Seriously, comment spam bots are super annoying. For a brief moment I had this blog set up where people had to register to leave comments, but then my dad had trouble with that so I removed the requirement. I’ve tried putting keywords in my black list which means they should automatically get moved to spam, but those tricky bots kept getting around it and I kept getting email notifications daily regarding new comments that just turned out to be spam.
So now I have the dreaded “captcha” system set up on the comments form. It’s a fairly mild type, just basic math problems, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for you fine folks. And hopefully I will now just receive email notification for legit comments. Go team!
Man, I have quite neglected my kefir grains. Typically you should change the sugar water every 24 hours, but I was leaving it for at least 3-7 days because our pantry is fairly cool so it didn’t seem like the fermenting process was going as fast. Well, then we had the family vacation, and then I just forgot about it because it was in the cupboard…. Those grains had been sitting in the same sugar water for well over a month before I changed out the water. They kind of had a brownish tinge to them instead of the pure crystal clear color, but I’m hoping to revive them. Of course, I told myself I was going to be diligent and change out the water ever 24 hours and it’s already been three days, but still! Fingers crossed that I haven’t damaged them too much.
A couple months ago, our local farm stopped selling raw milk. The dairy they were getting it from decided to shut its doors due to over regulation from the government or something along those lines. I was about to FREAK OUT. Where would I get my raw milk now?! I NEED MY RAW MILK! The farm told me there was a store downtown that sold it, Real Foods, so that’s where we’ve been getting it since then. The drive is kind of a pain, but on the other hand I like that they keep typical store hours whereas the farm only was open two days a week for about three hours each day. Velvet told me she got an alert that the farm was starting to sell raw milk again, but they had increased the price to $9/gallon. We pay roughly that right now so the price wasn’t a huge issue, but I just like the availability of the store downtown now. We will still go to through the farm for our grass-fed beef and pork most likely.
We have a rogue chicken in our flock. For awhile a couple of the hens were escaping the enclosure and while sometimes they would go back on their own, usually we would have to catch them and drop them back over the fence. Jesse finally got the fence to the point where it’s probably taller than me.
You’d think that would be high enough to deter even the most determined chicken, especially after we cut their flight feathers a few weeks back. You’d think. We still have one red hen that escapes every morning. We can only assume she is somehow flying over the fence line but we’ve never been able to catch her in the act. It seems like her main purpose is to leave an egg under the deck and then forage in the garden area until we go out to get her.
A huge positive about her is she basically will come running to you to be put back in the pen. She runs over and hunkers down, we pick her up and plop her over the fence, and she goes to find her sisters. Every morning. The only way this routine changes is if the dogs are outside because they will run toward her, which makes her turn around and run, which makes them want to chase her. Then it’s a major pain in the ass to try and wrangle the dogs away from her and to pick her up. I don’t think the dogs want to kill her; they’ve been in the chicken enclosure before and don’t seem aggressive. They just like to chase things that run. We’re still working on that.
Because we have so many eggs right now, it can take some time for us to use them. We have a system where we place them in egg cartons and then work from the oldest to the newest, but it can still take days to go through a carton, if not longer than that. Jesse likes to do the float test on them to test freshness, but I just open them up and go with it. I figure I’m not eating these raw so if they are a little stale, no matter. I was talking to a coworker about it and she said really if the egg is bad, you’ll know from the smell. I am always on the lookout for recipes that use a lot of eggs and I decided to try my hand at a frittata. I had cracked maybe three eggs in the bowl and was cracking the fourth egg open when suddenly the yolk didn’t look quite right. It was darker, and kind of broken/chunky looking. Some had already spilled into the bowl but I opened the rest of the egg over the sink and took a whiff. My friend was not wrong when she said you can tell a bad egg by its scent. Holy moly! That was an unpleasant smell! I discarded all the eggs, washed the bowl and started again, this time making sure I used a separate dish to crack the eggs into first before placing into the main bowl. You know, like you’re supposed to.
We harvested tomatoes and grapes last night. I love our grapes so very, very much.
They are what all grapes wish they could be. Well, except for our very tiny deep blue/purple grapes. I’m not a fan of those. They all have seeds and seem fairly bland to me. Jesse says maybe we will take those vines out and replace them with my beloved style of grape. I don’t even know what variety they are, but I do know that they are great! Jesse steam juiced a bunch of them last night and this morning it appears he made three quart jars of grape juice. Mmmm! We also picked enough tomatoes and peppers that he can do another batch of salsa. We still have a ton of tomatoes ripening on the vine, so it looks to be another bountiful harvest year.
Jesse also harvested some of our pears that had fallen beneath the tree. Some of the fruit he threw to the chickens, but we have a fair few pears in the fridge now and they are quite tasty.
Ezra was much taken with them when I cut one up. I’m trying to get over thinking that produce has to look perfect. For example, the pear had a hole in it where something had burrowed in and maybe laid eggs. Cut out that part of the fruit and the majority of the fruit is still edible. Eventually it’ll be second nature and I probably won’t think about it, but for now it still makes me think, “Ewww, there was a bug in that!”