Monthly Archives: July 2012

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Now that we have 37 pounds of “dry” cottage cheese frozen for the year for our family…

…I’ve switched to making ricotta cheese.

Here’s what I do:

In my large *THICK BOTTOMED* canning/stock pot, I add the milk. The reason I say *THICK BOTTOMED*, is because this is REALLY EASY to burn, as it gets heated to 180°. I have burnt several batches in a thinner pot, even though I whisked it the entire time… 😦 So, hence my advice to USE A THICK BOTTOMED POT and WHISK CONTINUALLY, lol! 🙂

Once it reaches 180°, remove it from the heat. I add raw apple cider vinegar, slowly. I stir with a large metal spoon, and once I can feel the clumpiness of the curds forming, I stop pouring in the vinegar.

Next I scoop the curds out with my hand-held strainer and allow them to drain in a bowl lined with a large colander.

I weigh the strained curds, and for each pound of curd, I add 5 oz. of whey back in, and process until smooth.

Then, I freeze the whey for future uses like in whey soup and to cook noodles & beans in, etc.

LOTS of wonderful, probiotic benefits to liquid whey…NOT-TO-BE-CONFUSED-WITH the powdered stuff you can buy at the store.

The Weston A. Price Foundation is a wonderful place to begin researching that… 🙂

Most of the whey I freeze is in 1 cup “ice-cubes”. This is the amount needed to make 1 serving of whey soup…Michael’s favorite! 🙂

Sometime, I’ll get that recipe posted, as well.

6 calves for sale…

These 6 calves (5 heifers + 1 bull) are now available for sale:  heifer-Bondini heifer-Macadamia, bull-Romeo, heifer-Snickers, heifer-Peekaboo, and heifer-Butternut.  Click on their names, and you can read about when they were born. 🙂

**CLICK HERE FOR OUR CRAIG’S LIST AD**

We weren’t planning on selling any of our calves this year, but with the drought, and a very real possibility that our cows will be dropping in milk production much sooner as a result, it seems as though we should at least investigate the possibility of selling some….  Mike posted the ad this morning and we already have someone coming out tonight to see them!  🙂

They are fed 1-1/2 gallons of fresh, raw milk each/day.  They run in a large fenced in pasture with trees for shade, and we’ve also begun giving them some hay as well.  They have not been fed any grain.

THIS WOULD BE A PERFECT “MINI-HERD” FOR SOMEONE TO GROW THEIR OWN GRASS-BASED DAIRY WITH…  LIKE PERHAPS SOMEONE MOVING TO A NEW FARM IN MAINE, LIKE CHIOT’S RUN, LOL ??!! (wink, wink)  🙂

A homerun’s coming, Mom…

It’s been kind of an overwhelming week here – still trying to handle this drought, this phone’s been dying after only minimal use, and a TON of tasks have been started, but nothing completed… 😦 Ever feel like you are going backwards??

As I was trying to get breakfast this morning, it seemed like I just kept hitting road blocks – no clean counterspace to work on, pot I wanted to use was dirty, favorite spatula was missing – I let out a big SIGH & Michael heard me. “What’s wrong, Mom?” he asked. “Well, Michael – it just feels like I keep ‘striking out’ with everything today!” He didn’t “bat” an eye – looked at me and said, “Don’t worry, Mom, a homerun’s coming!!!” Lol, lol 🙂

Wasn’t that a nice thing to say?

Thank You, Lord, for sending me encouragement from my son – a quick & fun pick-me-up! 🙂

Still was a rough day, but I had that moment to reflect on, and it made me smile. 🙂

Oh – and my “homerun”? It DID come: An evening walk alongside my best friend. Mike & I admired the beautiful sky, the cooler temp, cleared fencelines, & spent time lovin’ some calves + my favorite old cat, Blake.

Beautiful. 🙂

I think it was more like a “grand slam”!
AMEN

Grass-fed Beef 2012

The 12th of July, we had 2 large freezers go from empty to full!!!! 🙂

In all, we took 8 beef in to get butchered the 2 weeks before. The 12th was the day we picked our 2 up from the butcher shop. Ohhhh were we excited! 🙂

Our FAVORITE is ground beef…in fact, we’ve been known to grind up our steaks when we run out of burger, lol! 🙂

Eventually, I hope to get a bunch of our recipes blogged that we use our ground beef in – like “salami”, “pepperoni”, “bacon”, jerky, “breakfast & italian sausage“, & meatloaf – just to name a few…  I’ll add the links to this post as I get them up. 🙂

This year, we have enough to “budget” four pounds of ground beef each week for one year.  And because I’m a control freak perpetual organizer/planner, I created a chart so we can keep track & HOPEFULLY not run out 3 months before we butcher next, (like we did this year), lol… 🙂

So what did we make that very first night??  MEATLOAF! Mmmmmm

Homemade cottage cheese with freshly ground sea salt & pepper, tall glass of raw milk, steamed dragon tongue yellow beans from last year’s garden with LOTS of our butter, and meatloaf…it was a WONDERFUL meal! 🙂

Homemade Lye Soap from Alander’s Acres

We LOVE homemade lye soap from Alander’s Acres! 🙂

Here’s a link to their page on Local Harvest: http://www.localharvest.org/alanders-acres-M29791

They are gracious enough to bring us large batches of soap so we can offer them to our customers as well.

In our effort to discontinue using toxic cleaners, this soap has become our “base” for so many things…bathing, shampoo, dish soap, laundry soap, general purpose cleaner – just to name a few! 🙂

We have been using it exclusively for over 2 years now. 🙂

As the concept of “our skin being our largest organ” has begun sinking in, we are thinking twice about what we lather on it.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this soap! 🙂

For laundry & dish soap, I shred the bars of plain lye soap. (The other soaps work fine, too, if I’m out of the plain…)  I fill up an old egg carton with 10g of shredded soap in each “egg hole”. Then I dissolve each one in 8 oz. of hot water as I need it.  I keep it next to my washing machine, so I’m good for a dozen loads, lol… 🙂

For laundry stains, like grass/mud stains on jeans & baseball pants, I keep a container of the small pieces of soap left from a full bar.  I place the pieces in a lidded container with a little bit of water in it.  I dampen the clothing that has the stain, get a small & wet piece of soap, rub it well into the stain, spray it with some white vinegar, let it sit a bit, and throw it in with the next load.  Works wonderful! 🙂

For dishes, Mike helped me make a soap dispenser from parts of old ones I saved… Click here to read the link on Jill’s post – it helped me with directions. 🙂

I have crocheted small, thick, square cloths from remnants of yarn leftover from past projects.  I made enough so I can use a new one each day.  I just squirt a few drops of soap on the wet cloth & wash – reapplying as necessary.  I have no complaints – this soap works GREAT!  It’s especially wonderful for removing “greasiness” from things like broth or butter – along with nice, hot water. 🙂