximize the R&R. We only left our hotel room for a quick ice-cream run. 🙂
Before bed, I told the man what the big surprise was… a trip to The Goat Cheese Lady Farm in Penrose, Colorado! Our four-hour cheese-making class would also include milking the goats, touring the farm, making bread, finding eggs from the chicken coop, all culminating in a giant brunch at the end of the class. He was beyond excited (and so was I)!
Because the farm brunch would be around noon, and our class started at 8:15 am, we decided to indulge in eggs and waffles at the only breakfast place open on our route: Waffle House. We also checked out Coyote’s Coffee Den in Penrose, upon recommendation from Lindsey (the Goat Cheese Lady).
The instructions were to park in her driveway and wait for her to greet us. In the meantime, we met this big guy: Montagna, the world’s sweetest and largest farm dog.
At 8:15, Lindsey welcomed us inside to coffee and for a little get-to-know-each-other session. Her cozy farmhouse was inviting, as well as she: The first thing she said is for us to feel right at home.
After sipping coffee and learning more about each other, Lindsey gave us an idea of the day’s timeline. First up: Make honey wheat bread. Here is Nick, stirring the honey, oil, water, and yeast to make the starter. He’s in heaven!
Yeast, activate! While waiting, we ground our own flour in Lindsey’s electric flour mill.
Here are the wheat berries that she purchases from Mountain Mama Natural Foods in kind-of-nearby Colorado Springs.
Here I am, diligently measuring the flour.
We used her Kitchen Aid to make and knead the dough, something we’ve never done before! We usually just do it the old-fashioned way, but since I have a Kitchen Aid of my own, it was good to learn how.
Once we made the dough, we headed out to milk the goats, leaving the dough to rise.
But first, meet Jumpy! This sweet little 5-month-old barn kitten followed us everywhere (except inside) during our visit. He was the coolest little helper.
Lindsey and her two sons showed us how the goat-milking worked. They let Cioccolat and Belle out of their pen, at which point the goats ran to their stations and jumped into position. Apparently they get very excited about their meals. (We can relate, ladies.)
We milked this pretty lady, Belle. She seemed to not even notice we were milking her.
Nick went first and did a great job!
I went second. I was nervous I was going to hurt her! Thankfully, I did not.
After collecting all of Belle’s milk, we toured the gorgeous 5-acre farm. I didn’t get a photo of it, but the family has a gorgeous wooden pavilion built for farm-to-table dinners. Imagine eating al fresco with this view!
With Jumpy and Montanga close behind, we toured the property and met all the animals. The goats were super friendly and sweet, although Willow, the white one behind me, wanted to get up close and personal with me! She tried to jump up and kiss my face!
As we went, we searched for fresh chicken eggs for our brunch. Here, you see the chickens and turkeys, and the male goats in the background.
These two pigs were a fun surprise!
After the tour, we brought our fresh goat milk inside to learn how to make goat cheese and mozzarella cheese.
We strained the milk and then boiled it. I can’t explain the whole process here… it would take forever! You’ll have to take the class for yourself. Believe me, it’s worth it!
While we made the cheeses, we baked the bread and scrambled the eggs for an absolutely delicious brunch.
Here’s a blurry Nick setting the breakfast table. Look at those hungry eyes!
The feast included:
- fresh-baked honey wheat bread
- butter, duh
- fruit preserves
- herbed goat cheese
- Siracha goat cheese
- fresh scrambled eggs
- mozzarella cheese
- thinly sliced cucumbers with olive oil, black pepper, and feta cheese
We dined with Lindsey, her husband, and their two elementary- and middle-school-aged sons. They were so sweet and fun to talk to.
Lindsey also surprised us with this delicious concoction: a vanilla milkshake made from fresh goat’s milk, ice, organic sugar, and vanilla. It was delicious!
We snapped a final photo before departing, posing with our leftover cheeses. You can see Flash, their other farm pup in front of us, as well as the roosters (and Lindsey’s husband) in the background! And while we’re at it, you can also see the wooden dinner pavilion.
If you live in Colorado and love to make your own food (or want to learn more about how food is made and what farm life is like), you’ve GOT to visit Lindsey at The Goat Cheese Lady Farm. She is the epitome of passion and loves what she does. She’s also raising funds to build a creamery on the property. She’s selling goat-milk lotions and soaps to support this endeavor. If you’re interested, buy her products here and support future cheese-making!
HAVE YOU EVER MILKED AN ANIMAL?
This post is a part of the Weekend Snapshots link-up with HerHeartlandSoul.