Welcome to MY ADVENTURE OF DAILY LIFE. I have long since wanted and been encouraged to document the plethora of items I work on, learn, and in general tinker with. I travel and experience new things far and wide and love to share what I gain from them. Here I am sharing with you not just the amazing but the every day as well. They may not fall under the category of "daring adventure" but I am usually having a blast doing them. Enjoy!
Brrrr! It's been getting chillier and chillier at night and I know that old man winter is on his way. The animals are all putting on their winter coats faster than we can get our winter clothes down out of the attic. Just look at this woolly cow!
One thing I don't look forward to when the weather gets cold is closing up the house. I leave my windows and door open all summer long and let the breezes come in thru the screens. My house always has a fresh summer smell and with an old house, it's hard to keep that when it's closed up. I did find a great recipe for air freshener for my oil diffuser:
- 20 drops of Rosemary Oil
- 8 drops of Grapefruit Oil
- 5 drops of Peppermint Oil
- Add to the water in your diffuser and enjoy the fresh smells!
I don't care how powerful that stink is, this is some awesome stuff.
Last but certainly not least, remember how we got more pears than you could shake a stick at? Well the same thing happened with pumpkins. So for the next week or so, I'll be processing these babies into pumpkin butter and pumpkin pie filling. The piggies will get the scraps and any that are no longer good. If you hear a piggy party going on down at my house, you will know what has happened!
I haven't posted in a couple of weeks because life has been a whirlwind these last few weeks. Milking a cow a couple of times a day has been quite an adjustment to our already crammed pack schedule. You certainly aren't getting any complaints out of us however as we are loving having our own dairy production. It's hard to get it to sink in that we are still just seeing the tip of the iceberg and there is a lot more milk in our future.
Each day we milk twice and let the cream separate. The first time trying with butter was daunting so I took some to my sister's house for her to show me how. My first try with the butter was a failure since I didn't let the cream become room temperature and I was using a mixer. All I got was some really pitiful whipped cream.
The next day at my sister's house, she had this amazing salted butter that I braved some gluten to have on a piece of french bread she had made. Oh. My. Goodness, that butter was amazing and so I thought I have to keep trying. So I went home, let the cream warm up, and then put it in a mason jar. Just like her I shook and rolled it for about an hour. I didn't know what I was looking for but it did seem to change the way it sounded. I knew that you were supposed to hear a clunk clunk and that meant that the butter was formed. When I peaked under the lid this is what I saw!
My only worry was that I had a lot of other things to accomplish in that hour. While I was shaking and rolling this thing, I was also eating dinner, watching puppies, trying to put clothes away, run the vacuum and other assorted every day chores that were done in varying degrees of success. There had a to be a faster better way!
I read online where people had used mechanized means and a blender was mentioned. I was dubious but I went ahead and tried it out. I used the lowest setting and of course made sure my cream was room temperature. EVEN BETTER BUTTER! I got a whole lot more butter out of the cream this way and it only took 7 minutes. It probably doesn't need to be mentioned, but yes the mason jar has been retired and repurposed to something else.
I can't adequately relay my excitement at the fact that not only do we have a new dairy cow but she is also currently producing! She is also pregnant with her next one so we aren't getting as much as we will in the future. Right now we are getting about a half gallon a day which is PLENTY for our current needs. Just look at that cream line!
I will be using this time to get ready for the real milk quantities to start. Mr Brawny tells me she is weaning us off right now and at some point we will have a couple of months with out any. But then the calf will be born and we will have maybe 2 gallons A DAY. I can hardly believe how much that would be!
I have made mozzarella before at a workshop so I know I can use some for that. Tonight I will be trying my hand at cottage cheese or at least the beginning of it. Note to self: Grab a turkey baster on the way home.
Oh and butter. Lots and lots of butter to be had. I don't think we will have a hard time finding uses for the cream, but I am concerned with what to do with so much milk. In the end, I know that nothing gets wasted and I can let it sour for a fantastic treat for the piggies.
The real kicker is that at some point in 2016 Heidi will get pregnant. THEN WHAT IN THE WORLD WILL WE DO? I'm sure the neighbors will enjoy having a supply as well and certainly it's a great bargaining chip for help.
Last but not least, you should know that we named her Fiona. She is a good solid girl, half Jersey, half Charolais. Her girls will be good milk producers and her boys will make good beef cows. So excited!