"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

To-Do List Update

                                 The Alpaca Catch Pen

We had a few really hot days last week; I mean record hot, over 90 degrees. I thought that maybe the hay that got rained on would dry out enough to be useful, at least as bedding, but no. The top half of each cigar-shaped roll was light and dry, the bottom half heavy, soggy, and stinky. So I worked for three hours in the heat with a pitchfork and filled up the pickup bed four times, ferrying it over to the compost pile. The compost pile is considerably larger now. Looks like I got the job done just a little bit late; under each roll, there were some ominous blackened spots and pale, sickly looking weeds were poking up. Well, to give myself credit, my husband did say he would do it while I was out of town, and then he didn't. I did it when I got back. 

And gave myself a little bitty dose of heatstroke doing it, too. I think I drank too much plain water while I was working. A few hours later, as the sun was going down, I started to feel very shaky and sick. I thought I was going to throw up, and my knees really wouldn't hold me up. I had to go to bed. Some of the farm work is really a bit too hard for me in my current physical condition. But that condition is changing, slowly. I was looking down at my arms the other day and noticing that I now have muscle-y  forearms from milking goats twice a day. Just what I've always wanted. 

Homero did do another farm chore from the list. He built the alpaca catch pen. It looks nice, too. A five bar fence across the back, between the two barns, and a five bar gate across the whole front, so it's relatively easy to herd the alpacas into it. Now we can put fly powder on them (the poor things are so covered in flies they look like children dying of famine on TV), and, eventually, shear them. 

We haven't solved the eggs-under-the-barn problem yet, but I did discover a clutch of twelve eggs in the hayloft that were not too far along to be usable, at least in an application that disguised them thoroughly. I chose lemon curd. That's sieved.

Lemon Curd:
4 large eggs
1 and 1/3 c. sugar
1 c. lemon and/or lime juice
1 3/4 c. butter (3 and a half sticks. I know.)

Whisk together first three ingredients in a large saucepan and heat over medium low. Add butter all at once and whisk. It will look horrible and you'll think you did something wrong, but you didn't. Keep whisking, for about 45 minutes, until curd is thick enough to heavily coat a spoon and it begins to bubble around the edges. Then pour into a bowl, cover with clingwrap pressed right against the curd, and chill. This is insanely good on fresh blueberries.