Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Birthday and some Work

We have been working almost non-stop for the past month or so, so thankfully, for Emily's 4th birthday, we decided to take a couple of days rest.
The following pictures were taken by a family friend almost 2 years ago when he stopped in to visit, and it just so happened to be on a cheese make day. This was when Al and I were being taught by my mother-in-law. So, I thought I'd share a couple of them. We're really excited about having some pictures, and I'm working on a scrapbook featuring our farm and cheese. This is very helpful at the farm markets.
Dixie & Renae putting curds in what is called the "moulds".
This will form the curds into the wheel later on during the press time.

Renae & Al stirring, lots of stirring.

On May 23, Miss Emily turned 4 years old, and announced that morning to her dad that she was now "mature". Hmmm..yeah, sure! She had a very nice birthday, we lit a bonfire that evening and had some family over for some hotdogs and marshmallows. Yum! Then we moved on to cake and ice cream. She picked out Black Raspberry, which I have to say I had never tasted and it's delicous! She picked it out because the ice cream was purple.
Emily in her birthday dress
right before going to church.

Emily and her birthday cake.
Celebrating being 4!

The birthday was a wonderful chance for us to "slow down" a bit. Took the evening to sit back and have a nice visit with Al's brother, his wife, her brother and niece.
We've been doing our best to make as much cheese as we can right now. We have so much milk, and a lot of rain. We have 14 of the cheese moulds, and really could stand to have about 4 more, but after pricing them, I'm afraid we'll just have to wait until we have a bit more $$. We're averaging about 150 lbs. of cheese each make. That's a wonderful yield!
I'm still doing 2 farm markets, which is like running a marathon around here! Although I think I will be doing the Cambridge market every other week, due to the upcoming haymaking schedule.
I actually have a slow day today! Yay! We did have an interview for a local newspaper earlier, and we'll be doing milk testing on the cows tonight. That's a slow day. I took time and made a nice lunch, which I will post the recipe in the "Recipe of the Week" section. And we rested for about 1/2 hour. Emily and I took a short walk to pick some of the purple flowers along our road, but didn't take too long because it is so HOT! And it sounds as if another thunderstorm is coming through.
I think I will now go and put the batteries in Emily's Lucky Duck game she got for her birthday and play for awhile with her.
Being so busy makes me really appreciate the days I can take it slow.
My idea of taking it slow tonight will be:
enjoying the thunderstorms, I LOVE THEM!!
Playing a game with Emily
picking out what I can fix for our dinner tomorrow.
Helping Al in the barn tonight, yes that is relaxing today for me! We turn on the radio and Emily rides her tricycle and Al and I chat while we work.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Our First Cookout of 2009

We had our first cookout for the year. You know that spring/summer is here when you can eat unhealthy food out on an open fire and enjoy it! We had some junk wood and crates that needed to be burnt and clean up the yard, so one evening after we milked the cows we decided to have a fire and cook some hot dogs and marshmallows. Mmmmmm... Emily is patiently (sort of) waiting for the fire to die down a bit so we can roast the marshmallows.
She skipped the hot dogs and went for the good stuff first!
Emily is not sure about this fire stuff!

The goodies!!!

The fire. We had to wait for a good while
before we could even get close enough to
roast the hot dogs.

Emily was nice and warm, even that far from the fire.

Now that spring is here in full force, I've been running in circles, and feeling like I have not accomplished anything. But, it seems that some things are getting done. We are going to be making our 8th batch of cheese this Friday, and the amount of milk we've been getting from our cows to make just one batch of cheese has been amazing! Yesterday we started out with 1300 lbs. of milk, and made 154 lbs. of cheese, which is a really good yield. I've been looking through some of our books of recipes and would love to try my hand at doing another cheese. Of course, we can't seem to keep up with the cheeses we do make, but it's just me wanting to have another challenge! I have looked into putting a cookbook together, and have started testing some recipes with our cheeses, and have put together some of my own recipes. I'm hoping in the next year or so to have cookbooks available. It seems a little overwhelming to even think about doing something like that. I don't know why, it's just something different to do.
Along with making a batch or two of cheese each week, I am taking in 2 farm markets. Both are wonderful! Cambridge market is outside, and wouldn't you know, it's rained for both weeks so far. I won't be going there this Friday, since we'll be making cheese. I will have to take my camera one of these weeks that I go, the courthouse and area in front of it is beautiful! Now that I have a new memory card and fresh batteries for my camera, I'm armed and dangerous! ha!
We almost acquired a beef heifer yesterday. Herd an animal mooing out in the field with our cattle, but it didn't sound like any of our girls. One of our neighbors had a heifer get loose. He just bought a group this past weekend, and they are as nervous as can be! It took two halters and two men (Al and our neighbor) to load her up and take her back over to our neighbors place. He had her by herself, the fellas at the stock yard told him to do that, but most cows that I know hate to be alone, and will look for a way out so they can find friends. And she found our cows, and was pretty content too. He turned her in with other cows this time around, so I think she'll be fine now. She seemed happy to be home, started munching on some grass right away. We ended up getting one of those self-standing basketball hoops (is that what they are called?) out of it. Worked out ok, now Emily can shoot some hoops.
Happy late Mother's Day to all mom's. I'm late at wishing that. Heaven help me this past week was my week to be "late" at everything. I still have to mail my dad's birthday present out tomorrow. His birthday was last week. I feel like a bad daughter. :P Need to mail out the Mother's day card to my mom, but I did call her, so...that is good, right? My Aunt's birthday was last week, and my nephews birthday on the same day too. Will be mailing those cards out.
I used to be the one in the family that sent a card, even to those who were always wondering why. Now I just plain stink at keeping up with it all!! If folks would have their birthdays in the winter, I will do just fine...I'm not so frazzled at that time.
You know you live in a small town when they close of the main section of street for a funeral. The owner of a local towing company, and I believe he was on the fire dept. also, passed away. We had to run to town for a "quick" errand. There was 2 fire trucks parked on both sides of the main street with their ladders up high and crossed over each other, with an American Flag hanging in the middle, 2 of the big tow trucks were parked on up from there. People were parking wherever they could. The bad part was, they had to detour the semi-trucks through the narrow back streets. One poor trucker ended up stuck on a turn that he could not get around. It's a turn that is difficult in a small car. But, that's small town life. Gotta love it! Soon, the streets will be closed off for the towns Alumni weekend. They set up concession stands, and have all kinds of specials going on in all the small stores. I met a fairly well known photographer who had worked for the Columbus dispatch, and had taken several popular photographs of various ball players. So that was really cool. That's been a few years ago.
Now I am off to continue the vicious cycle of LAUNDRY! When I do finally get a day that we're not doing anything much cheese related, it's time for laundry and dishes. For some reason they multiply when I'm not in the house.

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