You’re Invited…

A huge THANK YOU to ALL the folks who visited Sheepy Hollow’s ~ Christmas in the Country Holiday Open House!


It was great to re-connect with old friends & make many new acquaintances!

I hope you enjoyed your farm visit too!

In case you need more of a ‘ewe’-nique, off-the-beaten-path

holiday shopping experience,

we’re happy to oblige!

You’re cordially invited

 to a bevy of local farms, artisans, keepers-of-the- hearth


Saturday December 3, 2011 & Sunday December 4, 2011.

Shop hours vary; phone ahead.

Plan a day trip & visit them ALL!

Participating farms, shops & studios include:

Brookwood Fruit Farm – 7845 Bordman Rd.  Almont, MI 48003, (810) 798-8312 

Brookwood Fruit Farm is a 5th generation family farm that grows over 40 varieties of apples, peaches, tart cherries and raspberries.  Fresh apple cider made weekly with their own special blend of hand-picked apples. 

 Cabbage Rose Antique Shoppe – 8540 E. Hough Rd.  Almont, MI 48003, (810) 798-3671

Look for their blue Pure Michigan sign on Van Dyke.  Our barn is filled with vintage furniture, architectural items, artwork, primitives, jewelry & cleaned linens. Call for an appointment.  Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Circa 1843—Historic Briggs Wool Carding Mill  622 S. Main  Almont, MI 48003,  (810) 441-3695 

Experience handcrafted coffees like Cinnamon Dolce or Eggnog Latte, nosh on some delectable cheesecake brownies and raspberry oat jam bars. Stroll the grounds and explore all that’s there for you to see!   Thur. – Sat. 9 – 5, Sun. 11 – 3

Fort Fisher Suri Alpacas – 5841 Secord Lake Rd. Dryden, MI 48428, (248) 628-8151                                                    

Our alpacas are friendly and silky to the touch. Our farm store carries alpaca fleece and rovings for hand-spinners, Michigan handspun yarn and alpaca products.  Field trips can be arranged and tailored to your group, at $4/person. 

Green House Pottery 5681 Secord Lake Rd. Dryden, MI 48428, (810) 796-2438

Functional and decorative high-fire and soda-fired stoneware. Pottery that is pleasing to both the hand and eye, made within a creative context. Work from recent firings available. Open year round. Call to schedule an appointment.

Hill Top Farm — 7320  37 Mile Rd. Romeo, MI 48065, (810) 343-3759

Family owned and operated orchard producing fruit from heirloom trees.  10-inch deep dish pies hand-rolled with no preservatives.  Jam, breads, cookies, caramel and strudel also available.  Pies make great gifts for the holidays!

Keller’s Maple Syrup & Honey Products – 6209 Bordman Rd.  Almont, MI  48003, (810) 798-8695


Maple syrup and maple syrup products (sugar, jelly & candies), honey and honey butter from our hives.  The Keller family has made sweetness their business for over 30-years. Open most days 9-5. Spring festival April 28 &29, 2012.

Miller’s Medley Stained Glass Studio – 6841 Hough Rd.  Almont, MI  48003, (810) 798-3795

Our showroom features glass art: fused glass, stained glass window jewelry, mosaics and panels.  You are invited to cross the threshold into our workroom and watch as we cut, grind, foil or solder glass.  Antiques and peculiars abound.

ReLiteration Used Books – 610 S. Main Almont, MI 48003, (810) 706-0220

Finding new homes for books for more than seven years with over 45,000 unique titles in all genres.  Gift certificates available.  Tue, Thurs, Fri and Sat 10:30-6:00, Wed 12:00-6:00.  First & third Sundays from 12:00-4:00. 

Sheepy Hollow Herbs, LLC – 73910 Coon Creek Rd.  Armada, MI  48005, (586) 784-8328     email

Sheepy fiber art, crafted woolens, goat’s milk soap and herbal sundries. Farm-produced from our own dairy goats and Shetland sheep.  Organic lavender and other herbs for culinary, floral and medicinal use. Shop Hours: Fri, Sat, Sun 11 – 4, April thru Dec. Additional shop hours, year-round by appointment.

