20100421

Jamin & Peat in NY, part I

So on Friday, Peat and I set out on our annual spring migration to the farm. It's a little later this year than last, because the maple syrup season was more or less pointless, and we decided to come the week that spring really starts - that is, when Mom's new order of exotic breed chicks were ready to be released outside, when all the baby goats were due, and most importantly, when my sister was due to give birth to "Spooties," the name my niece Aubrey decided she wanted her baby brother or sister to have.

We got off to a fairly quiet start, spending a nice weekend on the farm (and I'll have to talk about Peat's exciting conversation with Twink about politics later on…), then on Monday we went into town, had lunch with Grandma at the Cheese Barrel, which was fabulous as always, and then wandered through the Commons for a bit, where we bought a set of barware from that leaf pattern - gold, so this one goes to Greer.

Tuesday, however, the quiet ended.

We spent the morning fortifying the chick pen, moving the chicks into it (from the box in the house they'd been in for the last week or two), moving two broody hens into more suitable nestboxes, going "nest-busting" and rounding up eggs from nests in outbuildings… and all sort of things.

In the evening I made cheese from some of the milk we'd collected from Cocoa, the goat who had only one kid last week. I used a very over-simplified recipe, and I can't really tell you how it came out, because it's still hanging above the sink, but here's the recipe:

2
quarts
goat's milk
1
pkg
mesophilic starter (I could probably have just used 1/2 of it, but I wasn't sure how long it had been in the fridge.)
10
drops
rennet (in 2 T cold water)


Warm the milk to 75 degrees. (I think I hit 80 by accident.) In a small bowl, mix culture, rennet, and 4T of the warm milk, then add back to the warm milk, then leave overnight at room temperature. (Here I decided it wouldn't be a bad idea to pour it into sealable containers that would repel cat hair, so I put it into two shallow square Tupperware containers.) In the morning, cut the curd into 1" cubes (a task made easier by having put the milk into 1" deep containers last night!) and put into a colander lined with 2 layers of cheese cloth. The recipe says leave it overnight again, but that seems weird to me, so I decided to hang the cheese cloth above the sink and I'll call it good somewhere around noon.

Anyway, back to yesterday's excitement, Adina called around 5:30 to say she was headed to Cooperstown, and called back just after 9:00 to announce the birth of a baby girl, Teagan Sierra Enck, 7lb 10oz, 19.75", born at 8:28pm. I did a quick work-up of her chart, though I'm not quite sure of the ascendant until I get back to the internetz:

So, er, stubborn, clumsey, and over-emotional, with control issues about putting things back in the right order? Nope, I don't know of anyone in our family like that...

There are also lots and lots of baby goats, the cheese came out great (especially the stuff I blended with maple syrup), it's Peat's 25th birthday (for which i brought him into town to use the internet!), and various other things going on, like meeting up with Michael at some point soon to talk about getting grants to start cheese-making businesses.  Speaking of which, i should get out of the library now and head off to get some pizza.  Not my most cohesive blog entry to date, but this isn't the most cohesive sort of place, and that's just what happens to be going on.  I'll upload some pictures of various sorts of babies soon.