Saturday, June 30, 2012

June thrifty haul

Yesterday's thrift shop scores, clockwise from top:

Needlepoint 'I heart golf' tote
camo baseball hat that says 'sass'
brand new navy blue Dr. Scholl's
Pot 'o Gold tote bag with rainbow and flower pot applique
brand new beige Dr. Scholl's
small vintage cheese plate
unused diary from 1975 - each page is dated and my birthday is torn out - ?
white dress with rainbow trim

Today's purchases: $11

Friday, June 29, 2012

saving the Sainte Maure

Sainte Maure is a French mold ripened goat cheese.  Sometimes you can follow a recipe to a T, and despite your best efforts, something goes wrong and the batch just doesn't do what it is suppose to.  The goat milk curd from this recipe just didn't set up (see yesterday's post) and I managed to save it, but am working with some very wet cheese.  I have formed it into some floppy little cakes and coated with salt and ash, in hopes they will age into some delicious little wonder wheels.  I will post their development - it may fail, or come out really great - the next few weeks will tell!  
Welcome to the teacher that is cheese making.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

the weekend's wheels

montasio with green peppercorn

montasio with herbs de Provence

Sunday, June 24, 2012

starling update

Look how much the baby starlings have grown in a week! 

Cutting the cheese. No, I'm serious. Really.

Cutting large amounts of cheese curd usually employs the use of a curd "harp", like the two in this picture.  Harps are super expensive and have to be custom ordered to fit your kettle.  I have always just used a long knife and make the cuts by hand.  This works fine, but makes uneven slices of curd, and you can never reach the bottom of the kettle.

My Dad and I have been trying to design a home made harp for months, with ideas ranging from wide tooth hair combs to cutting apart and reassembling metal shelving units.  The other day I was in a hardware store and struck gold:  a $16 garden rake - the perfect Boss harp!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

dirty ladies

Red and Goldie take a dirt bath, while mighty Whitey heads my way

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mmmm, sweet meat

I planted some heirloom 'Sweet Meat' squash in the garden.  Who doesn't love sweet meat?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

denty egg

I collected the eggs tonight and one of the girls laid one of those weird, soft-shelled eggs that you see a few times per year.  Sometimes they are just a membrane, like a small water balloon; but this one has a shell that is semi-formed and feels kind of like rice paper. 

what Cozy ate on Sunday

a portion of Milorganite fertilizer

It did not make her sick at all


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

wrap it up, I'll take it

20 pounds of cheddar in the cheese press, another ingenious invention of Master Dad Kurta.  Cheddar presses under 50 pounds of pressure overnight

the finished wheel

wrapping the wheel in cheesecloth 

ready for a nice long nap in the cave

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

elusive Mama

Look closely...there's Mama the barn cat at about 1:00 o'clock (click on the picture and it will get larger).  I rarely see the cats; they eat their food and I see paw prints, but otherwise hardly ever encounter them.  This photo was taken in the morning, as Mama walked in from the forest.  If you approach her or Mali, they run away - I wish I could get nearer to them.  But I still haven't seen a single mouse since their arrival in February, so they earn their keep.

Monday, June 18, 2012

bunny maxin'

Blackie with double turkey-rabbit legs

Sleepy Bunny Lee says I ♡ the hen yard

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Dad, 1956

baby cow-o-rama

I wholesale milk from a local dairy called Moomers, who make the best ice cream in town

plus they have super sweet baby cows - hello!

she has a heart on her forehead

Saturday, June 16, 2012

the babies

A Starling has built a nest and hatched some young up in one of the rafters of the hen house.  She is welcome there, and I have been hearing the baby birds for several days now.  I climbed up to their corner and pointed the camera in the direction where they're hidden:  here was what I shot.  They are beautiful, they are life, and I love them like I do all of the other animals in the barn.  The young hens have been roosting directly beside their nest, despite the constant cheeping and coming and going of their Mother.  People think some birds are more beautiful than others, but I disagree.  

Friday, June 15, 2012

what the dogs ate on Wednesday

Max: 10 bran muffins, stolen from top of the stove

Cozy: end of a bar of soap, stolen from bathroom garbage

Thursday, June 14, 2012

first feta

Feta draining in a curd bag

Two molds filled with curd and 5 lb. weights

The finished cheese salted and draining/drying for a few days before it goes into brine for a month

sky study #68

Sunset June 8, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

the divine floods of light

The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.

 -Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Building of Boss Mouse #17: the inaugural cheese

it's true
emptying milk into the vat
cheese curd
whey drinking contest
cheese molds and pressing
the debris
a lot of cheese making is doing dishes
Two 12-pound wheels of Swiss cheese on the shelves of the cheese cave

Saturday, June 9, 2012

pink in the corner pocket

trash picked from the curb in Traverse City - presented by Cozy doing her best Carol Merrill

Thursday, June 7, 2012

the prune of tomorrow

R.I.P. Ray

double turkey leg

I have always loved when dogs stretch out both of their legs behind them

Pucci was never able to do the double turkey leg, but I was glad to discover Cozy bustin' the move

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

use what you have

I moved the large metal shelving unit from the mud room out into the cheese cave, which left me with no storage shelves.  Out in the big barn were several antique doors that belong in the house, but have been collecting dust out there for years.  A little clever thinking and some hardware, and behold my new shelving.  Brainchild of Reeber Creative Engineering.