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Cheese Making Weekend

It’s been a long time since my last post. I had several posts in various draft states but never quite finished any of them. Oh well….bad me. Many things have been going on so hopefully I will get those posts moved from drafts to actual posts. 

The first weekend of April was Easter of course, but it was also our cheese making weekend. I guess it’s the royal ‘we’ because Becky has been making it. I look on from the next room and try to stay out of her way. 

Cheese making time is when I wish we had a cow or a goat to milk. Unfortunately this is not possible in our urban homestead. I’ve tried to explain to Becky about my secret plan to have a dwarf nigerian goat in our back garden. From my point of view I believe it’s a solid plan. Her view is somewhat different, feeling that it’s highly flawed. For example, the part of my plan which counts on being able to convince my close to 90 year old neighbour that the goat is in fact a mid sized dog may be a problem. Feeling the need to hammer this point home, Becky says one word….chickens!

“Fine!” Is my only reply.

A couple of years ago we decided to test the waters a bit with our neighbour. His house has full view of our back garden where we have our veggie patch, so anything which goes against city by-laws would need to have him on board. We were growing potatoes in a large wooden box to save on space. He asked about it one day. “What the heck is that?” Becky responded by saying it’s part of our new chicken coop. Needless to say the old timer kind of freaked out a bit. No chickens.

I’m still sure the goat plan could work. Hmmm…..how to explain things when I have to milk the goat? All plans have obstacles. The plan needs more work.

Back to cheese making. First was Feta cheese. 

   

     
Chevre fail. Next up was Chevre. Unfortunately things didn’t work out with this one. The milk just never created curds and in the end we couldn’t salvage it. The supply company where Becky bought her cheesemaking items said it’s most likely over-pastuerized milk. Of course it’s not even a consideration that it might be the pre-made starter culture packet purchased from the supplier which might be at fault. It’s frustrating to see 4 liters of milk go down the drain.

Chivo Fresco with herbs. It was delicious! I looked for a picture but due to a technical glitch I can’t add it at the moment. Maybe later. Becky was amazed at how easily this one came together and it helped to boost her cheese making confidence. 

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Stan (and Becky)

All We Want For Christmas is…

Becky and I have a very short wish list for Christmas. It only had two items. We have both found ourselves in recent years not wanting more “stuff” in our lives.

For years now Becky has had a rule, and it goes something like this… “If we bring something new in the house, something has to leave the house.” Huh? But I don’t want anything to leave the house. I am by no means a packrat, but that seemed a little harsh. But catch me on the right day and you can get rid of whatever you want because we probably don’t need it. I tend to gravitate more towards the rule of – if you haven’t touched it in six months you can safely get rid of it. I’m sure Becky might say otherwise but in my mind I like to believe that that’s my way of thinking.

We decided this year to not exchange gifts, even with each other. Yes it’s fun to open things up on Christmas morning, but we’ve decided that we have enough in our lives right now that we don’t need more.

However, we do have two things on our Christmas wish list. To further our homesteading skills and abilities we have our eye on an Excalibur Dehydrator and an All American Pressure Canner. We’ve discovered after jarring several different food items that these two devices would serve us very well and enable us to expand what we preserve.

So here goes our shameless pitch to Santa….We’ve both been really, really, really good this year and are surely on the ‘nice’ list.
P.S. – We will even get rid of two items from the house once these arrive!

We hope you are all enjoying the wonders of the holidays.

Stan and Becky

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