Saturday, August 30, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
It's a good thing I've stopped milking for another reason. My freezer was getting full of gallon milk jugs full of sheep milk. We are a non-commercial, mostly for family or for gifts only, production. So I don't have a giant walk-in freezer, and my sister, who is on the cheese making side of our operation, doesn't have a giant commercial sized cheese making facility. So we make do with what we have.
From the top center going clockwise: the tall cheese is a Manchego, a Spanish cheese; Romano; an unknown type home style Mexican cheese (the only one not made by my sister. It was made by the mil of her coworker.); three blue cheeses made with slightly different techniques; a beautiful, georgeous Camembert; and a Libyan cheese called Al Zahra, which is not supposed to have the blue mold but does because it was kept in the same fridge as the blue cheeses.
You rock, MT!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
My husband, who is usually well informed on names and types of bugs and especially birds, was stumped on this one. So I did what any normally curious person would do and I image-googled "orange butterflies". Up popped a bunch of photos of all kinds of different orange colored butterflies. I found my butterfly on the first page in an image taken from http://www.treknature.com/. It said it was an "Agraulis Vanillae Maculosa", common in Buenos Aires.
Then my husband suggested I google "Kern County butterflies". I did so and found a nice website called, if you can believe it, "Butterflies of Kern County"! I found my butterfly again along with its common name, the Gulf Fritillary.
What I find so interesting about these butterflies is the top and bottom have completely separate patterns. I'm sure it's not all that unusual but it seems to me that most moth and butterfly undersides are just a duller version of the topside.
During my research I found this on YouTube. I don't know how to post it here but here's the link and you can go there. It's a Gulf Fritillary pupating in time lapse.
Call me wierd but butterflies are somehow soothing to me, like the sound of tinkling water from a fountain.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I just had to share about a bread I made.
Monday, August 18, 2008
With the evening feeding I was distributing the hay to the sheep, cows, and pony while my husband filled their water tubs. While he was watering he remarked that it looked like one of my chickens was down.
It didn't really surprise me because we've had these chickens for quite a while now and it seems like they go to the big chicken coop in the sky more frequently with this type of weather.
I went to check on her and found her laying on her breast, feet straight out behind her, but still alive. I thought I'd try and make her passing a little more comfortable so I took her out to the grass. My husband had made a pool of water in the lawn and I gently set her there and spread her wings over the area. Meanwhile I was dipping my fingers in the water and transferring it to her comb, which was very hot. I tried to put her in what I thought was a comfortable position and I went back into the house. I was not optimistic about her prognosis. I was sure we would be one chicken less in the morning.
I know there are people that look upon their chickens as pets and even give them names. But I learned not to get too emotionally attached to my chickens. I don't give them names and I try to be realistic about their purpose here. I feed and water them and they are supposed to give me eggs. Eventually they die and I replace them. That's just the way it is.
When my husband eventually followed me in that night he told me he moved the chicken. He flapped her wings a few times over the watery grass and eventually placed her, wings spread open, on the corner of our telephone post fence.
The next morning I looked out and to my complete surprise I saw a white chicken pecking and scratching around by the sheep. Was it one of my neighbors'? No, his were still all penned up. Surprisingly our heat stroked chicken pulled through and was happily looking for grain scraps and bugs as if nothing happened. In the pictures she is the white chicken with the flopped over comb. In fact, at first I had a hard time trying to figure out which one was the sick chicken when I let them all out together.
We know cats have nine lives. How many lives do chickens have?
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Add the ice water one tablespoon at a time and stir until it all comes together.
Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic and let it chill while you wait for the oven to come to 475.
1/3 C + 1 T shortening
2/3 C flour
1/3 C corn starch
1/2 t salt
2 - 3 T ice water
Preheat oven to 475. Mix shortening, flour, corn starch, salt with fork until it resembles crumbs. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until mixtures holds together. Shape into disc, wrap with plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes. Roll dough out, place in 8 or 9 inch pie pan. Flute edges, dock bottom and sides of pie. Bake for about 10 - 15 minutes.
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 C powdered sugar
approx. 1 lb strawberries
1/2 C strawberry jam
4 T Grand Marnier
Beat cream cheese with powdered sugar. Spread over bottom of crust (this may work better when it's still warm from the oven).
Rinse strawberries and cut the green top off. Arrange over the cream cheese.
Heat jam and Grand Marnier in a small saucepan until melted. Spoon over the strawberries. Refrigerate for a couple of hours.