Thursday, November 05, 2015

Homestead Update

Do you remember the expression, "Don't count your chickens til they hatch"?  The same goes when you are dealing with bunnies. 

We bred our Mama bunny George in late September.  We were looking forward to having babies.  We suggested to parents of young children that they come over after last weekend to let the children see the babies.  We fed George (she is a very curious little bunny) as much as she wanted.  We watched her.  I went and bought some sweet timothy hay.  We filled the kindling box and put it in the hutch three days before the babies were due.  We waited.  And waited.  We checked on her frequently.  And waited some more.  Rabbits have a 28-30 day gestation period.  At day 40 we admitted that she was just not pregnant.  Oh well!  We have bred her again and are fairly confident that we will have babies right after Thanksgiving.  We hope.

In other homestead news, the chickens are sporadically laying eggs.  Our little cross-breed hens have already started laying eggs.  From those three girls we get an egg about every other day.   Our other hens are funny; some weeks they decide it is laying season and other weeks they seem to remember, "Oh yeah; it's late fall.  Let's "lay-off" the eggs" (pun intended.  Sorry.)  I am getting enough eggs to be able to take some to sell at my friend Lisa's shop on Fridays.

My new friend at church found me some pears this late in the pear season.  We went and picked them up last weekend and got busy making pear relish.  It took me several days to finish getting them peeled, cored, quartered and ground.  I grind things for relish using an old-fashioned Master-Brac grinder.  I love it, but it is not fast.  Mr. Marvelous took pity on me and came and did most of the grinding for me (that's real love, girls!).  That effort did come with a cost.  Remember these?

They have turned bright red and gotten even more wickedly hot.

Mr. Marvelous added one ("it was just one, honey!") to that batch of pepper relish.  He says it made it medium-hot.  say won't be eating any of that batch.  Yes, somehow at the end of the day he did manage to get me to try a taste.  Good thing we still have several jars left from last year's batch!

This week I have also learned how to make mozzarella cheese!  My friend came over and we got to work using the Pioneer Woman recipe.  We love her recipes, and this one was easier than either of us expected.  My sister in law asked me for a cost break-down so here it is.  One gallon of milk at Aldi's cost me $3.29.  I am not including the cost of the rennet or the citric acid, because we used 8 drops of rennet and 1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid.  There is a LOT of each left to make LOTS more mozzarella (I am smiling).  This gave me one pound of mozzarella.  Very good mozzarella.  Aldi's had a half-pound of mozzarella for $2.69.  So yes, we came out ahead.  I did not take pictures of the process, so I suppose I will have to do this again soon for you to see.

I am also trying cream cheese, and have some making right now as I write.  I'll let you know how that goes.

That's what is going on around here these days.  Not much happening in the garden.  Mr. Marvelous is still working on the greenhouse to overwinter a few odds and ends.  Hopefully by next Thursday I will have pictures of that.

Until then, Happy Homesteading!

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