Sunday, June 28, 2009

Good fishing!

Saturday night and Sunday morning we went cat fishing at a local lake. We had decent luck........caught two 3 pounders Saturday night and a 4 pounder Sunday morning. The one Sunday morning had a small cache of eggs in her so they will be getting ready to spawn and then the fishing will be hot! We'll go back this coming weekend and see if we can't catch a nice mess of big cats for the freezer! Nothing better than a nice fat catfish fillet!

Hope you had a great weekend!

Til next time.........

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Why I Blog......

I've been thinking a bit about why I blog. I really don't think that the average person has the desire to know what I'm doing, thinking, feeling and whatnot. It's pretty therapeutic to blog actually. My family and I live a lifestyle that most people don't understand. People say to me why don't you just buy the stuff in the store, and blah blah blah. On my blog I can talk about my goats, making butter, my baking, the joy that I feel watching my little chicks scratch around with their mommas and I don't have to see people's eyes glaze over as they try to feign polite interest. This way I can delude myself into thinking that there are people hanging on my every word regarding the best uses for goat poop, or what to do about the hen that insists on hatching chicks out every year and then can't for the life of her keep track of her children. This is my life, and I love it. I don't ask my friends of family to understand it, only to accept it, which for some people of my acquaintance it seems to be very very difficult. I live the life I choose and I love it. My husband and I are a team, we've never spent a night apart in 13 years, we don't go out without each other, and in the evening when my husband is home, my place is at home getting his supper ready for him. This is a very hard pill for my women friends to swallow. Why they think it is any of their business is anybody's guess. I don't judge the way that they do things and I wish to heck that they wouldn't judge the way I do things. I have to listen to so called well meaning friends telling me that I'm too wrapped up in my family, I need interests of my own, I've got to get out more. I cannot get people convinced that this is my life and I like it. I've been a homemaker since way before I ever got married, taking over the cooking when I was around 13, making my first hand quilted quilt when I was 12 (I still have it too). Anyway, the point of this post was to reveal why I blog..........I guess it is so that I can state my passions without being told that I'm wrong, or odd, or weird, or strange..........LOL! My goats make me happy, my chickens make me happy, my garden makes me happy. I get immense satisfaction from getting a pail full of milk morning and evening, heading into the hen house and seeing the nest boxes full of rich brown eggs, picking green beans at 5 AM. These aren't legitimate interests to a generation of women who prioritize shopping, running their kids to activities 5 nights a week, going to the tanning bed, or talking on the phone (cell or landline) every free second. I don't spend alot of time with women friends because their interests don't interest me.........if I could find a group of women homemakers, who feel about marriage and family the way that I do, and about the woman's role in the home, then perhaps I would have more close women friends that I would want to spend time with.........that I why I blog, to connect with women who live the same type of life that I do..............we are a spread out group ladies, a dying breed. I hope to raise my daughter to be strong, independent, and yet submissive to her husband (and yes you can be both) I pray continually for her future husband, wherever he may be, that they will find each other when the time is right and that they will love and respect each other the way that the Bible teaches us to respect our spouses. Being a "goodwife" has gone out of fashion, but not here, not in our home. I love my husband, defer to him, and have no problem submitting to him. Of course I chose my husband wisely, and he loves and respects me in the way that the Bible says he should. If he didn't then I would be putting myself in a very precarious position to be that submissive because he could take serious advantage. But that doesn't happen because my husband is a Godly, God-fearing man! We discuss, talk, plan, and bounce ideas off of each other all the time. My husband respects my opinion and values my views and ideas. When I say that I submit to him what I mean is that his word is final. After we discuss and hash ideas out, Daddy P gets to make the final decision and I abide by it gracefully and graciously. I don't pout about it and he doesn't rub it in my face. It's very hard to explain unless you've got that kind of thing yourself, and if you do, then you already know what I'm talking about. Anyway, this post has become pretty much a rambling mess and for that I apologize. The point is this......we should all live the lives that we want to live, and to heck with what the world at large thinks! We shouldn't have to defend our lifestyle to anyone, whether you live in a high-rise apartment in the city or a trailer on 5 acres in the country. As long as you are doing what you love, with the ones that you love that is what matters! Until next time.............

Making butter....

This past Saturday Daddy P and I separated milk using our manual cream separator from Hoegger Goat Supply. The separator is the little wonder tool that allows us to extract the rich cream from our goat's milk so that we can make ice cream and butter! After we separate the milk I let the cream sit in the fridge for a few days because it seems like it makes better butter that way. One of these days I'm going to try making ripened butter but just haven't done that yet.

This picture shows the rich cream waiting to be churned. Goat cream is white, not yellow like cow cream. To successfully churn goat cream into butter, you need to bring it to 66 degrees. Too warm and the butter will take forever to come and will pretty much just turn into a big ole mass of whipped cream and never really turn into butter. You can fix that by running cold water over it, but it's just easier to have it at the right temp to begin with.

The photo below shows the cream after it has been churned into butter. It really doesn't take any time at all to get the butter to come unless you don't have the temperature right. You will be cranking the handle on your churn, then it will feel like it gets a bit harder to crank, then the thick swirl of cream inside the jar will suddenly turn watery as the butter lumps in the bottom and the buttermilk splashes around the sides of the jar.

In this photo I'm pouring the buttermilk off of the butter in the churn. Stop cranking as soon as the buttermilk starts splashing around the sides of the jar and pour the buttermilk off. Pour it into a mason jar so that you can save the buttermilk for baking. Some (but not all) churns have holes in the top so that you may drain the buttermilk without taking the top off the churn. This is a really nice feature to have and I'll tell you why in a second!

