Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Rams

I took my 3 ram lambs to my friend's place to eat down her garden area. That was 2 weeks ago this Thursday. It looked like a jungle then. Not now. They have eaten all the bamboo. All the weeds. All the little bushes. All that's left is the middle area with tough grass and English ivy. And those clumps of weedy grass even horses won't eat. We were thinking they were going to stay there at least a month or so. I am thinking I may need to get them back home sooner.

Abraham, the black ram, is always like this. With his head through the fence posts. I called him several times and he never even looked at me. I miss these guys. When I bring them back I'll put them in the back yard with John Henry, the buck. He's a bit lonely back there by himself. He was getting a little too fresh with the little does so he had to go to the back yard til Fall. He can still see and talk to the girls. Just can't be in woth them anymore. So this will be the buck and ram yard for awhile. Til we're all ready to breed.

I need a trailer bad.

Monday, July 16, 2012

What's wrong with this picture?


                                          And this one?


                                           And this one?


                                           And this one?

I'm sure you've all figured it out by now. There is a loose chickie. Yes, another loose chickie. Well, it hasn't happened in quite awhile. And I don't want it to happen again. I THINK I found her spot. And I fixed it. But she got out twice today. I will see if she's out again tomorrow and check more thoroughly. She's a sweetie though.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Corn On The Cob

This is probably all the corn I'll get. But isn't it pretty? It had come up here and there so I mowed all but these few stalks down. They aren't full yet so I'll wait a little longer. It's Silver Queen. I can still see my grandmother sitting at her little kitchen table with a pile of shucked corn and a sharp knife. She'd cut off the kernels from each ear then scrape the cob. I loved that. I'd get splashed with corn milk every time! Such good memories. I think of that every time I do corn.

Making Marinated Feta Cheese

Wednesday I made a batch of goat's milk feta cheese. It's about the easiest cheese to make.  You just take a gallon of fresh milk, heat to 86 degrees, add 1/4 cup of buttermilk. Let sit an hour. Then add 1/2 teaspoon of rennet to a 1/4 cup of cool water. Add to milk, cover and let sit another hour. Then cut the huge pot of curds that have formed. I use a long serrated knife and cut down the middle and then the other way, then sideways. You want about 1" cubes. Let it rest 5 minutes. Then get the milk back to 86 degrees and stir gently for 15 minutes. That's the hardest part for me. I usually go sit down to do this. It's very boring. Then you line a colander with cheesecloth and pour curds and whey in. That's what the first picture is.

Then you hang the cheese for 4-6 hours. After it's hung and drained real good, toy take it out of the cheesecloth and cut the ball in half. Put in a bowl. Then I use kosher salt to sprinkle all over the cheese. Cover it with a thin cloth and let sit on counter for 24 hours at room temp. After 24 hours, sprinkle with more salt and let sit another 2 hours. Then refrigerate for 5 days. After that you can eat it like this or do the next step.

Go out to your herb garden and cut some fresh herbs. I love rosemary, basil, thyme and oregano. So I cut some of those. How do you like my cattle feeder herb garden? It's so pretty and so easy to get to.

 Wash them good and lay on a paper towel. Put another one over the herbs and kind of crush them to let out all the goodness.

 Then get your little jars, olive oil and cheese ready.
I cut my cheese into nice little cubes. Then put a layer in each jar, then a layer of herbs and a head of crushed garlic. Add another layer and more herbs.
 When done, add olive oil to cover cheese. There, all done! As long as cheese is covered in oil, it can sit out on the counter as long as you have some. It really doesn't last very long.
 I have some cute little labels someone gave me so I write down what is in that particular cheese jar and add that. And the date. And there ya go. Marinated feta cheese with fresh herbs in olive oil.
Now y'all go make some for yourselves while I have an omelet with feta cheese and yummy roasted garlic bruschetta poured all over it!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Check this out

I just went over to www.homesteadrevival.blogspot.com and they are having a great giveaway. If you enjoy cooking over a campfire, then this is for you. I would love to win this myself. So good luck!

Notes to self

These are just a few of my lists. I am constantly writing notes. If I am talking to someone and they have something I need to do for them, I write it down as soon as I hear it. Or I will forget right away. I have little note pads all over. Lots in the car. And beside my bed. SO if I think of something I'm supposed to do during the night, I can write it down. My car is full of these lists. I clean it out all the time and there are usually 5 or 6 lists on the floor. All crossed off or checked off. Sometimes I don't get everything done that's on the list. I might add it to the next one. If I didn't make lists, I don't know how I would function.

And I don't go to town every day either. When I do, I make a list of everything I have to do in the order that it has to be done. And it all has to be listed so that all places are on my right. And going to town and then back home. I don't go willy nilly all over the place. No. I have an order to things I do. I hardly ever turn left to go anywhere. Those places that are on the left are saved for the way home so they are on the right then. Saves so much time and gas. I'm not sitting there waiting for traffic to clear or a light to change. This is probably the only time I am organized doing anything.

There have been times where I have had a note in my hand and completely forget what I was doing. Or be thinking and go right past the place I was supposed to go to. So sometimes the lists don't help. I'm sure I am not the only one who has done that, right?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Chickens and Rainy days

    I ordered 50 Freedom Ranger chicks today from www.freedomrangerhatchery.com in Pennsylvania. I spoke with Lisa. She was so nice and helped with a lot of questions. The chicks will be shipped July 25th and will be here probably the 27th. I went to the co-op while I was in town to see if the had unmedicated chick starter and vitamins for their water. They do sell Purina feed that is not medicated so I can keep all that junk away from them. I want basically a free range bird that can feed itself and only need a little supplemental feed. I have a whole yard for them to range in that's fenced in. It sure needs some chickens over there because the sheep have been in that yard. Lots of poop that needs to be spread around!

    I have a friend who gave us a wooden box that will be perfect for a brooder. I hope all 50 will fit. It's about 5x4. I'll be getting another one so I can put them both together. And then use them outside too. I plan to keep them in for about 2-3 weeks. So we'll have at least 4 weeks to make a chicken tractor for when they are small. I want them big enough before I let them loose so they won't go through fencing.

    So I am excited to be getting these chickens. I have heard a lot of good things about them. We shall see how good they are about the end of October.

    It's been raining for the past 2 days now!  It's been so nice. And cool too. I can actually see the trees and grass turning green again and looking very happy. We so needed this rain.I am very thankful for it. I only wish I could have gotten the garden tilled and planted with more things. This would have been perfect. But I still have plenty of time to do that.