Tripp didn't make it. I HATE this part of animal-ownership! :sigh:
To distract myself, I made 2 batches of cheese - the first, Queso Fresco, a quick, semi-hard cheese. The 2nd, Farmhouse Cheddar - it's in the hanging to drain stage right now. IF I timed it right, the Queso Fresco will be ready to come OUT of the press at the same time the Cheddar needs to go in. (If not, I have a cheap press - our first one - that you don't know how much pressure is being used. It'll work to finish, if need be.)
Also: last night Herself and I revamped my soap boxes. Same boxes, same labels, but we're adding a strip of scrapbook paper over the top. Adds color, lets me know which soap is which...we'll see how it works. I can't guarantee the same papers, of course, but for now I'm happy with it.
I'm getting ready to re-vamp the soap storage, too - right now, all the ready-to-sell soaps are in 1 large Rubbermaid box; the not-quite-ready ones are in another. It works....but I have to rummage thru a lot of soaps to pull out specific ones...and you can't tell HOW MANY of each I have.
I'm going to pick up some plastic shoeboxes - 1 box per scent. There's room in the armoire to store them....and it'll make things more organized. I like organization...even if I'm not
Had to go to the office today, so no cheese - but I did whip up a batch of shaving soap. One of my customers buys 3 or 4 bars every time he sees me, and I discovered I'm out. I won't see him again until October (maybe), so it's all good - I have time for it to cure.
Banded the 3 Cashmere bucklings today - this way we can keep 'em. More Cashmere for *me*!
Tripp is still hanging in there...but it doesn't look good. I gave him Gatorade today - what the heck, it can't hurt (at this point), and it might help. :fingers crossed:
And I found something interesting in the Dragonsblood:
Do you *see* it? That's the coolest swirl I've ever done - I never would have expected to have a DRAGON in my soap!!!!! Unfortunately, I have no idea how it occurred, and it's the only one....and no, this particular bar is NOT going to be sold. Or used. :lol:
Here, let me give you a view of the rest of the bars:
The yellow-and-green is Cedar and Saffron (we need to come up with a name for it), the red-and-green is Dragons Blood (soap name: Chimera, because a chimera is a goat-headed dragon. :wink:), and the solid rose is Rosehip-Jasmine (soap name: Grandma's Flower Garden) - it was supposed to be a rose-in-natural swirl, but, well.....stuff happens. It's sill good soap, just not as "pretty" as I wanted. (Huh. In the photo, I can see a faint swirl in the front one.....guess I need to reserve judgement until it cures. Sometimes the colors shift a little bit.)
Today's cheese: Wensleydale. The first batch of Wensleydale I did kinda flopped - it didn't press into a nice, coherent block; it was just pieces of curd squished together. Not sure why - usually 50 lbs of pressure makes a nice, solid block - but there was no way I could wax it neatly, so it got tossed and I started a new batch. :shrug:
Yesterday DH made me a lovely batch of chocolate cherry ice cream. :mmmmmm: 8 oz of Penzey's Dutch Process Cocoa, 2 oz of Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate, 2 bottles of Marashino Cherries, Fresh Goat's milk, Cream......:mmmmmmmmm: It's yummy! And all MINE, since no one else in this house likes cherries. :heh:
Tripp is hanging in there - he took a little more milk this AM. I've got a lady coming out Wednesday to look at the 2 Alpine bucklings; she's told me she's got her crate in her car, so she's pretty sure she'll be taking one home. :yippee!: I got an email last night from someone else looking for a buckling......I HOPE they both sell. That'll leave me with 3 boys to re-home....
I need to go work on labels. Fun stuff!
We have a sick goat - a buckling. Unfortunately, we have too many boys, so I'm not going to do anything heroic for him. It's a sad part of this life - the boys aren't needed, and they aren't worth as much as the girls - even though they are half your herd! :sigh:
It's one of Risky's...the pretty one. Jordie (we call him "Tripp") has runny poo, isn't eating, and has lost a lot of weight in a very short amount of time. I'm thinking it's dehydration - the waterer was FILTHY (my son has been chastised - it's his job to keep the waterers filled and clean, and he's been slacking) and I think Tripp decided it was too nasty to drink. We've moved him into the kid area in the barn, with fresh water; I've given him a dose of Banamine (for any pain), a dose of Oxytetracycline (in case it's a bug), a couple of doses of Thiamine (for his appetite...and just in case it's polio) AND I treated him with Baycox again (it's 1 dose for cocci......but just in case.) We're now in wait-and-see mode. (DH said he just took another 1/3 of a bottle - yes, he's weaned, but we're still giving the boys 1 bottle/day - because we have the milk. This is a good sign...I hope!)
Cheese: Today is Manchego. I just ordered the culture for Swiss, so I'll be making some of that soon.
Soap: The dragon's blood is AWESOME. The Cedar and Saffron is nice....but Grandma's Flower Garden kinda flopped. It's still good soap, but my swirl...didn't. I have a lovely batch of rose-colored soap. :lol: I know what happened - as I was getting ready to swirl the rose into the natural, my left hand lost it's grip and I ended up kinda dumping the whole container of rose into the rest. So....no swirl - but it's a lovely shade of rose, and it smells great. :lol:
Today it was Monterrey Jack - but I think (no, I KNOW) I screwed it up.
See, all hard cheeses start out the same: heat your milk to x*, add your starter and hold at x* for y minutes. Add your rennet and hold for another y minutes (might be the same, might be longer/shorter.) Cut the resulting curds into various sizes, let set for yet another y minutes, then heat to x*. Usually stirring. Let set another y minutes. Drain whey, add salt (sometimes), then put in mold and press. Simple, right?
Only some cheeses add steps. Like Monterrey Jack, for example - you raise the temp, then drain off HALF the whey (which I did), then you ADD COOL WATER to drop the temp from 100* to 80*-ish, hold for 30 minutes, then drain for 20 and then press.
I....didn't add the water, so I held the curds at 100*. :sigh: Still – it looks normal, tastes OK, so I'm gonna keep on and age it. We'll see what the difference is in 4 months or so. (Cheese is cheese is cheese, and it'll be edible. Just...might not taste like it's supposed to. :lol:
I used 2 gallons (to get 2 pounds of cheese)...I need to do a soft cheese too. That'll use up another gallon.....and it looks like I need to make cheese tomorrow, too. Our r
Today, instead of cheese, I soaped. I refilled Grandma's Flower Garden, then decided to play. The other 2 batches are Dragon's Blood (nice, dark green with red swirls; smells DIVINE!) and Cedar and Saffron (Lemon yellow with grass green swirls). I'll post 'em to the soap page in 4 weeks!
I decided, after a LOT of thought, that I needed to have a farm-specific blog. So...here we go. I'm still going to be posting to my LJ (and there's still a tab at the top of the website for it!), but this will be for farm-specific posts.
My cheese-making will go here, as well as soap, and I'll also be noting anything we do with/to the goats here - like breeding, medicating, etc. Yeah, it might be boring to most of y'all, but I need a place I can note this stuff down, and where I can quickly FIND the info. (Try estimating due dates when you can't remember WHEN you put the bucks in with the does. Lots of fun, that!)
So, yeah...now I have 3 active blogs (my LJ is mirrored at Dreamwidth)....whee! :lol:
We're just a family living the good life in the country. With goats. (And horses, chickens, and dogs. But the goats outnumber everybody else!)
Cast of Characters:
SG: short for "Sweet Geek", the man of the family