I had a request for a description of a typical day down at The Country Barn. I said in my previous blog that neither of us expected to be “dairy farmers.” It wasn’t even on our radar. But God’s radar is what we want to live by… so here we are. Within a week of arriving back in Belize, we sat down to make a schedule because there is so much to do, especially first thing in the morning. We wake up anywhere from 5 am-5:20 am each morning (unless we have an order being picked up, and she is usually here at 4:30 am on Thursdays). We have our quiet time and then around 6 am Randy starts putting the ice cream machine together and I start cooking breakfast. After breakfast, I clean the kitchen while Randy starts processing the ice cream. By this time the boys have shown up and have gone to the barn to milk the cows.
I usually sit at the table after cleaning the kitchen and wrap napkins around about 50-60 cones so that they are ready for the day. I restock the display refrigerator in the store and make sure everything is clean. Once Randy is finished cooking the ice cream and it has cooled down, he adds the flavoring for the day. We always have vanilla, and then either Black Raspberry, Coffee, Chocolate or Strawberry. He pours that into the machine so that it can be freezing.
Then, depending on the day, we start processing other products. We make yogurt (plain and flavored), sour cream, cottage cheese, butter, chocolate milk, and we package whole milk and cream to sell. On Tuesdays and Thursdays Randy takes the mornings milk to a lady in the village that makes white cheese for us to sell. When he drives the jeep into the yard, her grandkids run out to “help” with the buckets of milk.
The store is open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Saturday. But people drop by earlier and later than that. Here’s a few pics of The Country Barn (processing area, store, separator, butter making, etc.).
I am thankful to Frieda for teaching me how to make butter. It is a bit surreal getting up early in the morning and making butter, yogurt, and other items. I think I might have let that all go to my head this morning. I decided I could make cinnamon rolls… from scratch. It’s not like we can run to the store and buy them in the little tube that you pop open on the side of the counter and cook for 17 minutes! So I thought… no big deal, I can do this. Well, I knew halfway in that I had a problem… I was kneading the dough (that was sticking to my fingers – and I’m pretty sure it isn’t supposed to do that) and realized I didn’t have any cinnamon. Oh well, sugar rolls… that’s okay. Randy is very sweet and said they would be good tonight heated up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Of course, anything is good with a scoop of ice cream on top. Oh well… maybe I’m not “pioneer woman” after all. But I’m not going to give up. Next time I will at least make sure I have cinnamon. 🙂
Note: Click on any of the pictures to see them larger.