Friday, May 1, 2015

Spring's Going On

Milk flow is on and the girls are giving lots! I need to work through the process of getting their milk stars. The kids are all growing up and will be starting to go to new homes soon. I'm feeding several bottle babies and still have plenty of milk to drink and make cheese and soap. I'm making lots of Crottin de Coquet, feta, and chèvre.

I've turned in milk samples from the girls to Washington DHIA for butterfat and protein testing. I'm excited to get results  back. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Crottin part 2 and cheese #2

The young cheeses have been taken out of the mold after being turned a second time. They have been salted and are in the drying process on day 2 today. I turned them this morning and they look and smell nice. They are still in my cool office with the window cracked for a breeze. Tomorrow I will put them in the little tiny refrigerator I have set up as my cave for the aging process. They will stay there for at least 2 months because the milk is raw. Within 10 days they should be growing white fuzzy mold so I will document our progress.

The milk I set to ripen yesterday morning with the same amount of culture, rennet and Geotrichum mold powder as the last batch- but used 7 quarts of milk (approx.) instead of 4 gave me a ginormous yield of curd this morning! I remembered too late yesterday that with raw milk you need less culture and rennet than with dead, pasteurized milk.


Here I'm taking the curd I drained for about 10 hours in a drain bag and filling my little Crottin molds.

I'm pretty proud looking at my little cheeses! The top ones are about done drying and ready to go age, and the others will be turned and salted in the morning.

Here's the notebook I use for "make sheets" It's a Decompostion brand with an artisan cheese print. I love it. I also found an apron with a similar print on Amazon. Youn know, just for fun :)

As you can obviously see I'm not professional about this at all. It's not my way. I do keep meticulous records on my goats though.

This Proverbs 31 Collette Crottin. :) She's a 2nd generation miniature Nubian dairy goat. Her beauty aside, she's bred for milk- rich, high protein and butterfat, creamy milk!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Crottin de Coquet Part 1

Yesterday morning I milked my 5 girls and used 2 quarts of the milk for kefir and 1 quart for drinking, a gallon for cheesemaking and the rest to feed the bottle babies and  cats.

I'm making a little French cheese called Crottin. It means "little droppings"  which makes me smile but the cheese looks so divine I had to try! I've been wanting to since winter. 
I strained the milk and while it was still warm I added the chèvre packet of culture and rennet from New England Cheesemaking Supply. I also added 1/16th tsp. of Geotrichum mold powder. 
I stirred it and let it sit until this morning when I labeled the curd into a drain bag and let it hang until lunch time- too long but I was in town. 

I collected the whey and put it in mason jars in the refrigerator to use in smoothies later. It's also great for bread making and I usually give some to the dogs.

When I got home from town I spooned the curd into very small molds I bought on Amazon. The curd had hung for about   5 1/2 hours. I'm not sure how that will change the final product. 

After I packed the molds I sprinkled 1/4 tsp. of cheese salt over the top of them. I ended up with 8 packed molds. Now they are setting out with the drain bag over them for about 7 or 8 hours and I will take them out, turn them over and put them back in the molds and sprinkle that end with salt as well. 
*everything was sterilized because I'm using raw milk and aging these for about 2 months. 
I'll post part 2 tomorrow or Thursday.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


‘Fika’ by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall was a great find! I had never heard of the Swedish tradition of a "kaffe" break with baked goods. After reading the 1st chapter I not only discovered this lovely ritual but that it means so much more. It's an ideal. Check out Wikipedia's entry on Fika here and learn something lovely. I enjoy my afternoon coffee but being an American, and not very familiar with my Swedish roots, it's more of a coffee on the road while doing errands than a relaxing way to unwind and connect. My great grandparents immigrated here from Sweden- came over on a boat, but I never knew them and their ways didn't translate down the generations. I wish I knew more about them and the culture.
This darling little book explains Fika, and gives traditional recipes- some easy and some more involved, but all authentic. I'm pretty excited to start having Fika at least once a week.I think I'll start with the Blackberry Almond Cake. My kids and friends would enjoy it, and think how much money I would save by being home more, and not spending $$ on Starbucks!
Check it out, you might learn to enjoy a slow down yourself. If you already have a ritual of Fika, or maybe something like an English Tea, let me know what you do and what it means to you. We have lost the art of slow food and gathering in homes and slowing down. I'm very aware of it but swept up...I'd like to change this about my life. This book gave me a little inspiration to make a start. It's well-written, clear, has the English and Swedish names and spellings of the goodie recipes and it's simply but sweetly illustrated. I give it a thumbs up!
*This book was given to me free in exchange for an unbiased review by the publisher.

The Last 2015 Kids Born

Adelle had twins this morning about 6:30 or so. A buckling and doeling. Humfleet's Gru The Red is the sire. That brings our total to 7 does that kidded, and 14 kids born. I have been BUSY with babies and milk.
The bottle babies will soon be weaned and I will have lots of creamy milk for raw milk cheeses. My goal this year is to perfect my version of the little French cheese "crottin".
My little cheese cave is all set up and I'm ready to go!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Miracle On Voodoo Mountain

I devoured this book in one day. I mean I could.not.stop.
I cried. My faith was built up enormously.
Megan Boudreaux tells her story (or is it God's story?) thoroughly and well. I'm telling you this is a hands down MUST read. I realized again that God isn't finished writing His story and that we are chapters in His book. It excited me all over again.
Megan had dreams of a Tamarind tree in Haiti, where she had briefly visited on a missions trip.
She had no idea that a pastor and his wife had
  prayed faithfully under that tree for 12 years for God to send someone to rescue the children.
That tree being an idol for voodoo worshipers who came from all over the world to practice there. All.Over.The.World.
The pastor had been a Restavek. A child slave.
A niave Megan, prompted by Jesus in dreams of the tree, came to Haiti and slowly began to uncover the reason for all of the poor, hungry children with dull eyes who always seemed to be busy working, but not going to school. It's common there to keep or take children as servants/slaves. They are starved, beaten, and unloved. Made to work long, grueling hours, they have no chance for anything better most of the time. But God...
24 year old Megan goes to Haiti alone without much of an idea of what to do but God knew and paved the way and in a surprisingly short amount of time what she and her team- yes, she has one now- have built Respire Haiti.  School, medical and dental clinic, sports, arts, language classes, feeding program...I want to go there!
Megan obeyed God's quiet voice and she went -
 Now she has her husband, adopted children, and close friends. God sets the solitary in families!(Ps. 68:6) She has a life of purpose and meaning and it's a beautiful picture of Jesus. I can't tell you enough how faith building it is to read Megan's story. Her humility and love and courage are all God-given and she makes sure we know that it could be any one of us if we were called and willing.
This story is full of God speaking, acting and performing miracles in real lives. I've read many of this genre to be honest, but this is the one that inspired me to get on my knees and ask God what He wants me to do.
Brilliantly written, I encourage you to read it. It's like being an eye witness to gospel accounts only in our time. :)

See her on LifeToday
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased written review. 'm so grateful!