Sunday, October 19, 2008

Quick weekend recap

Grapes, grapes and more grapes!

While I had to put off a few things on my list, I'm pleased with what we accomplished this weekend.

We completed quite a bit of painting. We now have the front, both sides and half the back painted. There is still quite a bit of trim that still needs to be done on one of the sides and on the back, but I'm feeling like we are making good progress. We have not done the back part that surrounds the deck, but we feel like we need to do that with paint brushes. I think we may get sun next weekend, so we may still get this task done this year! We have decided to put off painting the deck. It's butt ugly dark teal, but it's winter rain won't damage it. It can wait until next summer.

We purchased a chest freezer!! I'm so excited. We decided to put it in the basement instead of in the laundry room, so it's not as convenient as it could be, but that's ok. I think I'd rather have the extra room in the laundry room anyway. We went with a 7.2 cu ft freezer - we were originally going to get the smaller one, but if we end up raising our own chickens for meat next year, we'll need the extra space. We just got it downstairs this evening. so tomorrow morning (once it's cold), I'll get to move some milk and meat down there. Yay!

We trimmed the goats hooves. That was an adventure! First we had to level the goat's shed, so while I watched the level, my H jacked it up. When we got it level, he propped it up. Then we decided that since we were both right there, we'd try the hoof thing. We started with Buddy since we thought he'd be the most difficult one. He wasn't loving it, but it wasn't too bad. He did cry out a few times when he was getting frustrated (it took us awhile), but there was no pain for any of us. Buddy did pee on my H though! I did Buddy's hooves first, and it was hard because he's so small. I should have started with Sass. Anyway, once I figured out what was what, it wasn't too bad. My H had to take over for me at one point because I was having trouble clipping and Buddy was getting restless. He actually did better with me holding him and H working on his hooves. Then we did Sass and that was harder. She is much stronger and she doesn't like her feet messed with! Her feet weren't as over grown it was quicker overall. I'm so proud of us! Both goats are now happily groomed. ;-)

On Saturday we went to an apple tasting at the Portland Nursery. I'll write more about the apples later, but the event was neat. We met some friends there and had a nice time. My H tried apple cider fo the first time in his life (I was stunned!) and he really liked it. We asked about renting a press and the guy wasn't much help. I'll keep looking though! Afterward, we went to a local brew pub and had the worlds most garlicky hummus and some hard pear cider. It was interesting, but not something we'd want to drink a lot of... It was fun to hang out's not something we do enough on the weekends and it helped us feel a little more "normal".

Lastly, we got up close and personal with a mass quantity of grapes. Many of the grapes we had picked last week were spoiling, so we had to use them up pronto. We destemmed the entire lot, separated 16 cups for a recipe that I'm going to make (Cinnamon Grape Preserves), and then juiced the remainder. I tried using a juicer that we'd gotten as a wedding gift (and never used!), but it pulverized the grapes. I ended up going with the food mill instead. We would have had about two gallons of juice if I'd used all the water we boiled the grapes in, but I dumped most of it before realizing that I should be including it. Oops. I did keep the last of it....and I figured that if the resulting juice is too concentrated, I can always add water. Right now, the juice is resting the the fridge. I'll pour off the clear part (leaving behind the sediment) tomorrow night and can it then. I'll also do the preserves then as well. We also filled a dehydrator full of apple rings, tomato slices and grapes (raisins). I did not get to make more apple pie filling, but I will do that this coming weekend (or maybe this week). Our neighbor gave us a big bag of apples from her tree (Jonagolds, we think)...and they will make delicious pie apples.

Lastly, I did not get to the greenhouse. I'm ok with it, though. Next weekend, perhaps. :-)

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