Showing posts from August, 2011


The amount of Goat milk in the fridge was getting out of hand so last night I bit the bullet and had a go at my first lot of real cheese. I chose Feta to start with, because it is one of my favourites and because the temperature control seemed within my ability and resources.
The recipe worked like a dream. I kept looking at the milk and it looked like not much had happened abut when I cut it is was just perfect. Some more cutting and stirring, six hours of draining and voila, lovely feta. I just salted it lightly and put it in the fridge, will try it after a few days but the thing is it will be a much healthier Feta than the stuff we buy so will be able to eat it guilt free! It will taste great too I just know.
Bocconcini next and make some more yogurt and buttermilk. The goats milk yogurt tastes fine but it is just not thick like the yogurt I usually make so I think we will just have to get used to that.

Cooking with Goat Meat

I cant quite recall if I have mentioned here before that Peter has recently killed some goats for us to eat. He works on a meat goat stud and from time to time kids are born with a condition called shot mouth. What this means is that they will never be able to graze adequately once they are weaned. Normally I think they are put down at birth however as we are interested in cooking and eating goat they kept them until the waning stage, about three months old. Perfect time for Capretto, or milk fed goat. Its a bit of a learning curve to slaughter and butcher animals of this size but Peter is getting quite good at it. Not for the squeamish perhaps but we both grew up with farm slaughtered food and feel it is much better quality and we at least know how the animals have been fed, treated and processed.
I had never eaten much goat before but from the look of the mat knew it would be delicious. The young goats meat looks like a cross between veal and rabbit in my opinion. Quite lean and pin…

Winter Degustation Lunch at "eat your Greens"

While I often bemoan the lack of eating out opportunities around here we do have one fantastic venue.
"Eat Your Greens" is a beautiful function centre that clever couple Jayne and Neil McMillan created from the old Eugowra Golf Club. When you look at the photo of the club as they purchased it that hangs in the bar you have to admire their vision. "Eat Your Greens" today is a very warm, welcoming and sophisticated environment. The venue of choice for most weddings in the area. As well as being a beautiful venue they serve wonderful food. Generally visits to "Eat Your Greens" are limited to a function that I might be attending there but this winter young chefs Jessica and Ben have been holding Long Sunday Lunches that are open to the public. I didn't get to any of these but last Sunday we went with a group of friends to the Winter Degustation Lunch. I was really looking forward to this and was not disappointed.
After a warm welcome by our hosts we were …

My first attempt at making Goats cheese

I had loads of milk in the fridge yesterday so decided it was time to try making some goats cheese, I started with a simple recipe that i found here.
Simply heat up the milk and then add the lemon juice, let it sit for a while and strain. It all worked but the end product is a bit dryer than I would have liked, nevertheless it will be OK on a pizza or something similar. I'll put a bit of olive oil on it as well.  It tastes just fine so I'm looking forward to having another try.

The yogurt continues to disappoint so this morning i have ordered some yogurt culture from Green Living as well to see if this makes a difference. I also ordered some cheese making books and a few other things to get going on my cheese experimentation.
Luckily the milking is going really well and we are getting more milk than we can use in a day. I really want to get a good yogurt though as Peter eats loads of it. As I was ordering my supplies online i thought …

Milking the goat

Not quite sure what is says about me, but milking the goat is right up there with walking the dogs as the most pleasant part of my day.
The morning routine now is have breakfast, quickly tidy up the kitchen, fill one bucket with warm soapy water, take empty milk bucket, get some goat food and go and let Elisabet out of the pen. This morning she went straight onto the stand. Milking doesn't take that long and we seem to be developing an understanding that she doesn't kick the bucket. This morning got two litres of milk. Then I let the little kids back out to their mother.
I was worried about how I would get the kids up to their shed of an evening as they get bigger so have taught them to walk on a lead, its very funny. will try and get a picture tomorrow.
I was disappointed with my first lot of yogurt, it tastes fine but is very runny. I am trying to skim the cream off the next lot of milk before  I make the yogurt as have read that skim milk makes thicker yogurt, which is a bi…

