recipe
Sep
14
2009

NotQuiteJuneCleaver’s Got THE SCOOP! oh, and a giveaway, too.

Contest Closed But PLEASE read the interview and feel free to comment.  Congrats to Nicole, the winner of the drawing!
As many of you may know the past few days have brought about many changes for my friends The Farm Chicks. As of  11 September 2009, there is now The Farm Chick, as Teri has retired from the business.  What relief we all felt finding out Serena would be carrying on and bringing us more of what we grew to love about The Farm Chicks!  I can’t tell you all what it meant to me to have Serena take the time and effort to answer my questions and share what’s going on with all of you.  She was very generous with her responses and you will love what you read.

Not only do I have The Scoop for you, I also have a signed copy of  the beautiful book, The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen!
farmchickbook
Are you excited yet? Yeah, I thought so.  This book is absolutely beautiful.  From cover to lovely cover.  Oh, and that’s not all…an apron of course.  I am making an apron especially for this!  Actually I am making two…one for me!  When I started designing it, I thought ~ I can’t give this away!! I want it!  So, of course, I am making two…one for me and one for the winner of this drawing.  You lucky chick, you!

Before I get on to the interview let me tell you quickly how to enter to win.  Leave me a comment telling me you want to be that lucky chick! That’s it.  I won’t make you tell a story or share an anecdote, BUT if you would like to leave well wishes for Serena as she steps into the limelight solo, that would be sweet of you.  Won’t get your name in twice, but sure would be nice.  Awww, I made a rhyme. You will have from today until Sunday morning when I will draw the winner!

Now with out further ado, help me welcome Serena Thompson of The Farm Chicks to the house! WOOT WOOT WOOT!
Serena

NQJC:  Serena, welcome!  I can’t express to you how honored I am that you took the time to do this interview. The news of the day is the fact that there is now a Farm Chick. I am trilled to be able to talk with you about the changes coming up.  Thank you so much for your time and help in bringing “all the news that is news” to my readers and your fans!  I understand you are continuing on with this business we have all fell in love with and for that we are all so glad.


NQJC: What has being a Farm Chick meant to you and how has it changed your life?
ST: I’ve been able to celebrate my simple life as a homemaker, and I think, help bring some validity to it.  It’s a life I’ve chosen and I love it.  Being a part of The Farm Chicks business has allowed me to become an entrepreneur, which has been really rewarding.

NQJC: What does the immediate future hold for The Farm Chicks now that it is The Farm Chick?
ST:The Farm Chicks will stay The Farm Chicks.  I won’t change the name to be singular.  It’s a brand we’ve built and it really stands for more than just one or two people.  It represents a lifestyle – that of a happy life.  You won’t see many changes at the moment.  The next Farm Chicks Show will continue on as planned, in June 2010.  I have many avenues I am continuing to explore, but need to be selective and take my time.  It’s important to me that I stay with the vision that I have for The Farm Chicks and not make hasty decisions.

NQJC: Will this change the focus of The Farm Chicks business and the kinds of products you offer?
ST: The focus of The Farm Chicks will stay on course, while continuing to explore the opportunities that come my way.  Yes, I will continue on with the show.  I love it, and it is the roots of this business.  I will be adding more paper products in the near future and am considering what else I’d like to offer.

NQJC: Do you see yourself taking on another partner or do you think you will be happy as a “solo act”?  Will you continue to “put yourself out there” even though you will be in the spotlight alone?
ST: I won’t be taking on another partner.  I will carry on with the support of my family and friends.  I consider my role in this business to be a public role and know that comes with being an author, blogger, and contributing editor of a magazine.  I’m comfortable with it and am thankful for the opportunity to share what I love.

NQJC: How will this affect your Christmas book that we are all anxiously waiting for?  Will you continue to write books and if so, do you have somethings in mind?
ST: That will be up to the publisher to decide.  They have been incredibly supportive through this transition.  I would love to continue to write books, as long as I feel like I have worthwhile subjects to write about.  I want to create things I can continue to be proud of.

NQJC: We still be able to find you in Country Living?
ST: Yes.

NQJC: Do you ever say “What have I gotten myself into”?
ST: Sure.  There have been several opportunities that have presented themselves in the past, that would have been a really big deal.  In the end, they just weren’t the right fit for us and we had to move on.  I’m glad we walked away, as we wouldn’t have been happy.

