Tag Archives: Cook

Toby

Toby came to the farm around 2004. We should have known he was trouble right from the start.

His original selling price was out of budget, considering he was just another roving lawn ornament.  I should have been suspicious when the asking price was reduced by 90%!

Donkey, Cook's Country Connection, mn, petting farmDon’t get me wrong…he’s a good guy…mostly.

Even though he can be a poop, Toby has an important job. He is the self proclaimed guardian of the farm, as well as project foreman (nothing gets his attention faster than a hammer or chainsaw).

He doesn’t care if you are a human or a coyote…you are not welcome in his fence…don’t even think about it!!

You can see where this has some advantage – he keeps predators and hooligans out.  Much less of an advantage when he needs shots, worming, hoof trimming or halter changing.

Donkey, Cook's Country Connection, mn, petting farm

To his credit, he is also the full time guardian of his friend Traveling Jack. Jack is an old guy and Toby takes good care of him. Toby walks him to the water tank, makes sure that he shares his oats and protects Jack if Itchy and Squirt get too feisty. (Click here to read more about Travelin’ Jack.) 

Donkey, Cook's Country Connection, mn, petting farm

MollyMoo

MollyMoo came to the farm in April 2013. She was about 24 hours old and rode home in the back of Jill’s suburban.

Molly Moo car ride

I have to admit, I wasn’t convinced she would survive. She had been separated from her mother in a sleet, snow, spring-type, yuk storm, stepped on by another cow, and was sooo little!

molly moo 2

 But survive she did! The first few weeks I was making bottles every four hours day and night. She  had to wear a kid’s size vest to keep her warm due to a wound on her side.

From there, we increased the amount of milk and lengthened the time between bottles until she graduated to two bottles a day. From bottle to bucket and then to solid food, she went from that cute little baby to one BIG BODACIOUS BOVINE!

MollyMoo

Did I mention that she is Paul’s favorite animal on the farm?

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Madelyn

Madelyn, Fancy, Annie and W-72 are the farm’s Huacaya alpacas.

alpaca, cook's country connection, fiber, twins, petting farm

Alpacas are in the camel family and bred for their fiber (and meat but we don’t think about that!).  The fiber from an alpaca is warmer than wool and softer than cashmere.  It makes a person really want to hug and smooch them.  Unfortunately alpacas aren’t much into being hugged and smooched.

What they look like depends on when you visit the farm.  This picture shows Madelyn after shearing and Maddox before!

alpaca, cook's country connection, fiber, twins, petting farm
Fuzzy wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy wuzzy!

Rooster Noodle Soup

Ten years ago, I never would have believed how satisfying it can be to know exactly where dinner came from. Maybe part of it is that we live in the “Icebox of the Nation”– Lois and I always say gardening and/or farming up here is not for wimps, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. When I started trying to grow SOME of my own food, it was entirely in Grampa Ralph’s old galvanized buckets, not in an acre of tractor-tilled black dirt.
Two sisters can’t save the entire planet; but there are probably things we could all be doing better…

Pajari Girls

I am very nervous around poultry.  (See “Guinea Monsters From Hell”)   And I used to hate cooking. So this Martha Stewart-esque-ness is new to me. I have been growing, canning, cooking, drying and freezing food a lot more the last few years. Now, being unemployed AND on the Low Child Support Diet has encouraged me to do even more, and to do it better. It’s been a slow process, and many people have contributed along the way. Here are two that I remember.

One of my favorite bloggers is Jackie  Clay.  (Check her out here. Chop chop!) We are lucky to have this awesome lady in our community, and I have learned so much from her books and blogs about living off the land in this area code.  I subscribed to her blog for several months before I even attempted canning on my own.

I vaguely remember Anthony Bourdain

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Meet Walli!

This is the  first in a series about the critters and plants that can be found at Cook’s Country Connection.

Our dogs and cats are our personal pets and not “exhibit animals”.  That doesn’t mean you won’t see them bopping around the farm, but interactions with them will be unlikely.

walli, corgi, cook's country connection, pajari, girls
BALL??

Walli Pajari-Williams is an almost 4 year-old corgi that was the mascot and general manager of the Dollar Barn until it burned in 2013. Lois is a dog lover, and wanted a pet that could go to work with her, since she spent more time there than at home. Having always admired the breed, she contacted local breeder Janelle Johnson of Riverwind Kennel, who has also become a dear friend.

What’s with the name? She’s a girl! Lois also always wanted a corgi named Wally, but the only puppy available at that time was a female, so we researched females with that name. Turns out the Duchess of Windsor was named Wallis Simpson.

And the Williams? Well, for a time we (Lois and Laura) threw around the idea of changing our last name. Nobody can spell or pronounce Pajari (PIE-ree) anyway, and it’s a pain in the butt. Lois decided on Williams because it was easy to spell, pronounce, and had no obvious cultural background. In fact, it is the second-most common last name in America. So we tried it out on the dog. Several months later I (Laura) met my boyfriend and his last name was Williams…so we decided it would be creepy to take his name (even if we saw it first) at that point.

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She even made the papers this time!

Walli even has her own Facebook page, which she used to win a fundraising contest for the local shelter, Contented Critters. Fans mailed her $ from ALL OVER THE US! It was pretty awesome.

corgi, walli, great pyr, great pyrenees, mastiff
Good luck, big dogs; she has no idea she is “medium-sized”.

Corgis are working dogs…that means they are highly intelligent and need a “job” to keep them busy. At the store, she played fetch with young and old, and we nurtured her obsession with THE BALL.

walli, corgi, dog, singing, howling, pajari girls, cook's country connection
And she sings, too!

Her other big “job” at the store was to sing Happy Birthday to anyone that visited on their special day. She can’t wait until we are hosting birthday parties at Cook’s Country Connection!

  

Friend her, if you haven’t already. Chop Chop!! 🙂 Here’s a link to Walli’s Facebook page.