Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hard at Work!

Party production is in full swing at the Moho Bake Shoppe!
We sent out the last order for the week and now it's time for full on party work.

The Beer and Pimento Cheeses are made and ready for serving!

Basil naturally grown at Evening Song Farm just down the road in Cuttingsville Vermont. 

Lemon's we got from BJs!

But squeezed with love by Dave, who likes to say: "When life gives you genetically engineered lemons from BJ's lemons, make lemonade!"

Then Laura says: "Shut up and get to work!"

Today's THE Day!

Today's the Day that we start the party prep in earnest.
I made these bandana print cookies last night and I have a few more to make today. I had never made these before, so I'm pretty happy with them.
Dave and I are finishing up a couple of cookie orders this morning and then it's on to Beer Cheese, Pimento Cheese, Mac and Cheese. All this cheese!!
We had a little lemon/orange emergency yesterday, but I won't go into it and everything is fine now, but we'll be scrubbing those and juicing lemons for home made strawberry lemonade, getting everything ready for the sangria and making pesto for the Tomato Pie. It's going to be a busy day and I have no idea what I'm doing for party favors!! I gotta go and make some more lists and get down to business, but thought I'd share some pics from my party folder.

I thought these would be the cutest favors, but I don't have time this year.

I wanted to make these "horses" for decoration, but time!!

And how cute are these?? I can't find bandana print paper ANYWHERE, otherwise, I would have made these.
I'll be posting our updates throughout the day so check back!!!
OH, and the food has been ordered, the haybales will be delivered on Friday, and so will the "outhouse".


Monday, August 8, 2011


Allright people, it's time to step up! We only have four entrants to the Pie Baking Contest and NO entries in the Pie Eating contest.

If you want to submit a pie, you need to post your entry here:
or email Laura at

We need at least four contestants for the Pie Eating Contest. The contest is simple: Four mini pies. Three minutes. Whoever can eat the fastest will win wonderful prizes and have forever the pride of winning!

We need four entrants by 5PM tomorrow (8/9). You can either enter here or email Laura at the above address.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Oh My God Oh My God Oh My God Oh My God

The Hoedown is LESS THAN A WEEK away.
And I know I promised a "schedule of events" and the menu DAYS ago, so here it is:
1p-2p appetizers, meet and greet
2p-2:30p Pie Contest!!
2:30-3p Pie EATING contest
3:00p Food is served!
4p  Dessert is served!
then we can hang out, play badminton, drink more Sangria, paddle around in the pond and have more fun!!
Of course things may not take as long or they'll take more time. I've never hosted a Pie Contest before, and so far we have 4 pies to judge and 3 judges, so sign up via email, or just post a comment here. Then I'll have a better idea, plus I have to make labels and numbers and all that.

So be sure to be here on time, so you don't miss out on the fun!

Now for the Menu:


Sangria (made by Laura)
Strawberry (or watermelon, whichever I feel like making) Lemonade


Beer Cheese (made by Dave)
Pimento Cheese (made by Dave)
Pretzels, crackers, celery, carrot, cucumber, red pepper (all from local farms)
Bacony Deviled Eggs (made by Laura, eggs and bacon also from local farms)

all from Squeels on Wheels
Pulled beef, chicken, pork
bbq sauce

Tomato Pie (made by Laura, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil from local farms)
Macaroni and cheese (made by Laura)
cole slaw (squeels on wheels)
corn on the cob (squeels on wheels)
baked beans (made by Adrian)

Mixed Berry shortbread (made by Laura)
cookies (made by Laura and Dave)
cupcakes (made by Laura and Dave)
S'more pops (not sure about these)
Malik's Birthday cake (made by Dave and Laura AND Marlyn of Montreal Confections)

I'll work on a list of things to bring as soon as possible. It's been crazy around here with Dave and I trying to get all our A Dozen Eggs work done so we can take a little "vacation". Yesterday we delivered 244 cupcakes and a cake to TWO weddings, so we're a little tired.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Pie Contest!!

Apricot Raspberry Pie

So, if you hadn't read in my previous post, I'm planning on hosting a Pie Contest at the Hoedown this year.
What does that mean to you? (and by you, I mean all 8 readers...and all FOUR that actually have posted comments so far...ahem)

Lemon Meringue Pie 

 It means that you need to make your best pie and bring it to the Hoedown. And if you don't want to do that, you can be a judge. And if you don't want to do either of those things, well, you don't have to,  and I won't think any less of you. But I might think you aren't as much fun. (which I guess would be thinking a little bit less of you, sorry)

Blueberry Pie

If you would like to enter your best Pie in the Pie Contest, here's the info:

Bring your best pie with you.

