The goats are in the littlest pasture now (It's contrary to the worm plan, but the vet said they shouldn't be in with the ponies until Poppy is one month old. They stress her out and she'll get ulcers. Really.). There isn't enough browse in there to keep them fully fed, so I have to let them out for an hour or two every day to munch on the abundant blackberries and various weeds growing in my yard.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
I didn't blog about this, because it made me so sad. Remember all the little bantam chicks that I bought at the feed store and slipped under the hen whose eggs didn't hatch? Well they all died. Every last one of them. One at a time. It was terrible. The first one that died, something bizarre and inexplicable happened to it: it somehow got stuck to it's mother's chest and she squished it. It was actually hanging from her body for a whole day before I found it. Where's the missing chick? Ewwwww, there it is. It was really stuck, too. I had to tug hard to get it off, but I couldn't figure out what made it stick there. Anyway.
Friday, May 29, 2009
The pink dogwood in full bloom. The lady who built this house told me her children gave it to her for mother's day about twenty-five years ago.
The antique pear. I don't know what kind of pears it gives, but maybe Bartlett. They are large, classically pear shaped, yellow with a red blush, and very smooth and delicious.
Whoops, don't know what happened here. This is the biggest tree on the property. It's enormous, it towers over the house. It's a "golden cedar" according to the last owner. Bats live in it in the summertime.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
If I ever go into commercial cheese production (not very likely), the title of this post will be my business name. Chevre, of course, is soft goat cheese, and Chevere is a Mexican slang term that means "cool" or "awesome." Plus, you can sing it to the tune of "chim chim cheree" from Mary Poppins... "chevre chevere, chevre chevere, chevre che-ver-e..." Built in jingle.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I spoke to the vet this morning, and asked him how I could differentiate between a normal, self-limiting bout of foal-heat diarrhea and something more serious. He told me that the foal's attitude will be the most important, easiest to tell thing to watch. Is she bright and active, or kind of down? Appetite? Is she nursing frequently and vigorously? Palpate the mare's udder to see if it's soft or turgid. And check her temperature (normal is up to 101).
Monday, May 25, 2009
Today, Poppy suddenly developed diarrhea. Pretty gross. I washed her (an experience I don't care to repeat) and then I ran to the web and started searching. Which freaked me out. According to my research, it's extremely common for foals this age to develop something called foal-heat diarrhea, so called because it's onset is at the time of the mother mare's first heat cycle after giving birth. If this is what it is, it's self-limiting and no big deal.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Okay, this post is just for my own reference, y'all, it's probably not going to be very interesting to anyone else.
Well, I'm not going to count the first batch, which didn't turn out at all because I thought I remembered enough from last year and didn't need to look up the recipe for chevre again. Turns out, I did.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
NPR recently did a series in which they asked chefs to create a family meal for four for under $10 total. There were a number of interesting creations, and the series is well worth listening to: even more enlightening is reading the submissions from readers at the web site. There are literally hundreds of recipes. Some, of course, are either facetious (boxed mac'n'cheese) or just plain terrible, but there were a very large number of delicious sounding ideas.
It occurrede to me that as a budget-concious housewife, many of the meals that are part of my weekly rotation are probably cheap enough to qualify. I did a little bit of quick in-my-head estimating, and came up with several. Of course, most of thrift is foresightedness: do you have frozen homemade chicken stock in your freezer? I do. Leftover cooked white rice or plain pasta? Yup. Cooking in bulk - when appropriate - is a great way to save money as well as time.
Here are a couple of my favorite cheap recipes:
Risotto always feels luxurious, but it is actually cheaper than dirt to make, unless you are using fresh morels or something like that (oh ho! But I trade for my morels!).
1.5 c arborio rice
1 big yellow onion
2 fresh pobalno peppers
a little bit of white wine, if you have an open bottle
chop and sautee the onion and poblano peppers with the garlic and cumin seed. Add rice, stir with a wooden spoon to coat. When rice grains begin to turn transluscent, add wine (if using) or a little bit of hot stock. Keep adding stock in 1/2 cup increments, stirring frquently, until rice is creamy and just barely al dente. Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Serve with heated corn tortillas and a little bit of crumbled queso gfresco on top. If you wanted to be fancier and more authentic, roast and peel the peppers, slice into strips (rajas) and add them at the end.
this is cheapest in the summer, of course. It might not come in under ten dollars if you don't have a vegetable garden, but it would still be cheap.
