Spring Break Camp 2013 – Day 3

Another day of camp is in the books, Peppers!

Right off the bat, today was an exciting day for the Orange Peppers. First thing this morning, they took a trip down to the volunteer center to do some chores. They were greeted by a chirpy group of chicks, waiting for some love and attention. But before any of that, my little friends had to do some housekeeping. The chicks needed new bedding, a clean trough and a refill of water. The Orange Peppers worked so well with the young chicks. They really displayed signs of caring and gentleness. All of my Pepper friends had the opportunity to feel and hold and interact with these young chicks. And most of them made great connections. Ellie cared for the runt of the bunch and she practically rocked that chick to sleep! It was quite a sight. Nobody wanted to leave their new friends!


Meanwhile in the Garden Kitchen, the Yellow Peppers were beginning their first recipe of the day. Making cornbread is so easy (so I’ve heard); all you have to do is follow the instructions on the box! Once Ellie and Neel read the rest of the Peppers the directions, everybody began helping out. Van cracked the egg, Laura did most of the whisking, Morgan poured the mixture into the dish and Kat scrapped the bowl clean. It was a magical group effort!

Measuring ingredients

While the Peppers were anxiously waiting for their cornbread to bake, they began the taxing job of making butter. Now this is not a laughing matter (please, no Laughing Cow jokes, thank you!). Making butter is hard work! My Peppers started out using heavy whipping cream. They added a small amount into a jar, sealed the lid really tight and took turns shaking. They shook and shook and shook that jar until they were blue in the face. Neel was shaking it so fast, his hands became one big blur! But soon enough, all their efforts paid off. Miss Rachel popped off the lid and there it was. The cream had separated into two parts: the fat and water. And we all know that fat to be butter!

Homemade butter!

How delicious!

You know, food just tastes so much better when you make it yourself. I know from personal experience…I mean, witnessing it firsthand…well, actually, I don’t really have hands. That’s just what I heard, but I bet it’s true!

Anyways, back to the good stuff. The next segment of the day was all about goats. The Yellow Peppers took their turn in the goat barn, learning about different breeds of goats and their specific characteristics. This was such an interesting part of the day because it helped explain why Dorothy, Toto and Jenna look the way they do. My little Peppers found out that Toto is part Nubian and part Alpine. He shares some characteristics of both breeds of goat. For instance, Toto has big floppy ears like a Nubian, and are very different from the smaller more erect ears of an Alpine. Our other goat, Jenna, had specific features, like her color markings and her wattles, which are prominent for her breed, the Toggenburg.


There was so much to learn about my furry farm friends today and the Peppers were very thankful that Mr. Nicholas was there to help them discover these fascinating findings about our goats.

Mr. Nicholas talking about goats.

Another trip to Garden Kitchen yielded a delectable dish. This culinary creation consisted of multiple ingredients from the kitchen. It included pasta, carrots, tomatoes, celery, garlic, spinach, herbs, salt and pepper and the list goes on. This special concoction was christened Friendship Soup. The Yummy broth simmered in the crock pot until it was nice and warm and the aroma was downright irresistible! The tiny Peppers ladled the savory treat into cups and went on their way; off to the next captivating activity.

Celery for our soup!

Orange Peppers

And last on the day’s list of activities was a curious one. The Orange Peppers first sat down to go over some photographs of what is called “natural art.” This art is created by taking natural elements from a given area and using them to create designs, shapes, pictures, anything really. The things that these Peppers came up with were out of this world! What imaginations you all have! Oh, the artistic talent of this group of munchkins is really unlike anything I’ve seen in all my life (even if that is only a few months)!

Awesome teamwork!

The eye grew a face!

My lovely little Peppers, you truly outdid yourselves today. You worked hard, and more importantly, you worked together. Through your teamwork and creativity, we all made Tollgate a happier place today.

I could just lick you all, I’m so happy! But I’ll just wait and save that until we meet again tomorrow (wink, wink).

We love him.

See you then!

Murphy the Calf



Today’s Recipes

Cornbread and Butter

  • Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 1 egg
  • milk
  • cream
  • cooking spray


  1. Follow cooking instructions on the Jiffy mix box.  Combine milk, egg and mix until there are no clumps.
  2. Preheat oven/toaster oven
  3. Spray your pan so the cornbread doesn’t burn on the bottom.
  4. While cornbread is baking, we need to make our butter. Similar to making whipped cream, put a couple ounces of cream into a small jar. Butter takes a lot longer to make than whipped cream, so you need to shake it a lot. Pass the jar to a friend, make them shake it for a while. you can add a little salt to the cream to flavor the butter, but keep shaking. Soon you will see it transitioning into butter (I promise!).
  5. Check on the cornbread, takes about 10-15 minutes, or until a nice golden color. Just make sure not to burn it!
  6. Cut into sections and serve. Enjoy with your newly churned butter!


Friendship Soup

  • Broth (chicken or beef)
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Green pepper
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Pasta
  • Herbs
  • Salt and pepper


  1. First, cook your pasta. We like smaller noodles like orzo or ditalini.
  2. While cooking your pasta, begin heating the broth. You can do this on the stove in a large pot or in a crock pot.
  3. Chop and dice all your veggies and start adding them to the hot broth. The longer you let your ingredients cook down into the broth, the more flavors they will release, and the tastier your soup will be!
  4. Add your favorite herbs and salt and pepper to season your soup.
  5. Cozy up with a bowl and enjoy it with your friends!
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