Friday, November 18, 2011

Weekend Enjoyed

I curled soft thoughts from a weekend enjoyed. My weekends seem to have gained length since I have began working at the BVI. I am not sure why this is. I think because while working there, there isn't the ability to slack off like at other jobs. (You know what I am talking about.) So when I get time off it seems like such an enjoyable release. This weekend I spent most of my time putting siding up on my house. Oh it was lovely. I was worried I was making some terrible unknown mistake while embarking on the clapboard endeavor. Remember, learning carpenter. It looks great! One day was sunny and warm, the next cloudy and chilly. Each memory great feelings between body and mind. Leaving my house I had staging setup to continue the siding for next week.

I also got to pull porcupine quills from one of my grandfather's cows. It isn't the most exciting story, but there is something so unique about the acts of farming. Taking pliers to the face of a large animal, who is scared, because what you are doing will be an act of healing. That is a great thought. Curling inwards to soft, warmed soul.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chocolate Panna Cotta

Today was my day off. I had a split weekend this week. So I worked on the house for a few hours putting in windows with a past coworker. I did not get as much done as I had wanted. He showed up pretty hung over. So was still thankful for the help, but any heavy work in the barn wasn't happening. So after putting in most of the downstair windows, I retreated to the garden for some fun weeding in the misty rain- bug free! And then decided that it was time for a heavy whipping cream run. I went off to Hanafords, and got some white chocolate, some cream, and then walked around looking at pudding, yogurt and fruit cups as cheap Panna Cotta molds. I couldn't decide which ones would be best, so I ended up buying a couple yogurts and some really really cheap pudding. I then spent the rest of the day listening to Chopin and Beethoven, making sauces, and eating pudding. It was perfect. Although I have to admit negated my workouts from the last couple days. (I think I'll be fine)

So above is the desert finale. My biggest critique is that the ganache was spread too thickly. Kills the presentation. Otherwise I was very happy. It was my first attempt at a PC. It was perfect. The crisp (cookie that looks like a fin) was tacky. It was practice to make it gluten free, but tasted good. I completely messed up making a white chocolate mousse. I was attempting to mix it with a homemade ricotta. The chef at the BVI was making a ricotta, and had to ask him how he got his so fine. And then later I asked how I could blend it with a white chocolate. Well, considering the process involved several cooking techniques I have never tried, and I was able to salvage a sauce in the end, then I am very very happy.

I invited over a couple friends for tonight to enjoy. I think it was quite good. It was a lot of fun making three different sauces, an emulsion, and the ganache. One sauce I did not use. I overcooked the ricotta, and decided that Kavia would fair better with it. =)

So that is my near perfect weekend day. I got more of my house done, and realized that I really need to just hop to for the water and electrical when I get some cash next month, I got to relax inside after the garden, learn a bit more about confectionery, and had a couple friends over.

I hope whoever is reading this is well and wonderful. If not (or even if you are!) I do have three extra panna cottas ready to go... first come, first serve. I guarantee one is not making it beyond breakfast.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Can't Remember that Song!

I have ZERO musical abilities. So I am often in the bind of hearing a song I like, but I cannot remember the lyrics. So I am at work, in the kitchen, trying to sing what lines I can remember to a cook, out of tune mind you, and then asking- do you know that song?

There is a song that goes "She wants my body" only line I can remember, any help?

This one took me a bit

Looking around the house.
Hidden behind the window and the door.
Searching for signs of life but there's nobody home.

Well, maybe I'm just too sure.
Maybe I'm just too frightened
by the sound of it.
Pieces of note fall down, but the letter said, - better than ezra, good

And possum kingdom

Enjoy the sun!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lets kiss the sun when she comes out.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

If I was a Horse

Then I'd colic. Good thing I'm not, 'cept this parabola of butterfly wings fabricated into the stitches of hooting night owls- a sliver of torn, cool, night air; a slow evening toad making his way to the warmth of the blacktop of route 11.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May 1

Well here is the house coming along! Tyveked the lower level completely. I have some time off, and will be finishing the other grabrel end, and then tyvek the upstairs, windows, and doors! The place is also looking very green.

And those yummy things above are an Orange Manier Truffle covered in dark chocolate and candied orange peel.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Theory of Butterfly Wings

It's difficult to see the value of an Oak Tree during sugaring season.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

You might be a farmer if...

So I was picking up eggs tonight, and thinking about what I would write if I were to write a book about farming. I will quickly note that I am too young, and far too inexperienced to write on such a topic, but still I thought about it. Quickly here is what I came up with:

The Modern Day Small Farmer: 3000 Things NOT to Do!
A Memoir of Things Gone Wrong

And here are just a few of the headlines.

1. Headlamps are for emergencies, not for everyday use; go to bed.
2. Roosters do not lay eggs- so don't have more than one.
3. Your wife is not always right, but most of the time she is or knows better; so listen.
4. Count your pennies, but if you are relying on them, then you're doing something wrong.
5. There are 168 hours in a week. At least 56 of them are for sleep.
6. Build your nest boxes before you get your hens.
7. It doesn't get better, and easier, unless if you take the time to make things better and easier.
8. I processed about 1200 chickens last year, and made some money doing it, but it wasn't fun, not at all. Refer to #9.
9. Put a calendar on the barn wall, and put a tally on each day that you got frustrated with something. Then see how many tallies it takes for you get a clue. Refer to #3.
10. 5 gallon buckets are glorious, wonderfully industrious things, but don't be a dumbass lugging water three times a day to 900 meat birds with them.

