"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Salsa Ranchera a la Gleaner's Pantry

Canning in January! This is salsa ranchera. Recipe as follows: put 6 or 8 pint jars and lids to sterilize in boiling water. On a cast iron griddle or in a cast iron pan (dry), put three to four pounds of tomatoes (whole), two onions, quartered, six cloves of peeled garlic, and as many hot chiles of whatever type you like (split and seeded). You will have to work in batches. Turn vegetables as they blacken slightly in spots. Chiles will release fumes as they toast - remove them as soon as they get little toasty spots and open a window! Onions should be well blackened in spots. Remove all vegetables to blender (again with the batches). 
Heat a tablespoon or so neutral oil in a big sauce pan, and sauté a teaspoon of cumin seed, a few cloves and a few allspice berries. Purée vegetables in batches and add to saucepan (it will spatter at first). Add salt to taste. As soon as sauce simmers, add juice of two or three limes. Then place in sterilized jars and process in boiling water until sealed approximately 10-15 minutes. Use sauce later to simmer eggs, or chicken pieces.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Haku and Christmas (Baby Love)

Haku has been allowed to kiss and lick the baby goat since the day she was born - Christmas Eve, hence her name. We are hoping that doing this will teach him that the baby is a member of the family to be protected, not a prey animal to be chased and eaten.

We have been taking Haku with us to do the animal chores every day, twice a day. Once we learned that it is only the sheep that drives him mad and removed her to the horse pasture, the situation improved greatly. Haku ignores the goats almost completely, and even the chickens only distract him momentarily from the delights of roaming around leashless and free. Now the main issue is getting him to come back to us when we are done with chores! We are working on it.

Christmas is shaping up to be a lovely little doeling. We've decided to keep her. I need a new doe - Iris is old and Flopsy is only half a milker, having lost a teat to mastitis years ago. Since we are keeping her, I decided not to bother disbudding her. Her mom, Polly, has horns and they have never been a problem except once or twice when she got stuck in the fence. I fully expect Christmas to get stuck once or twice too before she learns not to stick her head through. That's okay - not only will we save her major trauma by not dehorning, but in the long run she will be better able to defend herself.

Please enjoy this darling video, and try to ignore my annoying baby-talk.