Teemie’s Country Blooms – 4265 Kidder   Almont, MI  48003, (810) 310-0711

Specializing in seasonal all-natural offerings.  Handcrafted wreaths, potpourri, herbal milk baths, dried bouquets, organic potted herbs and hand-stitched artwork. Thursday through Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday by appointment.

Thanks for supporting local businesses!

Butter Molds

I recently purchased a 19th Century plunger-and-cup-type butter mold. It’s rather unique; a hand-carved primitive ram and bird motif! I simply couldn’t resist purchasing this butter mold thru my blogging friend, Carole. You can peruse her awesome store (and visit Carole’s blog) at Carole’s Country Store. I just fell in love with it the minute it was listed in her shop…ya know I love all things sheepy…or perhaps it could be a goat?! Either way, I’m so happy to add this to my kitchen collectables. I hope to use it soon!

 A bit of butter mold history… 

Butter molds were first used centuries ago in northern Europe. Today, most of the oldest molds found in museums date to the mid-18th century Europe and North America. In the 19th century, dairies became commercial and butter – as well as the wooden butter mold – was widely mass-produced. Antique molds of the late 19th and early 20th century are often found in personal collections. Antique American butter molds have become popular  collectibles and have increased in value. Due to their condition, many of these butter molds are best used as decorative accent pieces.

photos by Alice Ross

Butter molds had fancy designs carved into the press so that the impression was left on top of the butter. Common designs were a sheaf of wheat, pineapple, thistle, cow, rooster and geometric designs. Butter would have been filled into the mold and then the plunger pressed to form a tight shape of butter. The handle screwed into the print so it could be removed from the case. These came in a one pound size, a half pound size mold and pat sizes. Sears, Roebuck & Company also listed a two-pound size in their 1987 catalog as well as square molds. The price of molds varied depending on the complexity of the carving.

Butter molds are rarely used today.  Instructions for use of a modern butter mold: 1) Soak the mold in ice water for 30 minutes and – if convenient – refrigerate the mold for 30 minutes more.  This helps to keep the butter from sticking in the mold.  2) Rinse the mold with cold water and fill it with softened butter.  3) Smooth the surface with a spatula and cover with plastic wrap.  4) Chill for 2 hours or more.  5) To unmold the butter, run the tip of a knife around the outside edge to loosen it.

Cleaning wooden molds: Use hot water, mild soap, and a brush to loosen residue, but do not soak the mold in water.  Reconditioning wooden molds: Mineral oil may be used to recondition a mold and prevent drying and cracking. Vegetable oil should not be used. 

Alice Ross, food professional teacher and historian, writes of butter making and molding: “If you want to try it yourself, the trick in a successful casting is to first soak and chill the mold. Then, after packing the butter in, refrigerate until firm, and then pop out into a plate. If you want to make your own butter to match the handsome form, all you need is fresh whipping cream. Whisk or beat past the whipped cream stage until the butterfat forms firm yellow lumps and separates from the remaining buttermilk.  (Save the buttermilk; let it sit out at room temperature overnight to culture and either drink it or use it in cooking.) Paddle and press the butter in several washes of cold water until there are no traces of buttermilk left. Salt if desired. Pack into soaked and chilled wooden molds, refrigerate to harden and then un-mold.”

Another historic method for molding butter uses a completely dry mold dusted with flour and slightly chilled butter. The butter comes out nicely 90% of the time. It’s worth a try!

Lastly, I want to mention that my moorit Shetland ewe, Sara (aka Serendipity) had a single ram lamb last Thursday morning! He’s very handsome (bersugget markings); mom and baby are doing well! It’s been so rainy and dark, I haven’t taken a decent pic of him yet! All the goat kids and lambs are growing by leaps and bounds too!

Sara’s little bundle of joy! I reeee-ally can’t get much work done!

Warm wishes!