Monday, June 16, 2014

The Colours of Now

A freshly painted scarlet red door. A soccer-playing, novel-reading, goat-wrangling, music-composing, never-sleeping boy who is NINE! (William's sacred animal, painted on his poster, is the night owl.)

All this long, snowy, grey spring I made flamboyant cushions for the house. When I sew I tend to make endless variations of the same thing. We have limited seating here, so I wanted large floor cushions for little people chairs. They are also useful for whacking your brother's head....not too painful, just heavy enough to send him sprawling without actually damaging him. (I don't know this from personal experience mind you. Just the word on the street.)

Will is slowly goat-proofing our property with these beautiful wattle fences. I love baskets, so to me this is perfect: an extended basket all around the house! Thirty foot baskets! They're slow to make, unfortunately. We are still probably one year away from my requested shit-free zone around the house.

Most of our goats have lovely personalities, but we have one crazy goat who tries to barge into the house. She waits off to the side and as soon as the door opens a crack, she rams in, head down. It's seriously intimidating. Especially to guests under four feet tall. But the boys love it, let me tell you! Up goes the cry: GOAT IN THE HOUSE! They dance around in delight while Will or I throw her out with some robust Anglo-Saxon language. (Which the children quote back to us later. Woops! No point in denying...) You can see why I'm anxious to get those fences done. I need peace, man!

Monday, June 2, 2014


The unwrapping of our very first goat cheese was the big thrill of this week. I can't remember if I've rhapsodized on the loveliness of our goat's milk, but it's enough to say that it doesn't taste like goat! (Which is pretty bloody fantastic.) It tastes sweet and fresh, I'd say something between milk and coffee cream. So it's no surprise that the cheese is also sweet.

Cottage cheese (quick, unfermented, ricotta-like) can be made in under two hours but we hung ours overnight yielding a firm little loaf with a rubbery texture like true mozzarella. (The Italian kind that doesn't melt, just bakes.) 

 We used lemon juice for the curdling, so it was a lemony-salty-peppery goat cheese. It got six thumbs up from the Pembertons, plus an extra five from Rafe. It tasted amazing with maple syrup and pears. Or as Hugh would say, "pretty funking amazing"....

When I say "we" made cheese, by the way, I mean our agricultural labourer, Will, who's now the master dairy man. Rafe is weaned, so I guess he's no longer competing for that title.