It must be a dessert pie, no savory pies please, the crust must be made from scratch (no frozen, store bought crusts PLEASE!!) The filling must be home made (NOT from a can, for God's sake Not from a can!!)

Be prepared to have you pie judged by our expert panel

Strawberry Pie 

Here is what they will be judging on a 50 point scale:

Overall appearance
  • texture and consistency of crust or topping 5 points
  • Inside texture (runny, firm, juicy) 5 points
  • Flavor strength and balance of ingredients 10 points
  • Taste of crust 5 points

Overall Impression
  • Memorableness of Pie 10 points
  • Is the pie impressive? 5 points
  • Level of Creativity 10points
Are you nervous??

Lattice Apple Pie with Mexican Brown Sugar

Don't be, it's not as serious as it sounds. It will be fun and if you win, you will get a fun prize and Bragging rights. And POSSIBLY a big Blue Ribbon!!  Plus the Pie Contest won't be until 2pm, so you'll have an hour to drink up some Sangria, and that will make everything way more fun.

Espresso Cream Pie

I have a whole big list of tips for anyone entering the pie contest, but it's really long and I don't want to bore anyone. I also don't have a lot of time to type it all right now, but if you're interested in the list, let me know and I'll either mail it to you or post it here as soon as I can.

Peach Cardamom Pie

This will be our 5th annual Hoedown and our 1st annual Pie contest, so let's make it fun and memorable!

Coconut Key Lime Pie

Oh, and there is a schedule of events this year and you definitely don't want to miss it. I'll post that tomorrow, along with my finalized menu!!

If you would like to enter a pie in the contest, leave a comment or email me (, or message me on Facebook.
You can even TWEET me @a12eggs.

Seriously, you might even get bonus points if you try one of the recipes I've linked underneath each of these awesome pie photos!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Let the FUN Begin!

Until now Dave has been carrying the weight around here, while I sit and make lists. Sooo many lists. 
Today was my first day of REAL labor.
I ironed. Until I thought I might drop dead.
All the table cloths (7 really big ones) and somewhere around a million bandanas. Okay, maybe not a million, or even close, but it sure felt like it.

I forgot to take the before pic. They were a hot mess, and a much more impressive stack, when they were a crumpled mass.

I did manage to get a shot of the mountain of table cloths. 

After. All under control and safely stored in the guest room closet.

I spent an hour fluffing the tissue pom poms back into recognition. Thankfully, they were not damaged by the Great Basement Flood of 2k11, but they were smushed into two little boxes.

I'm working on gathering all the supplies and decorations in the closet. I'm almost done, but still need to get to the party store for more plates and paper cups for the kids.
I've decided that it might be cheaper, and more green, to buy more bandanas instead of paper napkins. We've already got a ton.
Most of the silverware is clean and ready to go.

16 bottles of (cheap) merlot for the Sangria.

After the ironing and fluffing, I switched over to waffle making. Since we'll have a house full as well as a bunch of campers, we'll be serving waffles with maple syrup and fruit for breakfast on Sunday.
Hey, if you're staying in VT for the night, you should come by for some waffles!!
Franklin was super interested in the waffle making. 
I made 6 batches of Belgian waffles, which sadly only made 42 waffles. I might make another batch next weekend. They're all double wrapped in foil and stored in the bakery freezer.
I got some breakfast sausages at the Farmer's Market yesterday, but I'm sure I'll need more.

Midway through my first batch of waffles, it was time for a drink.

I didn't even think to take a photo of the waffle making process, which probably would have been more interesting than a pile of wrinkled table cloths.

My drink is interesting though? No? 
I got this awesome glass at a thrift SUPERSTORE in Brattleboro a couple of months ago. I also got some cheap silverware there. Some of you will be lucky enough to use it. (not the glass, the silverware)
I lurve my Peanuts glass. Evidently this was made before Lucy switched careers and became a psychiatrist.

Here are some of my lists. A map/plan-o-gram for the tent and table set up, the menu, grocery list, to do list, things to buy list, things to buy online list, and a second to do list. 
I almost forgot!! There are also a few pages of How To Host a Pie Contest!!
I'll be posting the Pie Contest info tomorrow, so if anyone has a super monkey, fabulous pie recipe that you'd like to make and enter in the contest, check back Tuesday!!
We're also looking for Judges for the pie contest.
And just so you know, I'm not making a pie for the contest.

