Thursday, 30 October 2014

2nd go on butter making

Though I was a bit defeated on attempts to make butter on Tuesday from our goats milk, I decided to have a 2nd go at it today. The milk I used had been left to settle in a bowl and I found more cream on it which I spooned off into a jar. Last week when I did my first butter making, it took only 4 minutes of vigorous shaking of the jar to get the butter to form. Today it took half an hour but it was worth it in the end.

The milk, meanwhile, had already started to separate into curds and whey. I put the curds into a couple of cheese molds. End result - a modest amount of soft cheese. The whey will go into the hens' mash. The calcium in it will be good for their egg laying.

Pumpkin Pie

It's Halloween tomorrow so in recognition of it, we made pumpkin pie. We will make another one soon and video it. My guess is that it will have more interest to our American readers though using pumpkins on Halloween is something that is growing in popularity here in the UK as well. The pumpkin we used for the pie was not grown by us. Instead, it came as part of a produce swap with a local allotment society. We got 4 pumpkins  but have since traded two of them, used one and have one left.

Pickling my onions

The last of my small onions were peeled today ready for pickling. They are in a bowl at the moment, sprinkled with salt. Tomorrow morning, I'll rinse them and put them into jars with sweetened vinegar. This is one of my favourite pickles.

The milking machine arrives

We decided to invest in a milking machine for our goats. There were certain conditions any machine would have to fulfill - cheap, hand powered, easy to use, easy to clean. We found one on Amazon but had to import it from the USA. Dansha Farms manufactured it and it arrived this afternoon. We have not used it yet but David will have a go over the weekend (I will be in London so will miss the experience). We'll keep you posted on how it all goes.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

No butter today

Having made a small amount of butter over the weekend, I attempted to make some more today. The milk we got from the goat yesterday was left to stand in a bowl overnight to let the cream float to the top. When I started to spoon it off, I noticed it was rather thin. After what seemed a long period of time shaking the cream vigorously in a jar, none of it coagulated. I gave up. The fat content of this milk was simply too low. Our conclusion is that Pinkie's milk yield and fat content goes up when we feed her large quantities of greenery. At this time of year however it is in short supply. We will feed her some brambles as many are still in leaf. We are also on the outlook for privet and ivy which are evergreen to feed them over the winter. I may be using this greenery earlier than I expected.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Making butter

As an experiment over the weekend I had a go at making butter from our goats milk. No elaborate equipment was used. Instead, the butter churn was a jam jar! I put some of Pinkie's milk in a bowl to allow the cream to rise to the top. This was spooned off into the jam jar. Once the lid was on I shook it vigorously for about 4 minutes and watched as the butter congealed.

I then put the butter on a wooden board and patted it with a wooden spatula to beat out any remaining liquid. It then went onto a saucer and left in the fridge.

I had some this morning spread on toast with some of our homemade lemon curd. Very nice! Notice how white the butter is.

Quail egg curry

Though the quails have now stopped laying until the spring, we still have a glut of quail eggs to use up. Si I decided to make a vegetable and quail egg curry recently. The eggs were boiled separately and then added to the pan once the vegetables were largely cooked. It was left to simmer for another 10 minutes. I will be making this again but will film it, showing how to make the curry sauce as well.