Goat’s milk. It’s what dreams are made of. It’s everything I dreamed of when we started raising goats almost two years ago. Well, that and lots and lots of cuddles. And goat kids. Really, goats are just the best. But the reason why we started raising goats is for goat milk and goat’s milk products. About a month ago we finished drinking our last gallon of store bought milk and started milking our first freshener does, Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli. More on the joys of milking goats later. But ever since then, our fridge has been full of delicious goat’s milk. Once we started getting milk in larger quantities, our eyes widened with all the possibilities of what we can do with goat’s milk. Homemade greek yogurt, homemade ice cream, soap, butter, and cheese! In fact, I started a pinterest board dedicated to goat’s milk products and recipes. Honestly, I’ve been practically standing on my milk stand, preaching the benefits of goat’s milk to anyone who will listen. But let’s get right down to it. Today we’re talking about reason #459 why farming is awesome. And that’s cheese. Delicious, creamy, farmmade raw goat cheese (also known as chevre).
This weekend our metal shop was buzzing with activity, testosterone and beer. Dave and our buddy John were replacing the motor in a bobcat and getting that thing up and running. Our other buddy Bob was here working on setting up some new electrical lines in the shop so that they can all do more manly stuff in the future. Dudes are genetically designed to survive off of beef jerky, canned ravioli and tuna salad. They can do this for days, weeks, even 31 years. But this weekend I wanted them to eat some real food. Gasp! They had been working so hard this whole weekend. But the problem is that we haven’t gone grocery shopping in three weeks. I didn’t have much in the fridge or pantry but I did have some fresh farm raised rabbit! How that is possible, I do not know. I used what I had in the pantry to make a sweet honey and curry oven roasted rabbit. Not all guys like sweet with their meat but I figured since they can ravenously eat this with their hands, they wouldn’t mind.
I’m going to get right down to it. I’m talking about making homemade marshmallows, people. Home. Made. Marsh. Mallows. It’s about to get real. Let me back up a little bit. This year for Thanksgiving I was in charge of bringing the sweet potatoes and a pie. We all know that the best part of the sweet potatoes is certainly not the sweet potatoes, it’s the gooey, messy, sweet morsels of heaven on top. Duh! But for real, the best part of anything when it involves marshmallows is ALWAYS the marshmallows. Hot chocolate is nothing if not a hot tub for mini-marshmallows. A s’more is given that soft, velvety (sometimes chard) texture when marshmallows are added. It’s the best. Everyone knows that. But I digress. This year I really wanted to step up my culinary game for Thanksgiving. So why not go for gold and make homemade marshmallows for the sweet potato casserole topping. Not only are they great to bake with, but they make an impression addition to the dessert spread and make wonderful homemade gifts.
The wonderful month of May means many, many things. It means endless stressful days of planting in the garden, the first sunburns of the year, a pile of empty beer cans in the trash (and sink. Because for whatever reason grown ass boys will put the cans in the sink but can’t seem to go over 1.5 ft to put them in the trash can. It’s must be some debilitating disease that boys have called “laziness.”). May is also the beginning of grilling season! This is when our meal rotation for the week goes like this: brats, burgers, pork steaks (for fancy guests), leftovers and repeat. I was tired of making the same ol’ burger so I thought I would take the standard burger to the next level. THEN take it to the next level after that! Yes, my friends, it’s the Next-Next Level Burger. A bacon juicy lucy topped with homemade tomato jam, a bacon-onion-balsamic jam and homemade pickled peppers to top it off with. Commence the drooling.
One thing we learned from our garden this year is that we planted waaaaay too many cherry tomatoes. It got to a point that if we needed to punish them, we sent them out to pick cherry tomatoes. Forget water boarding… come to cherry tomato hell. Ok, maybe it wasn’t that bad but it was very tedious and we were left with plenty of spare cherry tomatoes after our restaurant deliveries. What do we do with all of these suckers? You can’t really sauce them, we don’t have freezer space to freeze them but there is one more solution… to shrink ray them! Or, you know, dehydrate them. I really love sun-dried tomatoes but I don’t have the time (or the daylight) to do that, so the next best thing is to fake and bake. No tanning goggles necessary!
It’s summertime. It’s hot. And I’m hungry. Actually, it’s beyond hungry… I’m hangry. Hangry is when hunger takes over and your stomach becomes very angry at you and you find yourself tearing through the kitchen cabinets and ripping the doors off the hinges. There’s a house full of boys that have been working hard all day so I start to go through my mental recipe rolodex. What do boys want to eat? What do they like? Meat. Cheese. Beer. Grilled things. And that’s pretty much it. And how do you satisfy insatiable man hunger? With man food. Enter the beer cheese burger.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some freezer pizza. I love it. Jack’s, Tombstone, DiGornio, I love em’ all. Get in my face! But some times I gotta branch out. Stretch my food legs ya know. There’s a time and a place for everything, and freezer pizza fills many food voids. It’s great for the really hungry, but really lazy, or the really drunk, or really tired. One food void that freezer pizza does not fill, is for the really hungry, but really bad ass. And it just so happens, that’s how we roll (in our minds).
Last week I started a new series all about my adventures in cooking for boys. Last week was all about beef and blue sliders, this week I’m giving you a recipe for the morning after. You know the drill, everyone comes over in the afternoon, drinks well into the evening. Maybe the party moves from the porch to the swimmin’ hole and we gather around a giant bonfire. Maybe there’s another beer run. Maybe a push-up/arm wrestling contest. Maybe that’s followed up by a real wrestling contest. Maybe everyone strips down to their skivvies and jumps in the creek. Maybe an entire handle or two of Jim Beam is consumed. Maybe some Jagermeister as a night cap. Maybe some folks don’t make it back to the house. Maybe they just sleep wherever they fell down. I mean…maybe. No matter how the night goes, the morning always ends up the same… the kitchen is trashed and all of the boys are slowly starting to wake up, and crave bacon like zombies craving brains.
When you live on a farm with a bunch of boys, they’ll probably want to invite their fellow dude friends over. All the time. And you might suddenly realize that it’s Saturday afternoon and you have to feed a small army of hungry boys who eat like they’re pregnant with twins. However, when you’re the lady of the house you don’t have the time to spend all day slaving away in the kitchen. There’s chicken to feed, weeds to pull, guns to shoot, etc. Also, boys will use up every single dish, pot, pan, fork and knife just to make one meal then leave it in the sink. Am I right? When I found out that I was once again cooking for boys this weekend, I had to come up with a solution. So here’s a recipe that I whipped up that will satisfy the craving of a bunch of hungry boys, will allow you to get out of the kitchen and not leave you with a dozen dirty dishes. Enter the beef and blue sliders…
Baking bread has quickly become one of my weekend rituals. Wake up, make coffee, check on the chickens, feed the dog and start making bread. I love it because I love to cook/bake, and baking my own bread means one less thing to buy at the grocery store. It’s cheaper and tastes better too. It also fills up the house with amazing, wondrous aromas and makes me feel like a real empowered female homesteader that’s going to meet the day and kick some ass. But I hate it because baking is a science and I didn’t do too well in science class. And also because as soon as I take it out of the oven, I have a 170 lb vulture named Dave who swoops down and eats most of the bread before the weekend is over and I have to make a second batch.