My daughter Dorothy asked the other day if we could go to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. A sad face greeted our news that all our Saturdays for the next couple months are going to be full of soccer games. I woke up yesterday morning and realized that it was Labor Day, and perhaps we could go after all. But, as Paul and I discussed it, we decided there was a lot to get ready for school starting the next day – it just wasn’t feasible to take off to the coast.
Then we had a brilliant idea; we decided to bring the Tillamook Cheese Factory to us. The girls were going to a friend’s house down the street to play and have their hair cut – this would give me the opportunity to create the perfect set-up.
I knew cheese was definitely on the menu and what is a trip to the Tillamook Cheese Factory without a delicious ice cream cone? So, off to the store I went. I had three different types of cheese at home, but I decided to take a quick peek in the cheese aisle to see if maybe I could pick up a flavor the kids weren’t used to. I was also hoping to find some cheese curds, which we affectionately call squeaky cheese – a must have every time we go to the factory. Unfortunately we could not find any squeaky cheese, but as luck would have it, the non-squeaky Tillamook cheeses were on sale! After grabbing a couple fun cheeses, I headed down the ice cream aisle. I wasn’t sure if real Tillamook ice cream would be on the list, but good fortune was with us as I, once again, found fabulous sale prices. Armed with my treasures, I checked out and quickly bolted home to set up our factory.
I cubed the cheeses and put each in a container with a label. Then, I stacked toothpicks at one end – even remembering to include the “Please use one toothpick per sample” sign. At the other end of the counter I placed a little box to throw used toothpicks away in.
The children are always begging us to use the 25-cent candy dispensers, but I rarely have change in my purse. I couldn’t remember if the Cheese Factory had one or not, but I decided it would be a fun addition anyway. I put a bunch of skittles in my candy dispenser with a sign saying that a dispensed handful was 25 cents. It wasn’t a fancy authentic dispenser though, so I had to set a little jar beside it for the quarters.
Then, to advertise the ice cream, I hung little sings from the cupboards above the cheese, that said “Ice Cream Cones $1”. I stood back to survey my work. While it looked rather fun and impressive, it was rather plain. Another great idea struck me – I needed cows! It was a good thing Paul and I were always finding corny cows for each other. I placed cows at each end of the counter and cows hiding between the cheese containers. Now, it looked more authentic.
To add the finishing touch, Paul made a “Welcome to Tillamook Cheese Factory” sign, complete with cows, and hung it on the front door.
Not long after we finished setting everything up the children arrived. Paul met them at the front door and proceeded to take them to the Tillamook Cheese Factory and handed them their $1.50 for ice cream and skittles. I stood behind the counter and took their orders – they even got to choose between two kinds (since it was on such a great sale). They got to eat their ice cream cones on the outdoor patio – and since our Cheese Factory was imagined it got to overlook a pretend ocean, so they got to eat their cones while enjoying a beautiful ocean view (of grass). heh 😀
Dorothy was tickled pink that even though we couldn’t take them to the real thing, we did our best to bring it to her – and all the kids thought it was a ton of fun – a great end to a fabulous summer.