Alison and I are still not behind on our Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) novels. That means that between the two of us we have written more than 24,000 words already. So far there are a few decent parts of my novel and a whole bunch of horrible parts.
I need to get back in to practice when it comes to writing.
This week we tried to make our first blue cheese. The make went pretty much terribly. Somehow we forgot to turn on the timer multiple times and we also forgot to turn on the temperature alarm during this second heating of the milk It ended up that the curds were much much firmer than anticipated. We are hoping that the Penicillium Roqueforti (blue mold) will still colonize the cheese even though it is not perfect. We are also hoping that the mesophilic bacteria did not die when the curds reached 101 degrees.
This Saturday as we worked on the cheese we also made another batch of granola. This batch came out pretty good. We made a double batch, so it will probably last over a month. We used out dried apples and some raisins that we got in bulk from Winco (if I recall correctly we got 40 lbs of raisins in a massive box.)
The acorns that we have been leaching are still bitter. We spent a little time this week grating them through a cheese grater and hope that the new smaller size will improve their leech speed. If this doesn't work we will have to just boil them forever and get the tannin out that way.
I have also been participating in Nagademon (National Game Design Month). So far I have a game called Hungry Oni (I also considered naming it Naga Demon and Hungry Hungry Ogre, but Hungry Oni is the current name). Either way, it is a game where you try to not get eaten by an ogre. It has only been tested with 2 players so far, but the game was not horrible. It does still need a lot of work, but I am well along the way to finishing it.
Rea wanted me to make the ogre in the game purple with a violet background. The image of an ogre is not really necessary, but a fun addition to the game. To the left is what it currently looks like.
We have had some sickness in our family recently. Sara has been sick for a few days now. She has been coughing a lot and has a really scratchy sounding throat. Rea has also been sick, but she seems to have gotten over it much more quickly.
Rea has been really helpful this week. She tries to keep Timmy happy all the time and she also is always happy to help mom and dad out when they need help.
Timmy just started to like playing peekaboo for long periods of time. This is the youngest that any of our children have ever liked playing peekaboo. We are going to try to get a picture of it to put in the blog, but if this sentence gets posted to the blog I either forgot or we couldn't get one.
Timmy also is ticklish now. He loves getting tickled. He sometimes also laughs and laughs when he decides something is silly.
We also made some doughnuts Saturday night to go with some local apple cider that Alison found. The cider is pressed in Sandy, and it is pretty darn tasty. The doughnuts could have come out better, but they were ok. By ok I mean that they were much better than store bought doughnuts, but they were not perfect.
We made a small tray of Fruity Oaty Bars following the traditional recipe that I just made up on the spot. They ended up very tasty and very fruity, but also a little crumbly. If we come up with a better recipe in the future I will let you know what it is.
I also made up a batch of muffins a little earlier in the week, but they came out horrible because I somehow tripled the baking soda. The goats loved them, so it wasn't an entire loss.
Speaking of the food eating power of goats, my parents gave us some old food storage that they got from my grandparents, so we have been feeding it to the goats. When the goats find a food that they like they tend to give a massive amount of milk. I can say for sure that they love lentils. We also sprouted the alfalfa and tried to feed that to them, but some of it had fermented and they do not love fermented sprouts. The chickens, on the other hand, did.
We made some more cheese gnocchi today. It ended up pretty good. It took 2lbs of ricotta (which was the real reason why we wanted to make it). We added some eggs, milk, garlic, salt, and pepper and then enough flour to make a moderately dense dough. The gnocchi were formed by pinching off pieces and then wadding them into balls. They were about the size of a half of a lime. We cooked up some for lunch and the girls loved them so much that they ate all of the ones that were cooked and clamored for more. Next time we will make a larger batch for a meal (We made a ton of them and froze them so all we have to do is thaw them and boil them for a quick meal).
Alison also found pine nuts at Local Flavors (which is still our favorite place to shop because it sells local produce.) Sara loves pine nuts, but Rea doesn't. We have been shelling them and munching on them. They are a really good nut.
Alison read 'The Ordinary Princess' to Rea, and they both enjoyed it a lot. It is a fun little book for those of you who have daughters. Rea's favorite part was when the princess runs away to live in the forest.
On Friday we made some home made tacos with our tortillas and some ground beef that we bought at Local Flavors. The meat was from grass fed beef and it was really good. It had practically no fat in it, so it didn't shrink much at all when it was cooked, and I didn't have to pour off anything. The tacos were a hit, and we ate all the tortillas that we made. We are getting good at making tortillas.