To call the "Beekman Boys" one of America's most untraditional (read: interesting) power couples would be an understatement.
Josh Kilmer Purcell, 44, is a best-selling author, former ad executive by day and drag queen by night. His husband, Brent Ridge, 40, is a physician and ex-VP at Martha Stewart Omnimedia. Together, they bought a 19th century farmhouse called the Beekman Mansion in upstate New York, started a successful international lifestyle business featuring products made from their beloved goat herd, filmed it all for reality TV and then won "The Amazing Race" so they could afford to keep living there and doing what they love.
Together for nearly 15 years, they got married in June and recently launched "The Fabulous Beekman Boys" on the Cottage Life network in Canada. They also just published a cookbook, The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook: 100 Delicious Heritage Recipes from the Farm and Garden.
During a recent interview in Toronto, it was easy to see why they click. They joke that Brent is the more "uptight Martha Stewart perfectionist" and Josh "the laidback Midwestern guy" but they still finish each other's sentences, have the same cheeky sense of humour and knack for looking glamorous in old-fashioned plaid and rubber boots.
While American Thanksgiving is still a long way off, we got the scoop on how to get a Turkey drunk, the most romantic thing about living on the farm and what they're thankful for this year.
What does a big turkey dinner mean on the farm?
Brent: Typically we’ll do the killing ourselves. We learned how to do that from Martha. She told us how to let the turkey drink bourbon first, which helps relax it, then you off its neck. It relaxes them.
Josh: Us drinking bourbon first helps us take off the neck.
What's the most romantic thing about living on a farm?
Brent: The most romantic thing is probably just the views. You walk out onto the back porch and you’re in awe of how beautiful the area is.
Josh: One of the other romantic things is when we’re really busy, when we have our festivals, or during Christmas shipping season, or when we launched the Mortgage Lifter (heirloom tomato sauce) and we sold 7,000 jars on our first day and then we had to ship them, whenever we have a time like that, invariably somebody stops by the store or stops by our farm with dinner. Somebody brings us dinner, and I think that is the sweetest thing ever.
What are you most thankful for this year?
Brent: Probably "The Amazing Race" still.
Josh: Oh my God, I was going to say — what else happened this year, Brent?
Brent: We got married.
Brent: But that was going to happen inevitably.
Josh: I would like you to write that Josh was most thankful for getting married and Brent was most thankful for a million dollars.
Brent: But were it not for the "Amazing Race" you wouldn’t be there full time and we wouldn’t be married.
Any tips for planning a Thanksgiving dinner?
Josh: Elastic pants.
Brent: We call them our Thanksgiving pants.
Josh: So we always dress up on the top, and then wear pyjama bottoms.
Brent: They’re like really nice pyjama bottoms that match our blazer and our bowtie. Because then it’s just fun and you feel comfortable.
Any other quirky family traditions?
Josh: His family history is like Stove Top Stuffing and…
Brent: Because for us, we don’t want to spend all the time in the kitchen, we want to eat and then go for a walk in the woods and then do things with the family, so my mom would always make the turkey which was like the big centrepiece but then everything else was just like…
Josh: Stove Top Stuffing.
Josh: So we still make Stovetop stuffing for him every year for Thanksgiving but then I make a whole separate thing of stuffing for the rest of the guests.
Brent: I do love Stove Top Stuffing. You know there are those things from your childhood or college years that you’re like "I love that" -- like ramen noodles, Hostess cupcakes -- it's salty breadcrumbs.