Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Today was the last day of dog training for a week or so. A weekend long seminar, an extra lesson plus a nose work class and I am about dogged out! Actually its more of I'm tired of driving and being cold. We had a great group of people and with the help of some really experienced trainers the puppy made great advances as did Ludovic.

As I did chores today I noticed one of the goats looking like she was starting to bag up. I am sure she is nowhere close but with the threat of freezing rain in the forecast it would be Murphy's law she'd pop a baby out tonight if I didn't lock her up. I brought most of the girls in to keep her company. I fed the milk to the chickens for the third day in a row. They can't wait for me to pour that warm milk into a bowl! I hurriedly gathered a load of fire wood and got in the house.

The reason I was in such a big hurry? I was excited about  supper! Tonight I was making stuffed shells using the cottage cheese from last week and deer meat from the boys hunt this past Fall. It's the small things that can bring great pleasure.
They were delicious. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

Busy Morning In The Kitchen

Ms. Violet is blessing us with lots of milk. On the top of my to-do list was to make cottage cheese for stuffed shells that I plan on making Monday for supper. I had hoped to get yogurt made but that didn't happen. I also had more mushrooms to can and dehydrate and this go round I planned to canned the mushroom stock.
The first thing I did (besides drinking coffee and rotating dogs ;-)) was to rinse the mushrooms and put them in the dehydrator. I had enough for 7 trays.

Next I started the cottage cheese. I heated the milk to 90* added some buttermilk and rennet and set it aside to do it's thing.

Then I started on the mushrooms to be canned. Since I was keeping the stock this time I washed them really well. I sliced...and sliced...and sliced. I was just getting mushrooms ready to go in the canner when a friend that wanted to visit and learn about homestead stuff arrived. Her extra set of hands came in handy.
While the mushrooms were processing we strained the stock and I put her to work bringing the cheese up to temperature and stirring it until it was done. I jarred the stock and got it in my other canner.

We drained the cheese and when the stock was done we headed to the barn to feed and milk. She is practicing milking. Now back to the house to strain milk, jar it and get her on her way. I made butter from the cream I had skimmed this morning. At this point we have more than we can eat so I am freezing it in half cup portions.

Back down to barn to feed the chickens the whey from the cheese and butter, gather a load of firewood and I was almost ready to call it a day! Last thing to do was cook up a bunch of marked down meat for the dogs as I am attending a 3 day obedience seminar with 2 of the dogs starting tomorrow. Hubby has graciously offered to feed those days but draws the line at milking. That will get done when I get home each evening. 


Happy weekend my friends. I catch up with you the first of the week!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Old Books Revisited, Making Panir Cheese

While drinking coffee this morning I flipped through this sweet little book that I have had forever. It was written in 1991 and I refer to it often for simple dairy recipes. My fridge is now loaded with several gallons of milk and I need to use some up. My favorite recipe in this book is for Panir cheese, sometimes referred to as fry cheese because it doesn't melt. WHAT? A non-melty cheese? Absolutely. I like to season it and fry in a little butter (sometimes I go so far as to bread it too!) It is nice to crumble in salads or toss in a veggie stir fry. The best part is that it is so easy to make.

I skimmed the cream from the milk (butter tomorrow) and measured 2 gallons. In a large pot I heated the milk stirring occasionally until it reached 185*. Then I slowly poured 2/3 cup of white vinegar into the milk while stirring slowly. It will curdle almost immediately. Once it curdled I ladled into a mold layering the curds with salt.
Then I placed a heavy bowl full of water on top (primitive but it works!) and let it sit while I finished evening chores. 
 After a couple of hours of pressing I unmolded it and there was my beautiful block of Panir cheese.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Starting Seeds

Yep it's time. Sis has got some beautiful lettuce started in the greenhouse but believe it or not it is time to start seeds for the spring and summer garden.
It was a cold damp day here on our homesteads so she built a small fire in the wood stove and warmed the greenhouse. Since she had to work later than anticipated Mom and I were put in charge of seed starting duty. Scary, yes. I can say without a doubt she was inspecting our work shortly after we were done! I am more the animal person and Mom well, she is a little scattered. That may explain all the cauliflower that's in the garden that no one remembers starting. Good job Mom, it's gorgeous!
 Today we started a broccoli blend of 4 different varieties. They should produce until the weather gets hot. We also started 8 different kinds of peppers and some snapdragons. A lot still yet to do. Hopefully we will finish most by the end of the week.


 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Homemade Butter

Today I made butter with all that luscious cream from Friday's milk. In today's modern times it is quite easy. I didn't hand churn it, although I have as a child, I used my blender. I carefully skimmed all the cream off the milk and put it in the blender then turned it on high. Wa-La butter in a matter of just a few minutes!
I drained off all the "buttermilk", then washed it. To do this I placed the butter in a bowl of ice cold water to keep it from getting too soft and kept pushing on it with the back of a spoon changing the water every few minutes until it ran clear. After I drained off the last of the clear water I continued to mash the butter until all the water was out of it. I added salt to taste and molded it into a roll.
The finished product minus a few slices that were slathered on hot corn bread!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Now I've Got Milk!

As promised the stanchion was finished on Thursday. It is working out so well! Thursday's milking was a little tough and I was only able to save about a 1 1/2 quarts. The chickens and cats got the rest that had bits of hay and dirt floating in it. Friday was better and I got 1 1/2 gallons. Today hardly any kicking at all and 1 3/4 gallons.

Today's milk. Possibly next weeks cheese!
Yesterday's milk. Definitely tomorrow's butter! I put a rubber band on the cream line.😋

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Got Milk?

Well... yes and no...
Let's just say I have a milk cow.
The last couple of days have been quite interesting. It seems Miss Violet has a stubborn streak, about a mile wide!! The first 2 days she has been here have been a battle. Not that she is mean but she is just not going for being milked by hand.She has always been machine milked. I have managed to squirt enough on the ground to keep her from getting mastitis. 
That ladies and gentlemen is about to change tomorrow morning! A stanchion is set to be erected at daylight. Hubby has nabbed a couple of his guys and as soon as it is done I'll be running her hiney in it. Stay tuned ;-)