1.5 cup fine bulgar
lemon juice (1 large or 2 small lemons)
(the more herbs the better)
1 or 2 tomatoes
(note: really, you can use whatever herbs and vegetables you have. Got a beet? grate it fine. Ditto a carrot. No green onions? Okay, use a finely chopped white or red one. The only must haves are parsley and mint.)
some kind of cheese - feta is best
some kind of olives - kalamatas are my favorite
1 can garbanzo beans
In a very large bowl, pour boiling water over the bulgar. Let sit while you finely chop all your vegetables and herbs. If this takes you twenty minutes, your bulgar will be soft and ready. To the bulgar, add at least two tablespoons of olive oil and the lemon juice. Then the drained and rinsed can of garbanzos. Then the olives. Make sure the tabouli is cool before adding the crumbled cheese and the herbs and veggies. Taste before salting: cheese and olives are salty. Add fresh ground pepper to taste. Other good things to add: chopped pepperocinis or jalapenos; basil; capers; baby spinach
Oh and here's an easy recipe: use the same salad ingrediants but use toasted bread cubes as the base starch: presto, bread salad. Good way to use up your old stale bread. For bread salad I like to use a lot of tomato and maybe some anchovies.
Quick and Dirty Chilaquiles
corn tortillas are one of the best, cheapest staples around. A giant bag of fifty costs about three bucks. Just make sure they are fresh. But here's what to do with them when they get stale.
On a cookie sheet, place twelve to twenty corn tortillas -separated- and bake until dry and not very flexible. Turning them once helps. Then break them into pieces and place them in a large baking dish, like a lasagna pan. Set aside.
Drain and rinse a can of black beans. scatter them over the tortillas.
also scatter one chopped yellow onion.
In a blender, blend 1 large can of tomatoes with a small can of pickled jalapenos. Or a half a can.
Pour this sauce over the tortillas and let soak in for about ten minutes. Top with sliced mozzerella or jack cheese and bake until cheese is bubbly. Yum.
I could easily come up with another three or four super cheap recipes - even before I get to soup!
How about you all? What do you feed your families when the cupboard is bare?
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Since we killed the egg-eating hen, I've been collecting about sixteen eggs a day. The trade network is not capable of absorbing this many eggs. Berry man is all out of berries, until the new crop that is, and so he has stopped getting eggs. Bread man stopped a while ago (darn it - he really is a fantastic baker). I still have a couple of regular cash customers, but they collectively take only about four dozen eggs a week.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
"Recommended site: The Survivalist Blog - Live better, live Cheaper and survive when things get tough." This is a cool site to cruise for anyone interested in doing more for themselves.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Flopsy was bred just a week after Iris, to the same buck. But for months, I wasn't sure if she was pregnant. Is she or isn't she? Her belly, like that of all goats, would expand and contract according to what she was eating. Sometimes she looked gigantic, other times pretty normal. It didn't help that she's a fat little thing. Even her udder wasn't much help. Was it getting a little thicker? Maybe, but there was certainly nothing you could call a bag.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Iris and Flopsy, the two goats who were sick, are much better now. I think the terrible diarrhea was caused by the Ivermectin - a wormer - that I gave them. They had both had moderate diarrhea for a week or so, and when I brought fecals in to the vet, they showed a "moderate" load of stomach worms. I asked if I should just wait until they had kidded, but the vet suggested I go ahead and worm them. I wormed the whole herd. My guess is that the medication caused the expulsion of everything in them along with the worms. I'm glad, of course, that it seems to have resolved, but I have a number of questions to answer if I want to be a better goat husbandry-man (goat husbander? not, surely, goat husband?).
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Waiting, waiting. Ho Hum, waiting some more.