In My Kitchen

When I opened my fridge door yesterday I realised that almost everything in view was something we had made, grown or processed.
3 bottles of fresh goats milk
1 chopped up goat carcase
1 litre of goats milk yogurt
1 pumpkin
a bunch asparagus
1 bunch radishes
1 bunch parsley
a bottle of Peters home brew beer
numerous jars of jams and pickles
a bottle of peaches

if you look over on the kitchen bench there are ;
2 loaves of fresh sour dough bread
a dozen eggs
a bowl of lemons and mandarins
a bunch of green garlic

In the bathroom there is homemade soap and moisturiser

It feels like we are well on the way to being self sufficient.
Add to this our solar system and wood fired stoves as well.

Celebrating coriander

The first of the Asparagus and more about the goats milk

A few days ago i saw the first of this years asparagus peeking through. It seems early to me as it has been quite cold. I'm really proud to have established an asparagus bed here as the climate is not ideal. I lost all of the crowns that i moved here from our old home. This lot are all grown from seed as I didn't want to risk the cost of an other lot of crowns. i also tried to establish a little micro climate and they are in a bed bordered by passionfruit on one side and raspberries on the other. They are also shaded by fruit trees in the summer. It all seems to have worked and two years after planting I have my first asparagus to pick. It is such a treat and so different than the asparagus you buy . hopefully we will get a lot before the hot weather starts.

I milked the goat again this morning and achieved 1.25 litres. It all seems quite easy and is a pleasant thing to do first thing in the day. I am wondering what all the fuss about goaty smelling milk is about as to my tast…

Goats Milk!

I milked my goat, Elisabet, for the first time today. I've been saying for the past five months i was going to milk the goats but as i had never really done it before i had no idea how it would turn out. We've had a few issues with the goats since the birth of the kids, the main one being that when I out Elisabet back with Genevieve and Fetta, Elisabet and Genevieve started to really fight with each other.  As we were going to be away on the weekend I thought better safe than sorry and kept Elisabet and the kids up in the fox proof stables. Yesterday i decided that was not viable in the Long term so put them all back together. They did settle down after a while. Last night we took the kids away and locked them up in the stable, so there would be some milk for us this morning and this morning I milked Elisabet before letting the kids back in with her. On my first attempt I got almost 600 mls of milk. An excellent result I thought. tomorrow should get even more but this is plent…

Something for Nothing ???

I'm a bit perplexed. We have a load of citrus fruit this year , oranges, mandarins and lemons. I sent an email to all our neighbours to see if they wanted any and only one responded. Last week I decided to pick a box full of mandarins and one of lemons and put them down at our gate with a sign saying they are FREE. No takers still, now it isnt the busiest road but still. When we were out on the weekend and I said this everyone that was there wanted some but still no one has come to get any. Maybe I should put a sign saying very expensive, organic fruit. What really troubles me is that it is so difficult to get fresh fruit and veg around here and people would rather eat the poor quality stuff then stop at the gate!

Something for Nothing

There are a lot of stinging nettles growing in my garden at the moment. I've heard they are good to eat and very good for you. I've added them in small quantities to things in the past but have not really used them to any great extent. On Saturday I had planned on making a particular recipe for dinner and then realised I didn't have enough of a few ingredients. While i was weeding I thought I would use some of the nettles, they looked so lush and green and I don't have a lot of leafy greens in the garden at the moment. I decided to make a stinging nettle and mushroom risotto. To prepare the nettles i washed them and then blanched them for about a minute, then refreshed them in cold water and squeezed out the excess water. I made a risotto in the usual fashion and stirred in the finely chopped nettles at the end. I took most of the leaves off the stalks and just used the leaves. Let me tell you the nettle risotto was delicious. The nettles have a mild and pleasant flavo…