Friday, November 29, 2013

Turkey Day, or a Reason to be Thankful

12:35 AM
Today is Thanksgiving, and nowadays, I have quite a bit to be thankful for.  One thing I am thankful for is that my injuries sustained in the horse leaping off a 30 foot hill incident weren't more severe, and that I have friends who donated toward my medical expenses who helped me pay for them.

We've been spending most of the month hunting.  Unfortunately, we have little to show for it except a small buck.  But from what I understand, we may be lucky. 

We slaughtered and butchered our own turkey: a heritage tom turkey.  We had the turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, maple and pecan sweet potatoes, cranberry chutney, and rolls.  My MIL brought a peach pie and we had bought a cherry pie.  I gave up making salad  because we had so much to eat.  And yes, it was fantastic. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dehydrating Potatoes

12:45 AM
I chanced into a bunch of potatoes (30 lbs), and so I decided to dehydrate them instead of putting them in cold storage.  My reasons are varied, but basically I got tired of watching my spuds sprout and turn to mush.  So, I tried dehydrating potatoes.  It went remarkably well.

One thing I learned about dehydrating spuds is that you must blanch them before putting them in the dehydrator.  This is because potatoes turn a nasty black otherwise.  Blanching is easy but a bit time consuming.  You need to slice the spuds into half inch slices and then throw them in a pot with 1 inch of boiling water.  When the potatoes are heated through (not cooked), they're ready for the dehydrator.

I put them in the dehydrator at 145 degrees Fahrenheit and let them dry for about a day.  (Your mileage may vary).  Basically, you want them crisp and without any dampness.  They turned out amazing.  I put them in quart mason jars and put them in the refrigerator for maximum freshness.

One thing I didn't do was peel my potatoes, even though I read several places which said to peel them.  I wonder what the rationale is, other than removing the peel for people who don't like peels.  My thought?  A good portion of the nutrition is in the peel, hence, I keep them on.  It doesn't seem to ruin the end result at all.

Now, when I want potatoes au gratin, scalloped potatoes, or potatoes to go into a casserole, all I have to do is reach for my dehydrated potatoes.  They're ready for me.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Why You Really Don't Want a Billy Goat

8:20 PM
“Oreo is tearing up the pen again.” That had been my constant whine when Oreo, my buck goat, decided that being in the main goat pen was boring. He had put four major holes in the stout chain link fencing even though he had access to all the does. It was the main reason we finally put together a buck pen and stuck him in it.

I would’ve called this post “Why You Really Don’t Want a Buck,” but I was afraid newbies may be thinking I meant deer or rabbits when in fact I mean goats. The word “Billy” to describe an unneutered male goat or buck is derogatory and few who are serious into goats use that term.
We put Oreo into the buck pen none too soon. His daughter, Mocha, was getting close to breeding age and his does would be ready to breed again.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Easy Goat’s Milk Cheese: Queso Blanca

11:33 AM
I love goats’ milk.  That is, fresh goats’ milk.  Not the nasty stuff you buy in stores.  Goats’ milk is
like the very best cows’ milk with sugar added.  It’s sweet and creamy, and not at all “goaty.” If the milk tastes “off,” the milk is spoiled, the goat has a health problem, or the goat is one of those breeds such as Toggenburgs that produces strong milk for goat cheese.  I remember when I first milked Annie after her owner traded me her for four chickens.  I had read goat’s milk was tasty, but until I tasted it, I really didn’t know what I was missing.  My husband was hesitant at first but when he tasted the milk, he became an instant advocate.  Yes, it’s that good.

Friday, November 1, 2013