The Dairy Project

It has been a year since I bought and sold Salina, a sable Saanen Alpine cross doe.  She came form The Beekman 1802 farm in New York State.  Along with two other goats, they were to be a project conducted by myself and two other students.  We had a very rough set up for milking our goats, but we made it work.  The goats were milked on top of a turned over water troth, without a head stand. We had a leash tied to a post, where they were secured and we gave them a bucket full of second cut hay to eat while we milked them.

Photos by Ileana Montalvo form Loisaida Nest

Dara trying to eat my hat
Dara trying to eat my hat

No head stall, meant that Dara would try and eat your hair, or if she wa feeling nice give you kisses.

Milking started at 5:30 or 6:30am. If we were early enough we could miss running into students doing  farm chores. As a two person team, we would take turns milking, I would do one day and T would do the other.

Walking to the Barn 5:30am (April in Vermont)
Walking to the Barn 5:30am
(April in Vermont)
Milking Salina
Milking Salina

After milking the goats, we would walk with the buckets of milk to Houston House. This is one of the dorms at Sterling College that used to be a bed and breakfast, so they have a walk-in fridge and a sink system that makes it easy to clean buckets.

Straining the milk into Jars
Straining the milk into Jars
Milk in the Fridg
Milk in the Fridge
Prepping the Nipple bucket for the kids
Prepping the Nipple bucket for the kids
All the baby goats drinking from the nipple bucket.
All the baby goats drinking from the nipple bucket.

Birth

No matter how many books, or blogs you read, videos you watch, or people that you talk to,  you don’t know what birth is like until its witnessed first hand.  There are so many things to worry about like milk fever and ketosis, and when it starts to happen is the baby facing the right way.  All the diseases that I learned about in Animal Science class that week were running through my head, and I was convinced that all the kids had white muscle disease.  This is when a baby is born and they look healthy, but they can’t get up.  This happens because of a deficiency in selenium.  I was absolutely terrified, good thing everything turned out great.  Two beautiful healthy kids, one boy and one girl. The birth was quick, easy and fairly quiet, nothing to worry about, but at the same time I think I lost ten years from my life from stress.

Smother me in Butter and call me Happy

Making cinnamon rolls is something that I’ve always wanted to get good at, so for my first go, Karen helped me with a sweet roll recipe that consisted of water yeast, butter, sugar, and warm milk.  The consistency of the dough was different than that of the rolls that I had made the other day which was firmer.  This dough had to be softer,  slightly sticky even. Then it needed to rise for an hour. After that,  it’s rolled out,  stuffed with butter and sugar then set to the side for Saturday breakfast.

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Baking: Part One

I love watching cooking shows on Food Network. I even try my hand at it sometimes when my mother would leave me at home without frozen food.  But baking is a whole new animal, you can’t really taste as you go, and measurements are even more important than in savory cooking.  The original plan was to focus on making bread, starting with helping to make the bread for the school, then branching out to artisanal breads. The first day I spent my time with Karen making rolls for the next days lunch, chocolate chip cookies for community meeting, and a gluten free cake for snack that night.  The first thing I learned was how touchy yeast is. If the water is too hot, the yeast will die, and if the water is too cold,  then nothing will happen. Bath temperature is just right.  Yeast is very fascinating, and it’s everywhere, even in the air, which is called wild yeast. When the right amounts of water and flour are added, the wild yeast will feast on it and one can make a sour dough starter with it.

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Ssssstttticky Buns

Juggling a full load of bread for the school, and prepping sticky buns, and making cake for snack, was interesting and rewarding when everything went well.  That day’s snack cake was an oatmeal cake with a caramel drizzle.  This time the caramel didn’t turn out the way I wanted, and I think its because there wasn’t enough butter, and I also forgot to put the agave syrup in it.

The sticky buns turned out great, the sticky part was a combination of one part white sugar, one part brown sugar, butter, and agave syrup.  It was put in the bottom of a deep pan with the buns packed in tight.  There is nothing better them a warm sticky bun.

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