Delivered by a long thunder storm yesterday evening,
which eased so much tension from the air that I suddenly felt a million times better than how I have been feeling over the last few days.
And it has got chilly enough at night for the rottweiller girls not to want to go outside during the night. Last night Maz wanted to go to the loo, Blue followed her as far as the front door but got no further as the cold night air wafted over her. They are such ladies, these rottweiller girls. They like their home comforts, as do the cows who will have to start being brought back into their own overnight accommodation because they have taken over the sheep barn and will not let the sheep into it, horning them to keep out should they try to get shelter. The cows and sheep have been out in the field all summer, with access to the sheep barn during the day if the flies or heat are a bother to them. But cooler nights have meant that the cows want to stay under cover, which is why they are bullying the sheep in to having to stay outside, which has been alright during this long dry spell, but now the rain is hovering around something has to be done.
Lester's job today is to clear out the rest of the manure from the cow pens, and put new straw down ready for the cows to be brought in tonight, and so the winter cycle of their care begins, which reminds me that I need to have a look at my supplies of cheese and yoghurt cultures as another season of cheese making is on its way.
I think it is a good idea that we have the calves at the start of winter. To make cheese and manage the processing of the vegetable and meat harvests would, I think, be just a little too much for me, but now the vegetable harvests are finished, which only leaves the meat harvest from this years lambs still to be done, which should leave space in the day to get the cheese made.
But a problem with the cheese....I have found that it is difficult to store it long term, especially the hard cheeses like Cheddar and Parmesan. This may be because I refuse to use animal rennet which help sets the milk into curds and whey, but instead I use vegetable rennet. The animal rennet comes from the stomach of new born calves. It is the traditional and commercial method of making cheese, but I can't bring myself to use it. There must be a difference between the two types of rennet which is giving me a problem with storing hard cheese. Not to worry, the solution is that I don't make hard cheese! But the semi hard cheese does alright, providing the cheese wheels are not allowed to mature beyond six months at the most. I am also thinking I might have a go at Brie and Camembert this season.
Meanwhile, I have been making some underpants for Lester, himself preferring the wide soft floppiness of DIY underwear to that of the commercially made pants, which, he says, confine him too much and scratch him in places he does not want to be scratched. I personally would prefer to be making some patchwork curtains for the kitchen, which is I think is far more creative.
Onwards with the day,
and hope it is a good one for us all.
Bye for now,