Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Run over by the egg truck

The chickens, who a short time ago were on stew-pot row facing a short trip to rejoin the resource pool, have really kicked in the egg laying. I went out to put the days five dozen eggs in the egg refrigerator only to discover that there were already 15 dozen from the previous few days still sitting there. I don't like to have them sitting around more than a week, and business has been slow. It's pretty easy to use up the odd extra dozen making pasta or baking something, but 15 dozen with 5 dozen more being added daily was a bit much to deal with. (One of those cases where you worry about failure, and forget to plan for success.) After an hour of phone calling I finally found someone who would take them as a donation. (It amazes me how reluctant food pantries are to take perishable food.) The local Salvation Army food pantry agreed to take them, but when I got there to deliver them they were not really thrilled. Still, I hope someone got some use out of them. In the mean time, I have ramped up the marketing effort, and am preparing to add some other garden items to the list of things that are available now. Salad greens are still a week away, but if someone really wanted some I could probably put something together.

Made out second attempt at Chevre last night. It turned out much better than the first go, but it's still isn't up to what I can get at the store. Apparently, I had two problems with the first batch; too much rennet (which I suspected) and temperature. Apparently room temperature is somewhere in the 72 deg F range (both the starter and the cheese needed to spend half a day or more at 'room temperature'). This time of year my kitchen temp tops out at maybe 65 (on baking day, 62 is more like it), so the mini cheese makers were too cold to do their work. We kept everything nice and warm in a water bath this time with better results. Since we are getting more than 1/2 a gallon of milk a day right now and still have 4 more goats to freshen, three which are not first fresheners, we should have plenty of milk for the learning process. We also made Feta which seems to have worked brilliantly. Still don't know for sure, it needs to age until next week before it is ready to eat.

Feta waiting for brine

I thumbed my nose at the establishment in some previous posts and comments, and have since (on advice of counsel) stepped back a wee bit. I have now got a very well written (and legally sound) sample of a goat share agreement to work from, thanks to the lovely folks at Blue Moon

I also got my taxes in on time. Death seemed preferable, must pay the piper even when you don't like the song.

Hatching day is the 18th, can't wait!


dND said...

Well done on the taxes!

I'm now having to deal with two lots, British and French but neither of them have the reputation of the IRS.

That cheese is looking pretty good too, as for the heat issue, kitchens weren't heated years ago and they made cheese. So, for a low impact solution, maybe you need to keep feta making for the summer and make another cheese when it's colder. The summer feta can be preserved in oil to keep through the winter months.


Irish Sallygardens said...

Thanks for calling into my blog in Ireland. Its great to meet other like minded folk all over the world.

When I made soft cheese I popped it in the car where it was warmer than my kitchen, or in the polytunnel!

Hoping to try my hand at goat cheddar and blue cheese too this summer. The kids are due in a weeks time, can't wait.

Watching chicks hatch is fantastic. I have a vid clip of one which I must put up on the blog soon. best of luck with the hatchlings.

Alan said...

Thanks for the cheese advise. I'll be doing more as the season moves on. It has been surprising to me how difficult some of the "easy" cheeses are. Last year we made some really nice mozzarella, and didn't seem to have much trouble. Luck I guess.

Egg Donors said...

Great Post.....

I found your site on stumbleupon and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

Thanks for sharing....


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