So today is the last day of July. I'm not sure why that is signficant except that it means that we are only a couple of weeks away from the Crater Lake Century. I have bad news about that...we can't do it. First of all, who would milk Sassafras while we were away? It's too far to make it a one day trip...we'd have to stay over night. Secondly, I'm pretty sure that trying to climb from 4000' to 8000' and then ride 100 miles would likely kill us in our current state of conditioning. We just haven't been able to ride like we'd hoped. I find myself looking at cyclists longingly as they ride by me... I'm not giving up on cycling, it's just taken a backseat for the moment. Unfortunate too, considering how incredible the weather is these days. Anyway, I just wanted to come clean on that one. I'd very much like to put that ride on our plans for next year, though. It looks amazing and I think that with proper conditioning, it'll be a spectacular ride.
That said, back to our farm life. Yesterday I ordered a stainless milking pail, a milk thermometer and the enzymes necessary to make cheese from a dairy supply place. Milking Sass by myself is still going ok. Both last night and this morning, she got antsy after she finished her ration, but both times I was able to calm her down enough to finish milking. This morning, she shifted her foot and hit the bowl, sloshing a lot of the milk out onto the stand and the floor of the lean-to. I stopped milking to clean it up (lest it get sticky/draw ants) but I think that having a real pail would eliminate that issue. Tonight, I'm going to let H do the milking. I'll show him how I do the santizing procedures and he can do the actual milking. Getting this goat this soon was HIS idea, not mine. So he needs to take on more of the milking duties!!
Last night I found a recipe for 'quick' ice cream. We don't have an ice cream maker (we need to get one), so I'm going to do this by hand. Basically, I put some vanilla in a quart of milk. I added enough sweetener to make it taste right and I used both honey and real maple syrup. I wasn't sure that pure sugar would disolve correctly since I wasn't going to be heating the milk. I shook it in a ball jar until all the honey was mixed in and tonight I'll be freezing it. The plan is to freeze it in a bowl for awhile, take it out and mix it, freeze it some more, mix it, etc. This will continue until we get a worthwhile texture. I'll report back if it works or not! I also bought some live culture plain organic yogurt to try making yogurt. All I have to do is figure out a way to keep the mix warm for 8 - 10 hours and I haven't quite come up with the solution. Once I do, that'll be the next project.
This weekend, I have two major goals. The first is to fence the field for Sassafras. We don't have the money right now, but we can't wait any longer, either. I suggested to H that we may have to pull out a credit card, because we need to get this done ASAP. Secondly, I want to clean up the garage and begin collecting items for a yard/garage sale. We've got too much stuff and I'd like to get rid of a lot of it. Plus, the money we make could easily go towards paying off that fence, right? I'd like to set a goal of August 16th for the sale. Let's see if we can get it done.