Archive for April, 2013

Hello Again

April 22, 2013

Hi again from the Howes in Tassie

I hope this post finds you all well and being blessed.  After what seemed like a long warm Summer, the weather here has definitely turned and the fires have been cleaned out and are back in use.  As I write the rain is pattering on the roof and the fire in the slow combustion stove is crackling and heating up water for showers.  It is quite pleasant inside but I am not looking forward to going out and separating the cow and calf for the night, which is my 9pm chore every evening.
I don’t feel like I have much to report, but thought I would share a photo of my first cheese, a farmhouse cheddar.  It aged for 4 weeks before we tried it, and I only had it in a proper maturing fridge for half of that time.  However it was definitely edible cheese!  We kept some to mature longer, but it developed an aftertaste that I didn’t particularly like.  Still, for a first attempt it wasn’t too bad.  I’ve made some 30 minute mozzarella a couple of times too, but am keen to try another hard cheese sometime when we have excess milk again, as well as a few hours hanging around the kitchen to spare.
Twinkles is going well.  Our milking has become pretty streamlined these days with Sam and I both milking at the same time, one of us on either side, all four teats at once.  🙂  It is pretty quick that way, and means we are both in practice for if we ever have to do it on our own.  Blaze is growing well.  He doesn’t appreciate being locked away from mum overnight but he now shares the paddock with our bottle reared calf which gives him company in the evenings, so it isn’t so bad.  We currently keep the cow and calf separated by a whole paddock and 3 gates at night after about 3 mornings when we went down to milk and found that Blaze had broken in with Twinks and stolen all our milk!  Grrr.
I liked this photo of Josiah and his long suffering favourite mouse “Silver”.  Here she is atop the crows nest of a model pirate ship!  She is a brilliant climber and I think she probably enjoys all the time she spends out and about with Josiah.
I have been busy with schooling and tidying and rearranging the buildings in preparation for Winter and also for Kim’s brother Paul’s arrival.  Paul has sold his unit in Perth and is coming to live in Tassie!  He will be staying with us until he finds his own home, and we are looking forward to having him here.  Kim’s healthy run didn’t last and he has not been so good lately.  When he can he is working on the old VW wagon and it is pretty much ready to be licensed now.  Caleb continues to do his online uni course.  He is very good at Japanese, but is not enjoying the Indonesian that he is doing at the moment.  Lydia now has her L plates and I have given her a couple of driving lessons.  Sam is also practising driving again now that he is having some days when he does not feel so bad.  He just needs some city driving practice and should be able to get his P’s soon, if his health holds out.  I would love to have both of them able to drive!
Well, I think that is all I have to share for now.  Best wishes to you from all of us.

Taste testing the cheese

April 13, 2013

Four weeks can seem like a long time, but finally the cheese was ready to taste.  I had waxed it, since the recipe said to, so it had a lovely red coating.



It smelt good and had a very mild flavour, so we decided to divide it into four pieces.  We ate the first then left the rest in my “cheese cave”.  After another week we tried it again.  And how did it taste?  Actually I am not sure how to describe taste!  The flavour was stronger, and I quite liked it, but there is a definite aftertaste that I don’t enjoy so much.  One friend who tried it said it reminded her of Wensleydale, but since I have never tried Wensleydale I can’t comment.  Obviously I need more experience in eating cheese!!

We have two more waxed quarters still in the “cave” which we will try after they have matured even further.  I am looking forward to trying more types of cheese in the future.  Perhaps some Brie next?  I have made Mozzarella a couple of times, but just the quick 30  minute type which doesn’t have much flavour at all.