'Twas a day, today, when nothing seemed to want to wake up, but only in me, everyone else was up and doing, after all it is Spring, and as the winter lethargy slips away from the animals,
their need to get up to mischief increases. Up to now, Bonny (one of our cows) has managed to get out of her pen by 'climbing' over her wall. Lester found her busily munching her way through the day's food rations for the pigs. She has also broken the gate to her pen.
She is being very naughty.
Lissie, our other cow, is better behaved, although did have a gallop round and about but not in the direction of her pen but everywhere else including up and down the lane and back again. This was last night, when she had had a day out on the field, the first for a few days. Lester got into quite a sweaty state trying to catch her.
Bonny also did a run round, but was encouraged to get herself back to her pen by me waving my red cardigan at her. You could see her looking out of the corner of her eye at me. She did not like my red cardi. She went inside at a good trot.
Anyway, back to today, this morning....
So I was sitting in the bathroom, putting my shoes on. I was by myself. No dogs bothering me, asking for food, attention and action (as in adventures outside), it was warm,
and somehow, I know not how, I fell asleep as I was bending over to tie the laces of my shoes.
Yes, I did!
But not a 'sleep all night' sleep, which would have had me tipping off the chair and on to the floor,
no, this was a deep, deep, nodding off, but one which kept me on the chair.
The 'nap' lasted at least ten minutes, after which I fumbled my way to the settee in the sitting room, and there I slept on for another hour.
The day has not been a particularly energetic one subsequently,
I dare not sit down on any comfy chair otherwise I shall fall asleep again.
Ah well, tomorrow is another day, so perhaps I shall have more of the vigour of Spring inside my body, or if not, then perhaps the day after.....
An artistic creation?
Noooo, just a wheel of cheese made two days ago receiving its coating of wax, which is quite messy the way I do it. I did try melting a big bowl of wax into which I dipped the previous cheese that I had made, but I did not feel safe as I did so. The wax has to be hot, so the bowl I was using was over a big pot of steaming hot water. The wheel of cheese had to be dipped so that half of it was covered in wax, which was then allowed to cool, then the other half was dipped.
"Too risky", that is what I thought, as I nearly dropped the cheese into the wax.
Hot wax is inflammable.
"Flames everywhere", that is what I suddenly had a vision of,
so I got my pastry brush and slopped the wax on to the cheese a bit at a time.
The cheese does not look exactly tidy or pretty, but at least it is covered.
I am trying wax instead of bandaging the cheese wheels with lard and muslin because of the way the mould grows on the outside of the bandaging, which makes us worry that the whole cheese is rotting. It never has so far, but the mould does not look nice, that is what I think.
Anyway, I love cheese making, love eating the cheese, and am now comfortable with saying that I can actually make a eatable wheel of cheese.
As for the excess milk, some of it goes to the pigs, some to the dogs, some of it goes into yoghurt, custards, etc, and the rest I am freezing. And then of course there is the butter from the cream. I did use a cream separator when I first wanted to separate the cream from the milk, but it was such a faddle to have to clean the equipment afterwards and a lot of milk was wasted.
So now I just dip a ladle into the thick layer of cream sitting on top of the milk.
Two day old milk is best as the cream has had time to ripen.
For freezing the milk, I put a plastic bag into a square plastic container, then pour the milk to the top level of the container. This encourages the milk to freeze into a shape which is easier for storing.
My stash of milk in the bottom of the freezer. I am not sure how it will defrost though, because I have heard that the milk might separate if defrosted too quickly. Not to worry, trial and error....sometimes there is success, but sometimes there is non-success, which is not 'failure' as such because the learning along the way is always worth having had a go in the first place.
And Lester coming out of the back gates....
...... on his first mission this year, which is to finish the fencing along the river side of the far field, his intent being to get some extra grazing for the animals, particularly the cows.
Unfortunately the river has eroded quite a chunk of the field, making it a possibility that should a cow venture too close to the edge of the steep bank she might fall into the river and therefore become deceased.
To fence the bank, therefore, is a priority.
..... and off he goes,
only to return a few minutes later in a very low mood after he took a look at the river bank.
A family pow wow has come up with the plan to keep the field as a hay field and not use it for grazing. It was decided that the expense of putting a fence line up only to have it fall into the river in a year or two was not worth the effort.
We love living by the river.
Just wish it would stop eating our land so it can make a nifty little island in the middle of itself.
Must go and give that cheese wheel another coating of wax,
so, bye for now,