This is my Party Binder. I keep my lists, recipes and receipts in there. I'll be making more detailed lists as we get closer, so detailed they'll have timelines and schedules.
I'm a little bit insane, but I'm hoping this will be the best Hoedown yet, and I'll be able to relax and enjoy  some time with you all.
(those are Dave's Doritos BTW) We won't have those at the Hoedown. Unless I can make them from scratch. NOT.
In case you hadn't noticed, I'm watermark crazy. 
Don't forget to check back for Pie Contest rules and info, the menu and more exciting footage of my crazy party preparations.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

If at first you don't succeed in building a dam, try, try again.

All you faithful readers are no doubt aware of the attempt to redirect some of the fresh water from the culvert into the pond so that all the barbequers who want to go swimming can enjoy some fresh, clean water.

Just to refresh your memory, here's what Dam 1.0 looked like.

This solution worked well enough, but if you know me, you know I am the kind of person that doesn't accept "well enough". I am constantly striving for prefection.

Introducing "Dam 2.0"

As you can see, we've added the second tube, which allows for more water into the pond, connected to a complex system of pressure treated wood and nine screws. All held together with a tube of caulking.

I know I can always fall back on my civil engineering degree!

Heavy rains yesterday were a great test for Dam 2.0. The water below the dam is forced into the pond, while the rest of the water is free to flow into the brook! It can't fail.

And if it does, I know who I can get to take the fall.

There's nothing like waiting until the last minute....

If you've been to the MoHo Hoedown before, you are no doubt in constant amazement of the wonderful landscaping of our property. Especially the stairway which leads to the lower lawn...

Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but this is what it usually looks like about an hour before everyone shows up....

This year, however, we are trying to be a little more prepared, so with the heat wave passed, I was able to get out and get some yard work done in anticipation of the BBQ.

I cleaned up the stairs.

We also had three of these crazy/prickly/dangerous plants growing in the lawn.

I removed them with a rake and my cutters and dumped them on the other side of the road that runs behind the house. Out of sight, out of mind!

I was also able to cut some of the low/dead branches from the pine trees, lest any branches fall off and knock out some unsuspecting barbequers.

I'd like to give a shout out to Laura's dad for giving us a telescoping tree saw. He also taught me that the safest way to cut branches is from the top of an unsteady ladder.

What better way to end a day of yard work than a dip in the pond with the dogs!

Stay tuned for "The One Where They Build A Dam, Part 2"....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The One Where They Build a Dam....

This picture was taken in late September 2010. 

This picture was taken last week.

Heavy rains in late September 2010 really caused the brook to run high. Though it was exciting to see, it eroded the ground around the culvert which runs under the road and diverts fresh water into the pond. So for the last few months there has been no fresh water running into the pond (other than rain water).

So, with the BBQ approaching and the pond looking rather murky, it was time to call in the big guns!

Our plan. Build a dam right after the culvert to raise the water level and add a longer tube to collect the water from deeper in the culvert. Piece. Of. Cake.

 Getting to work!

Into the culvert!

Laying the pipe.

Keep it in place with some cinder blocks.

Use some additional blocks to raise the water level and....

Viola! The pond once again starts filling up with fresh water.

With a little luck the dam will hold and the pond will be ready for everyone's enjoyment during the BBQ! And I'll be more than happy to give everyone a tour when they come up. It might look something like this....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

This isn't Barbecue music....

That's a phrase I've been hearing a lot lately.

Here's a snapshot of some of the tunes you'll be hearing at the BBQ. At the bottom you'll notice we've pared it down to 16.2 hours. We started at around 20 hours of music, but not every song out there is BBQ worthy. Hence the phrase "This isn't Barbecue music....".

Anywho, you can expect a lot of late sixties/early seventies bands as this is one of my favorite music eras. We also have lots of great chillwave/indy rock bands like Grizzly Bear, Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire and Animal Collective. What! You've never heard of Animal Collective...

That was them on Dave Letterman... great, huh? Also, we will be looking for volunteers to dance under sheets during the karaoke portion of the BBQ.

I also want to give a big shout out to Brian from the Intoxicators (what, you've never heard of the Intoxicators?!? Geesh, where have you guys been?).

How can you not love a band with a song titled "Homemade Septic Tank"? Anyway, Brian sent me a great mix cd with a bunch of great BBQ songs that I never would have found on my own.

If you've got any summertime/bbq favorites let me know and I'll see if they fit in the mix. I can't make any guarantees. You'll never know if your song will warrant a "This isn't Barbecue music...."