After you drain the buttermilk off you are left with an ivory white lump of butter in the bottom of your churn. Add some really cold water back into your churn with your butter, replace the top and give it a few cranks. This helps you to rinse the butter thoroughly. Drain the liquid off (not bothering to save it this time) and repeat this process until the liquid coming off is mostly clear.

Then you dump your lump of butter into a cheesecloth lined colander and work the rest of the water out, getting out as much as you can. Goat butter is silkier and softer than cow butter (at least mine is) so this step can be a little tricky, but just do the best you can and call it good enough. Then use a wooden spoon to work in some salt to taste (if you want) and then you are done! I then fill my butter crock up for table butter and either put the rest in the fridge or in the freezer in 1 cup packages for baking, depending on how much butter I've made.

These next photos show the nifty little buttercrock. This one is handmade by an American ceramic making fella.......LOL! I bought it off Ebay for nine bucks. It's really wonderful! It works great unless the temps is above about 78 or so, and then the butter gets too soft and falls down into the water. However since it's about 110 in the shade here right now, we have the air conditioning on so it's nice and cool in here and the crock works wonderfully.

Well I hope that you are all having a good summer so far. Hope the chickens are laying, the garden is growing, the goats are milking and you are doing what you love with the ones you love! Until next time..........

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Baking this morning.......

I felt the urge to bake today so I made my Caramel Fudge Cake and my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread! They are both so yummy. The banana bread is actually pretty good for you, but the other is just death on a saucer! I cut it in tiny little squares and then freeze it. Then I take out a little square, put it in a 3/4 cup bowl, nuke it for about 30 seconds, and top it with homemade goat milk ice cream! YUMMY! The recipes for both of these are on my website

Hope you are all having a great weekend, with the people you love, doing what you love! Till next time......


Found my egg thief!!

I usually get 16 eggs a day from my hens. It seldom every varies, it's pretty much exactly 16 eggs a day. Early this week, I was only getting 10 or less! Because the hens free range, I figured they had just found a few new places to lay and we were having an egg hunt every evening to no avail. I went down to milk on Wednesday evening and proceeded to gather my eggs as usual. When I opened the "kid" box (this is the kidding box that is in the kidding stall, a favorite place for my hens to lay, and incidentally the same place that the skunk was lounging around stealing my eggs!) I saw a really big black snake curled up in there with several suspiciously egg shaped bumps in his fat body! I do not "do" snakes! Scared the dickens outta me! I dropped the lid to the kid box and hot footed it for the door, said "HONEY!! I NEED YOU!" He just happened to be right there bless him and said "Ya got a snake?" I said "Yessir I do!" Of course he went over and rescued me from the beastie. And yes we killed it. If they stay in the timber they are fine by me, but when the are lying in wait scooping up my eggs, they gotta go! It was over 5 1/2 feet long and so full of my eggs that when Daddy P killed it, yolk was leaking out of it's mouth! I'm pretty sure this is the same snake that was draped over the walls of one of my horse stalls last fall.

Till next time.........GOD BLESS FROM GOODWIFE FARM!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hubby is on Vacation....

this week, so we've been busy doing lots of fun family things as well as some of the heavier chores around the homestead. We went to Cameron Cave on Monday and took the lantern tour which was very beautiful and lots of fun. We got to see three bats snoozing the day away which The Youngun absolutely loved!

We also saw some really beautiful formations in the cave. It never ceases to amaze me the wonderful, beautiful world that God created for us to live in. And it never ceases to amaze and disturb me how little we value and take care of it. Big Daddy P found a candy wrapper deep inside the cave. Here we are 100 feet down in the depths of our amazing earth and some jerk felt the need to toss his trash on the ground! UGH! People like that infuriate me. But anyway, the cave is a beautiful, mostly unspoiled bit of God's handiwork and we had a great time!

Here is The Youngun standing in front of a really lovely formation inside Cameron Cave.

This is a beautiful little pool of water inside the cave.

God created this wonderful amazing place for us to live in........yet more proof of His abiding Love for us! Thank you Lord for the wonders of our world, and thank you for letting us be alive to experience those wonders!


Wednesday, June 3, 2009


From this............

To this.............

Today was all about strawberries! My daughter and I went out to our friend's house who has a u-pick strawberry patch. We go out every year and help her pick for market and then in exchange for doing that we get berries for ourselves. We picked berries on Tuesday, so today was jam day. I made 6 jars of strawberry syrup for pancakes and waffles, 12 jars of jam, and a batch of strawberry banana smoothies. For the smoothies I take 3 cups of sugared strawberries (I use 1 cup sugar to 1 cup crushed strawberries) and three large ripe bananas and puree them in my food processor. Then I slowly add 1 qt fresh whole goats milk while the processor is running. After that is all blended up nice and good, I pour it into the little glass jelly jars and put lids on, then put it in the freezer. That way you have nice individual frozen smoothies whenever you want them. I also put some into Dixie cups with a stick in the middle to eat like frozen pops. YUM!

I still have 12 qts of berries (YIKES) that I'm really not sure what the heck I'm going to do with those. I've got enough jam to last us the year (cause I've got grape and blueberry left from last year!) so I've got to decide what to do with the rest. I called a couple friends, perhaps they will want some free berries!

We had a good weekend.......went to the muscle car reunion drag races. We don't like to watch the top fuel cars, but we sure do enjoy the Hot Rods, Muscle Cars, and the Nostaliga Super Stock. Nothing like watching a 73 camaro that can pull a wheelie! Or a 60 something Dodge station wagon that can get down the track in less than 11 seconds!

Till next time...........GOD BLESS FROM GOODWIFE FARM