NQJC: Now there are a few specific questions about your lovely book The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen.

NQJC: Did you ever imagine you would have such a great following, national magazine column and now a BEAUTIFUL cookbook?
ST: No, I had no idea any of this would come to be.  We thought we might have a huge antique show someday, but couldn’t have predicted the other aspects of the business.  It continues to humble me.

NQJC:  I notice the title: Country Living The Farm Chicks  in the Kitchen.  Did the folks at Country Living approach you about this idea? And did you have creative control over the outcome?
ST: Country Living produces a certain number of books each year.  They approached us about doing a book with them.  We were able to tell them the subjects we were interested in writing about and they chose the cookbook from that list.  We were involved all along the way.

NQJC: Did you know what you wanted the book to look like before starting?
ST: We both had visions in our minds, and the designer was able to sort of take our feel and design from there.  We were really happy with the end result.
NQJC: Is it what you thought it would be?
ST: Not exactly, but that’s a good thing.  Neither of us had any experience in the publishing world and we needed to listen to their vision, which came from our original outline.  It evolved into the book you see today.

NQJC: An did you look to other cookbooks/lifestyle books for inspiration?
ST: Not really, although we both really loved the ooey gooey sticky chewy cookbook and hoped it would feel “happy” like that cookbook does.

NQJC: What do we have to look forward to with your upcoming Christmas book?
ST: Lots of decorating ideas, Christmas projects, and recipes.

NQJC: Now that I have picked your brain about business changes and books, and got The Scoop, let’s move on to some fun questions! Are you ready?

NQJC: I read on your blog about your “gypsy” childhood and was so touched because I too, had a fairly unusual family growing up. Tell us a little about your childhood and how you think it influence your creative spirit. Take as much space as you want here! I am intrigued and I know I am not the only one!
ST: As you know, the early years of my life were spent in our family gypsy wagon, traveling about the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.  I was born in a rickety little cabin in the woods of Siskiyou County, California, where my parents had parked the gypsy wagon at the time.  The one room cabin had a dirt floor, and my dad delivered me.  My sister, Heather, who was five at the time, claimed me as her baby doll and really was like a mother to me.

We had very little money, as my parent’s income came from selling postcards of the gypsy wagon, at each little town we’d travel through.  Hippies were definitely a novelty at the time and we’d always attract a crowd, television crew, or newspaper reporter.  Since money was scarce, we lived very simply.  Food was purchased in bulk, clothes were handmade, and extras like furniture and toys came from landfills.  My parents are both extremely creative people, so they always made things aesthetically pleasing.  When bulk food was purchased, it would be put in a pretty jar.  Dish soap would go in old cobalt blue medicine bottles with beautiful glass stoppers, and old advertising was treated like art – which at the time was unheard of.  I couldn’t help but be influenced by their creative and adventurous spirits.  I don’t hesitate jumping into the car with the family with no notice, and just seeing where we end up.  Sometimes, spontaneous adventures are better than those that have been planned out.  And creatively, I learned early on, there are no rules.  Just fill your home with happy things that have meaning for you.  But I think the biggest thing that came from my childhood is that I lived much of my life in silence, especially after my brother and sister left home.  Deep in the woods, with no electricity, television, or other modern conveniences.  So, I had a lot of time to bake, read, daydream, and think about my life.  I always told myself that I would make something of myself someday and have a family of my own to love, and that was my dream.  And now that I’ve accomplished my dreams, I’m content and I want others to be as well.  And that’s why I spend a lot of time on the blog, trying to bring attention to other businesses and celebrate others and their creativity.

NQJC: Was there any one particular person that inspired you to follow your dreams?
ST: Many of my childhood teachers had an impact on me, but one in particular, Miss Goughnour, who was my Home Economics and Future Homemakers of America teacher.  She taught me to sew on an electric sewing machine (I only had a treadle machine), and encouraged my love for baking.  She always told me I had special talents and encouraged me along the way.  I was overjoyed when I heard from her a few years ago when she saw me in an issue of Country Living magazine.

