Andrew's Blog

A City Boy Making His Way in the Country
July 2011

We’re not just a farm!

I get it. I write a lot about the farm. And while it may be a truth universally acknowledged that llamas and a pig named Bacon are infinitely interesting, we are more than just a farm! We’re also a bed and breakfast. Where I cook breakfast. And people eat it. We also cook other things, like jams and jellies. And cookies. Recipes are easy to follow. I don’t trust anyone who says they can’t cook. That’s why recipes were created! They’re the crib sheet of the cooking world. And, hold on to your horses, do I have a tasty one for you!

Below is a recipe for lemon curd. As one of the most versatile curds, this tasty treat can be smeared on scones or act as the base for your favorite lemon meringue pie. It can also be eaten straight with some homemade whipped cream or a store bought Cool Whip. If I may, I would also suggest a nice Ready Whip. A spoon full of curd, a spray of “whip” in the mouth, and you have a treat for the ages. I’m sure this is a daily snack at Buckingham Palace.

Even if you can’t cook, you can make this. Try it, and you’ll be surprised. And let me know how it turns out. If you fail, I’ll personally come to your house and show you how to make it – as I was shown. This recipe comes from a famous Washington, D.C. pastry chef. I don’t think it’s published anywhere…so this is an exclusive! From my private cooking lesson to you – it’s a gift. Please enjoy!

Lemon Curd

6 whole eggs

1.5 cups granulated sugar

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Grated zest of 2 lemons

8 ounces unsalted butter

Combine eggs, sugar, zest, and juice in a heat proof bowl and place over a medium pot of simmering water. Continually whisk over simmering water until it begins to thicken (10 to 12 minutes). Continue to cook  (while whisking) for an additional 10 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and pour the curd into a food processor (I use a stick blender in the heated bowl) and add all the butter, blending for 15 or 20 seconds until the butter is blended in and the curd is smooth. Pour the hot curd into a mason jar or plastic container with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the curd. Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight. It will keep in the refrigerator for 10 days. You can also freeze it if sealed.

OK, I know, it’s a lot of whisking, but those arm muscles could use a good workout. So make it happen. Don’t be scared, it’s going to be delicious. Trust me, I run and bed and breakfast.

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Party Time!

Today Orchard House hosted a tea party. Not the wacky political kind, but more in the Queen Elizabeth II style. (Scones and lemon curd make a lot more sense anyway.) A family member of our guests had a her 75th birthday party! Congratulations Susie!

I’ll admit, catering a party, setting it up, and cleaning up after is a tiring occupation! But the food was great, dare I say so myself. I think I’ve perfected egg salad. That’s a daring statement, yes. But if Miley Sirius can be a voice of reason on Twitter, then I can be the king of egg salad. Oh, and the chicken salad wasn’t too bad either. And the homemade scones? A delight!

After stressful days like these, I turn to Youtube, where I sit down with a gin and tonic and watch some inspirational videos. The night started with Susan Boyle. P.S. was her song that good? I question it now 3 years later, but still amazing. Next up, a little Book of Mormon at the Tony Awards. Genius. If you want to buy me a ticket, I’ll gladly accept your gift and fly to New York. It’s genius. Did I say that already? And tonight, the closer? Neil Patrick Harris and his opening number at the Tony’s this year. (A lot of Tony’s, je sais!) He’s brilliant, the song is brilliant, and I love looking at Joel Gray at the end – isn’t he 90 years old or something?

We hope that if you’re looking to have a garden party or English tea, that you’ll think of Orchard House. I hear we’re a good deal! And the setting is perfect. Beautiful fields with llamas sitting and ducks quacking. The noises are a wonderful backdrop for a spot o’ tea. Oh, and if you have a party here, Bacon will give you kisses! After all, he’s the living Orchard House compost disposal, and boy, did he eat good today! Watercress and cucumber never tasted so good!

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Southeast Llama Rescue

At Orchard House, we are dedicated to the protection and well-being of all animals. We are proud to announce we will be donating 5% of each guests stay to the Southeast Llama Rescue, directly aiding llamas and alpacas in Ohio. Our 5 resident llamas not only bring joy to our farm, but are ambassadors to the many guests that stay at our bed and breakfast, amazing everyone with their unique personalities. We are not only stewards for the llamas at Orchard House, but have a responsibility to help those in need of a safe home, free from hunger and fear. We are happy to offer some help, while also educating the public about SELR and the llamas they protect. Please visit and meet the Orchard House llamas!

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We’re on vacation.

We’re on vacation! And we’ve left Bob Evans in charge. Sure he’s not a great cleaner, but he makes a great omelette!

It’s interesting to have a vacation away from our vacation destination. But it’s nice. Today was a great beach day! And with the dogs, and all the animals, being cared for, I can actually sit on a couch without a dog on my lap. I can go through a day without having llama spit land on some piece of my clothing. And the caramel corn is delicious!

Stay tuned for updates from our week away! And if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and see how Bob Evans is doing. He might need some help cleaning out the chicken coop.

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