I still believe magic exists. I know that will probably be met with a big ol’ holiday eye roll but my 35-year-old, cranky self still believes that if you look hard enough or are at the right place at the right time, you can catch a little glimmer of magic.
I had my moment at Prairie Fruit Farms & Creamery Holiday Open House in Champaign last Sunday. My social media calendar has been full of exciting local holiday events and I have had trouble deciding which ones are worth leaving my warm cozy house. Despite the rainy, cold weather, I am thrilled I made the trip for this one.
I have gone to several events at Prairie Fruit Farms & Creamery during spring and summer, but few may know that they are open during the winter as well. Their seasonal hours are Friday 4 pm to 7 pm and Saturday & Sunday 1 pm to 4 pm.
My bundled-up toddler, my husband and I arrived at the event 15 minutes before it ended. In the barn, we were met by two sweet goats dressed in little holiday suits. When my toddler son – who has been learning about farm animals for weeks – realized that goats were REAL, his face beamed with joy. He made “baaaa” noises at the goats and they responded with a “meaaah”. Although the animals had probably interacted with several guests that day, they were incredibly gentle and photogenic.
As our new goat friends prepared to be fed, we made our way into the café. We were warmly greeted by the owners Leslie Cooperband and Wes Jarrell. Despite being well past the close of the open house, the staff served us a hot bowl of carrot ginger soup with a dollop of goat cheese. The flavors worked together so elegantly. For dessert, we had French toast bread pudding with peaches made by Chef Raquel.
After living in Chicago for over 6 years, we are self-proclaimed foodies. After quickly gobbling up the meal in silence, my husband and I sighed in unison that it was the best bread pudding we have ever had.
Before we left, we hit the gift shop. I bought a t-shirt souvenir made of the softest material in existence. We rarely ever leave the farm empty handed as there is a wide selection of goat cheese and gelato made onsite along with several other locally sourced jams, meat, and beer. A holiday gift basket made of any of these items would be a hit.
It was truly a magical trip and one we did not have to go far to experience.