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End of Summer MHF Giveaway!!!

Or should I call this the Beginning of Fall MHF Giveaway?

Maybe, but since it still feels like it’s 100 degrees here, I’ll just keep Summer in the title. And actually, there’s no sign of ending, yet. But let’s get back to the giveaway.

That’s right! It’s time for another giveaway. And the prize this go around?

A bath and body gift set from my Etsy shop, Maiden Hill Farm, including one bar of goat milk soap, one sample box of sugar cube scrubs, and a lip balm!

Summer 2015

Please Note: The Sugar Cube Scrub set pictured above is a full set not a sample.

A sample set will include 2 or 3 actual sugar cubes.

Now for the legalese: Open to entries from the US only. One lucky winner will be chosen at random when the contest ends on September 30, 2015 at 12:00 AM CST. The winner will be contacted by email to obtain their mailing address – if after 48 hours I haven’t received a response, a new winner will be chosen. When you sign in to Rafflecopter make sure to include an email address so that I can contact you. As soon as possible, I will mail out the prize.

P.S. If you don’t want to wait until the end of the giveaway, please visit my shop on Etsy here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Snoozing the day away.

I shared this on the farm/blog’s Facebook page, but it’s so cute that I decided to share it here as well. 

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One thing we learned about Sammy very quickly after getting him (Over two years ago? Gosh, has it been that long?!?), is that he is a champion napper. Top of the league. All-pro. Should get a million dollar contract. . . . Not from me, of course. But he’s that good. 

To prove it, here’s his newest “trick”. Napping on command 😉

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The Last. . .

I was going to title this post, The Last.

Notice the period in bold? As in the The Last baby goats of the kidding season. Period

Then, I realized that two girls, who I was positive weren’t, are. Are, as in, enceinte, knocked up, preggers. Uh-huh.

In other words, expect a continuation of this post in the near future. Until then, let’s look at one of my favorite things in the world, baby goats.

Cue the awww! Cause they are definitely awww worthy 🙂

Starting with the eldest, Phil. 

IMG_4169Who enjoys letting everyone know that he’s the King of the Bucket.

IMG_4170Next up are the twins, who aren’t exactly as twinnish as you’d think. 

Sasha, the darker and more adventurous of the two.

IMG_4190And Sofia, the Mommy’s Girl.

 

IMG_4210Next are twins, Rosalind and Roscoe.

IMG_4269Roscoe is solid white. Kid you not. I have never had (or even seen) a solid white goat. 

By the way, pictured above is our brand new milking stand from Double Durango Ranch. I’ve been meaning to post all about it, and I will. Someday. 

Now, for the most recent addition: Lionel. 

IMG_4264Lionel is a very special boy. He’s the second Miniature Nubian bred on our farm, and the first little buckling. 

Miniature Nubians are an emerging breed originally developed by breeding a Nigerian Dwarf buck to a Nubian doe. Mini Nubians have the wonderful milking abilities of their Nubian ancestors, but the smaller stature of the Nigerian Dwarf ones, making them perfect for small homesteads like ours. 

 

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This Goat.

This goat is my heart goat <3

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That particular information is on a need to know basis.

And the other goats definitely don’t need to know that. Cause they would be like, “What?!? What exactly are you saying woman?”

But seriously, how could I resist? Look at those ears.

And I do try to be as surreptitious as possible about it. Stealthy head scratches and whispered ‘Who’s Mama’s pretty girl?’ and all that. No need for hurt goat feelings here. 

Clare, by the way, is our very first Mini Nubian that was bred here. 

And she is a handful. A sweet, lovely handful that is as curious as they come. And is always wanting to know what is going on.

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 Such as in the above photo, which was taken when I was outside snapping pictures of flowers the other day. 

 

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How to make goat cheese (chevre).

My life has been all about milking lately. Morning and evening. The girls have really been doing their jobs well. 

So what to do when you have so much extra milk you could practically bathe in it (Oh wait, I already do that.)?

Make cheese, of course!

How To Make Goat Cheese

Now, to make goat cheese, you can get really fancy and purchase specialized things like cultures and rennet and things like that, but I’m all for simple and inexpensive. Although, I’m not ruling out any cheese making purchases in the future.  

And when I say simple, I really do mean just that.

Two ingredients. That’s basically all this farm-style goat cheese has in it. Of course, you can pizzazz it up with a few extra additives for a little more flavor. 

First, you start with milk. 

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Which we have. This is slightly more than 2 quarts of fresh goat milk, and I used a another 2 quarts in all for this batch.

Now, you can totally use pasteurized milk to make goat cheese. Or you can use raw, which is what I did. 

Pour the milk into a large saucepan, and slowly heat to about 180 to 186F degrees, stirring constantly to try to keep the milk from scalding. If it does scald, that’s perfectly fine. Just try not to scrape the yucky stuff on the bottom up into the milk. 

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Once it has heated up to the desired temperature, remove from heat and stir in the apple cider vinegar (you can also use white distilled vinegar, lemon juice, or even citric acid. The milk will almost immediately begin to separate into curds and whey. This is my favorite part because it’s really neat to see the cheese forming in front of your eyes.

Allow it to set for about 10 minutes. 

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In the meantime, place a colander over a large bowl and line it with at least two layers of cheesecloth (Having trouble finding cheesecloth in the store? Try checking the crafts section).

After about ten minutes have passed, pour the curdled milk in the lined colander.

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The liquid in the bowl is the whey. I’ve read of people using it to bake with, as an extra ingredient in smoothies, to make ricotta, and as a protein booster (whey is full of protein). I haven’t used it for anything extra, but one day!

Bring the edges of the cheesecloth together to create a ball of cheese. Hang the cheesecloth covered ball of cheese over a bowl for about 1 to 2 hours so that any extra whey can drip out.

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I hang my cheese ball from a cabinet door handle, but some people also hang them from wooden spoons laid across the top of a tall stock pot. 

Once your cheese has finished dripping out whey, unwrap it and add any extras that you desire.

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This one had salt, pepper, garlic, and fresh rosemary added, but you can do things like fruit, nuts, sun dried tomatoes, chives, or any other herbs you’d like. Mix it all together, then pack it into a container (I just use a regular old Tupperware-type container) and place in the refrigerator. Allow about 2 days for the flavors to meld together for the best taste, but if you want to, it’ll still be perfectly tasty to eat right away.  

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I love goat cheese. 

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On salad. 

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Broccoli.

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Or on baked potato wedges. Or just by itself.

How to make goat cheese (chevre).

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon of goat milk
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Cheesecloth
  • Colander
  • Large Saucepan
  • Large Spoon
  • Thermometer

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan or pot on top of the stove on medium to medium high heat, allow the milk to slowly reach 180 - 186F degrees.
  2. Once it has, stir in the apple cider vinegar. The milk should begin curdling almost immediately. Allow it to set for about 10 minutes.
  3. Place a colander over another bowl (to capture the whey) and line the colander with two layers of cheese cloth.
  4. Pour the curdled milk into the lined colander. Gather together the corners of the cheese cloth to create a ball shape. Hang over a bowl to drain for about 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Remove the ball of cheese from the cheesecloth and place in a bowl. Add salt, pepper, or any other additives you'd like and stir together until it's evenly incorporated.
  6. Place in a sealable container. Refrigerate for a couple of days for the best taste.
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