Good-Night. Morning will come soon enough.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Good Day Spent

Today was gorgeous. I had the day off, no egg deliveries or CSC. I ended up picking up inside my barn quite a bit, and then called it a day. I was off to make cheese. The above is a picture of the curds that have been cut, and then heated. I made cheddar from about 7 gallons of fresh cow's milk.

Bellow is a picture of the drained curds.
And bellow the 'cheddaring' process. The curds are cut into slabs, and then flipped every 15 minutes in a warm pan. This part is still going on. It is the first time I am making a traditional cheddar recipe. Usually I make an abridge version: a Farm House Cheddar. However, today I decided the day would be best spent, inside, making a traditional cheddar.

A friend asked why I liked making cheese when I commented that I enjoyed the actual work of it. My reply was: It is the only work on the farm where there is no chance in being covered with fecal matter. In this there is a reprieve.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


The above picture isn't terribly spectacular, albeit it being a spectacularly gorgeous morning. This was last week. My grandfather had found some pump staging on craigslist. They regularly retail for $70 each, but a contractor had just purchased a lift and was willing to let 6 of them go for a clean $100. Both of us wanted the staging, and not wanting to pass up the inexpensive opportunity, my grandfather milked for me that Monday morning and I borrowed my grandmothers car for Littleton, NH.

I got up at 4:30 to feed/water my chickens and chicks at my farm, and then scoot over to a McDonalds in Littleton by 7:30. I got there with a half hour to spare, but needed to stop for gas, and a coffee to keep me going. I have not been getting to bed early. After work I drive to my farm in Franklin- finish collecting eggs, put out the morning's grain, break out the frozen water buckets, and tend the 300 or so peeping chicks which will be my summer flock. Admittedly I usually fall asleep in my little truck when I pull up to the farm. The night of the pump staging adventure I pulled over at a stop sign on North Road to catch a little shut eye, and then dozed off in my little driveway at the farm. I am only writing it, because I am acknowledging how annoyed I am getting with this poor habit of rushing about.

The following two pictures are from the house. The first is from sometime in May/June? I had just raised a section of the post and beam frame. It was the first act of building upwards out of the basement ceiling; going skyward from the floor.

This next picture I took to send to a friend, and represents the current condition of the house. Still a little drafty without the windows and doors, but looking much like a house of course, and largely out of weather. I had intended on finishing the Tyvek, but I got very sick for about a week in January, and have not dared pushing myself too much with house, farm and work. It can wait a little. I am very hopeful with warmer weather, doors and windows. It will be a house.

And what would a farm blog be without a farm picture? Can you guess what is going on in this picture? Well, the benefits of having a property with full southern exposure, is that the winter sun is remarkably pleasant. The hens, inside the barn, dig into the unfrozen floor and hover. Yes, all winter, dust bathing themselves! They look happy and wonderful- now lay more eggs!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What would be wrong with moving to France?

Except at best I (was) conversational in Spanish? Out of curiosity I clicked on the link for "Raw Milk Availability in Other Countries" on the Weston A Price Foundation's site. Here is France' gorgeous post.


  • Brittany: Certified organic raw cow's milk. Ferme de Kerheu, 29510 BRIEC DE LµODET, 02 98 57 92 67. Their milk is even distributed by two local supermarkets: Inter Marché in Briec and Leclerc in Quimper where it costs 0.94€/liter and 0.84€/liter respectively.
  • Tournus: There is a raw milk vending machine on the southern outskirts of the center of town across the street from "Simply Market." If you take the main road out of town going towards Mâcon you will see a small sign for Simply Market on your left. The milk comes from La Ferme de Chantebaud.
  • A reader alerts us: "Raw donkey milk is going great guns in France and Belgium. Marie Tack in Belgium sells donkey milk that meets European bacteriological standards. I visited two farms in France and drank milk directly from many burros (delicious!). I will go to Belgium next year to visit Marie myself who milks 50 head of mammoth jennets each day. Donkey milk is the closest milk to human breast milk and is ideal for feeding infants. It is in a state of rediscovery in France and Belgium and will be available here in the future.Visit to see her operation. Donkeys don't carry Bovine diseases."
  • Another reader says: --This is the only raw milk vending machine I have come across, there are three in the Lyon region, but of course I continue to purchase raw milk freely from cremeries in the French Alps. There seems to be no restriction on sales from cheese-making factories here in Haute Savoie, I am not sure about other areas of France, but I assume where artisanal cheese is made, raw milk is available. A post by me: in-europe-what-a-great-idea/
  • Vending Machine Raw Milk (Lait Cru) And Bottles If You Need Them (Inside A Decrotive Small Wooden Chalet) - Main Entrance - Le Clerc Supermarket - Villeneuve Sur Lot - Lot Et Garonne- France -(The Dispenser Even Moos As It Delivers The Milk). Material - Raw Milk - Lait Cru Farm Name - Ferm Du Gaec De La Croix De Balen Farmers' Names - Familles Martinet & Laurante Address 47140 Trentells - France
Really! Raw milk vending machines? Hold on. I think we just found the answer to most chronic childhood diseases in America!
Actually, I like farm to consumer purchases of raw milk. It forces us to be unbelievably cautious with how we handle the milk, the cows, the equipment. Literally our patrons are outside our doorstep. It is a very nice reminder. Although I just like the idea of something as wholesome coming from the vending machine as raw milk. Who needs a redbull when some Jersey Cow is just a buck twenty-five away?
p.s. I'd try the donkey milk, but "it's the closest thing to your mother's breast milk" just isn't a good sales pitch to me.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Dear S510, I bet you've never had a cat kneading your lap so delicately, and rubbing its fuzzy head against the warm belly of a cow as you are bent over trying to milk her. Sincerely Yours.