NQJC: When did you begin cooking?
ST: I’ve been cooking as long as I can remember.  I made many family meals and almost every dessert.
NQJC: And who was most influential in your love of cooking?
ST: I was always told I had the spirit of my late grandmother, Cecelia in me.  I never had a chance to meet her, but was told what a fancy cook she was and that she did things like tint the cottage cheese before stuffing it into a pear.  So, whenever I’d cook, I’d imagine my grandmother was looking down on me from heaven and I didn’t want to disappoint her.  And I had my grandma Marjorie’s banded bowl set.  So, I had a special family connection every time I was in the kitchen.

NQJC: What is your very favorite meal, including dessert?
ST: This will probably be REALLY disappointing…. Creamed Tuna.  (which is a curried cream sauce with tuna, served over rice).  I grew up eating it, and whenever we had it, it was a really big deal.  I think it’s probably one of those things that unless you grew up eating it, you’d not really like it if you tried it now.  My favorite dessert is Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream.

NQJC: What kitchen gadget can you not do with out?

ST:This sounds silly, but I can’t really think of a kitchen gadget I can’t do without.  Since I taught myself to cook without any special gadgets, I wouldn’t be lost without them.  I recently got a Kitchen Aid and a Cuisinart, and when I purchased the Cuisinart at William Sonoma, the cashier asked, “Aren’t you a Farm Chick?”  I told her I was and she said she was shocked that I didn’t have a Cuisinart already.  I told her I was just a simple person.  : )  I do love it, but I’d definitely be okay without it.

NQJC: What blogs to you read regularly?
ST: I try to visit the blogs that are listed on our blogroll and those of new visitors when they leave a comment.  I want to stay connected to the readers.

NQJC: What three “things” can you not live without?

ST: My family, friends, and faith.

NQJC: Please in as many words as you like, tell us about your 2010 show?

ST: I think the show just gets better every year and gains more and more energy.  And the vendors just keep stepping it up a notch each time.  The shopping is AMAZING.  I plan on adding more ways for everyone to connect as well, from the vendors, to the shoppers, to me.  I’ve got lots of ideas that I’m fine-tuning at the moment.

NQJC: Serena, thank you again!  It has been a pleasure working with you on this!  Best of luck!

Now y’all get over to The Farm Chicks shoppe! Serena’s having a SALE!

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Of course I want to be the lucky chick lol. : )

Me! Me! I want to be a Farm Chick, instead of just an old gal living on some land!

Laura

Peep! Peep! I truly want to be that Lucky Chick!!!

Valerie

I’d love the be the winning chick! Wonderful giveaway! Good luck Serena!

Sue

I’d love to be the lucky chick, please enter my name and pick it too! LOL

Enter me in the giveaway! Wonderful interview. Just love those Farm Chicks. Serena will do a great job carrying it on.

Oh, I can cook and I can wear my pearls, but I won’t look like her doing it…..but oh, to be inspired by Farm Chicks!! ;) she is a doll and I wish her the best in her adventures! I’ll be a farm chick!! ;)

Suzanne

Victoria

Great interview Susan, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Serena I wish you continued success in all that you do.
Victoria

Mary Jo Baird

Technically, I AM a Farm Chick! I live on a farm! I also want to be a LUCKY Farm Chick and have an autographed copy of the book! If I win the autographed copy, I will give the copy I already have to my daughter in law so she can have one! She, technically, is a Farm Chick, too! Thanks for a GREAT giveaway!

Best wishes, Serena in your solo effort! One never knows what they are capable of until they are challenged! Enjoy the time spent being a Farm Chick!

Rebecca

I would love to be a Farm Chick!!

I would love to be that lucky farm chick!

stephanie larson

My offer still stands, Serena….a spare Farm Chick in Everett, Washington…has a ring to it, doesn’t it :-)

Holly B

Lucky chick! I’m already a farm chick at heart even living in the city!

Betsy Kunz

I would like to be the lucky winner!

Susan!! You are full of surprises. :) I just bought the Farm Chicks cookbook for my friend Cilla’s birthday. I love the whole feel of that book, it’s like a visit with friends. You know I would love to have one on my book shelf!

I’d be honored to be the lucky chick! I love and adore The Farm Chicks. Keep up the great work Serena!

Oh for the faith of a spider, he begins his web without any thread!
Yes. I want to be that lucky chick!

