Recently, we took an evening off to have dinner at a strange and kind of wonderful place called the White Fence Farm, down in south Denver.
This actually happened the day before we heard the terrible news about the hospital contamination, which threw us for such a loop. It was such a happy day, spent as a family, but I didn't have the heart to post the pictures after what we saw in the papers when we awoke the next morning.
Now, emerging back into the light of our life, I'm delighted to review them again with joy.
This is the playground area, which is the first thing you come to when you arrive at the farm. I loved this gingerbread treehouse.
While waiting for a table, we stepped out back to the farm's version of a petting zoo, which features the biggest and sweetest bull I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.
Having grown up partially on a cattle ranch in Southern Colorado, I am used to seeing bulls in action...bulls fighting, bulls tending their harem, bulls threatening younger bulls. I have never before met a bull who would eat out of your hand, and let you pet his cheek afterward.
Seriously, look at that face. Never had a mean thought in his life.
There is, however, a sign telling you that you pet at your own risk. Which is only as it should be.
I love feeding goats. I love their little split lips and the gentle way their noses tickle your palm.
I also love feeding sheep, and their cute, innocent, wide-eyed faces. OK, that look of innocence is probably just the sheep version of greed, but it's cute nonetheless.
Once seated, we set about selecting our meal. The White Fence Farm specializes in fried chicken - but this isn't just any fried chicken. This is fried chicken the way it ought to be - pure and fresh as the day is long, sizzling on the outside and tender as clouds on the inside. Chicken is really what you want to order when you go to the Farm. Yes, there are a few (very few) other options, but chicken is - trust me - what you want. With your chicken, you get a set selection of side dishes straight out of another time and place: pickled beets, kidney bean salad, fresh cole slaw, home made corn fritters, and cottage cheese.
Yes, I said "cottage cheese".
When was the last time you had cottage cheese?
And yet, it is curiously appropriate here.
In the above photo, QQ is matching a piece of fried chicken to the cartoon chicken on the restaurant's business card. QQ is a matcher. It's her forté. It's what she does, what she enjoys, and what she excels at.
As good as the fried chicken was (and it was goood!) I'd have to say the best thing on the menu is the homemade corn fritters. They are time-sensitive, so you have to eat them quickly. It's rather like eating sugar-coated cumulus clouds, if you get them straight out of the frier. They're nothing short of amazing.
I had to sneak a shot of the menu, because it's so funny. Click on the photo to zoom in on it.
I mean, when was the last time you saw the word "highballs" on a menu?
After a good meal of (let me emphasize) fried chicken, one is free to explore the various buildings and upper stories of the farm. A small museum of artifacts from a simpler time is one of the many highlights.
I particularly liked the different types of shirt collar.
Having perused the various barns and buildings, we headed back to the petting pens. OK, I may have forced that issue. But...I mean, look at those sheep! Could you have resisted?
For a couple of quarters, you get enough pellets for a long and satisfying feeding session.
I was thrilled to introduce QQ to the miryad joys of feeding livestock by hand.
For her part, Q was more interested in going around and reading all of the signs.
Meanwhile, Mommy remained riveted by the greedy muzzles of various goats and sheep.
I have a small confession to make: I kind of have a thing for sheep and goats. Shortly after these fond photos were taken, I gave in to temptation and kissed one of those sheep right on its nappy little nose.
And I don't regret it. I'm not proud. I'm willing to admit my weaknesses.
Here QQ is pointing out the trademark chicken on one of the signs...delighted to match it once again to the chicken she'd seen on the menu and business card.
Meanwhile....yup, mommy is still zeroing in on sheep.
Q hoping that the sheep will lick the dirt off her hands. Q isn't fond of dirty hands, and is always looking for someone to cleanse her.
In an era where most animal-related attractions are rife with industrial-sized bottles of hand sanitizer, the Farm uses an good old-fashioned pump with well water to wash little sheep-licked hands.
That makes me happy.
We took this picture for Dick....you know who you are ;)
A beautiful doll-sized barn, complete with straw on the floors inside.
And then QQ spotted the best wildlife of all...this miniture bunny, sneaking out from its den to nibble some sweet grass.
This guy was maybe the size of the palm of my hand. When approached by a rabid toddler with a fetish for bunny rabits, he turned tail and sped to safety.
Here he is viewing the world from the safety of his bunker.
More on the White Fence to come....I had too many photos for one post, once again!