Amy
Kim

WOW! Great interview, Susan!
Congratulations, Serena on continuing to live the life of your dreams. I was inspired by your past upbringing and your connections to your grandmothers even tho’ you had not met. Which is why I always say, our roots are in the cellar – meaning they live on on a cellular level. I know I will be “happy” when I read the new cookbook, because that’s how your interview made me feel.

Hugs to you both for sharing your creative spirits!

Nancy from Mass

I want to be a Farm Chick with a Farm Chicks Cookbook! Although I did not grow up on a farm, my Dad always went overboard with the family garden (40+ tomato plants one year!) to help feed the family of 9 living in the house. I cook almost everything from scratch and would love to add their cookbook to my most-used collection of cookbooks…Oh, and I LOVE aprons! I bring one with me whenever I visit my In Laws because she doesn’t have any and, lets face it, cooking/baking is so much more fun when you’re wearing an apron!
Thanks and love your blog!

Amy

Wishing you all the best Serena! love the farm chicks through and through…

Elizabeth Ford

oooh! I want to be that lucky chick!

Val

What a great interview! Thank you for sharing your talents and a great gift.

Audra

I love new recipes! Plus all the cute tips and ideas Farm Chicks have. please chick me.

Hello! I found you through the Farm Chicks, so how great would it be to be a LUCKY Chick?
Best of luck to Serena as she continues on… and to Teri as she finds a new path …
Thanks – and keep up the blogging – I’m glad I found you!

Siobhan

Would love a copy of this book – the Farm Chicks are so inspiring! I wish I could swap lives with them ;-)

Becky Lambert

Lucky me —-if I win !
Thanks!

Cathryn Grider

I really want to be the lucky chick!

I want to be that luck chick! Would love another apron to add to my collection too!
Rochelle

Jan

I would LOVE to be the lucky chick. I just found The Farm Chicks and your site and LOVE THEM!

Missy

Yay!!! Great giveaway! I wanna be the lucky chick!

Lora

Please add my name to the giveaway. Best of luck to you Serena!

I would love to be the lucky chick!

Dora Taylor

I want be a Farm Chick. Serena are you taking names for Farm Chicks in training? Best of luck to you.

Vicki K

I want to be a lucky chick! This was a heartfelt and genuine interview – just makes me want to hug Serena. Thank you for your thoughtful questions!

Dacia

Good luck in the future Serena…see you in June…I have your cookbook, but am planning on buying one for a friend for Christmas…what fun it would be to give her an autographed copy!!! :)

Pick me!! I want to wear your apron, to look cute and read the ladies book, to gain some in site!

Fun post and great giveaway!

Jessica Williams

I would love to win a copy of this book! I love the Farm Chicks and am so happy that Serena will be continuing the Journey and feeding our souls with goodness!

Margo

Oh yes, I would love to be the lucky chick!!! :-)

Amanda

I’d love to win their cookbook! Love their site!!

faythe

I would love to be a lucky chick…

Lauren

I hope I’m the lucky chic !!!!

Sue

I went to the first Farm Chicks show way back when. I love the style and I am glad to hear that Serena is keeping it going.

I AM a lucky chick in so many ways! Pick me, pick me! :)

Ashley O

I want to be the lucky chick! Thanks :)

Debbie Barrs

I would be thrilled if I was picked for the give away (I never win a thing). I love the farm chicks and what they stood for. I was a stay at home mother of four son’s and they have grown and gone now there are grandchildren. Which I stay at home now and watch until they go to school. So I had to always live on a very tight budget and be creative with what we had or what I found. Seeing these two woman do what they did is incredable and I know that Serana will continue their vision and do a great job at it. I wish them both the very best – even if I’m not picked for the give away – I will continue to follow The Farm Chicks. Which by the way I am so glad that your keeping your name, I always thought it includes us all!

Debbie

I would love to be a lucky chick! I just discovered the Farm Chicks this summer, and now consider myself to be a devoted fan. Serena inspires me…since I just recently made the choice to leave my job and stay home with my children. Good luck to Serena in the future!

Oh ME ME!!! I want one! Thank you so much for doing this interview. What a great day to strat my morning. Serena, I know you will do great things!

Erin Parker

Please enter me. I love the Farm Chicks and your blog.

[...] did a “post announcement” interview with Not Quite June Cleaver blog explaining the direction she is going as a solo act. NQJC is also giving away a copy of the [...]