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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Can't Help it, and here is a round of Q&A

I have had a slew of new readers arrive this week, hi guys, and welcome! I have placed my labels back up on the sidebar, and made my achieves link easier to find at your request. And if you want to leave a comment on a post from 3 years ago, I don't mind.

We have Kid Fever around here. Everyone is enamored by the wee ones. And amazed at how quickly their personalities are in the fore front. Right now I am watching them play King of the Hill on a suitcase. Betty seems to be the dominate one here. She is very outgoing, and has already decided to take my husband on in a head butting contest. After my husband named her Betty, I look at her and see 1950's pin-up. Can't help it. Calling anyone Blue Eyed Betty will do that to you, and she has white knee high stockings, with a little black strip on the front two that remind me of white thigh high with black bows. Ok, I am a little off in the head, but it makes me giggle.

Jack is needy. He is the talker and can't stand to be alone. My husband took Betty outside, Our youngest boy, Small, took Sable, and I was getting ready to grab Jack when he jumped out on their playpen and he slipped all over the wood floor, bawling after his sisters. It reminded me of Bambi on Ice.

Sable is weaker than her siblings. She is more adventurous, venturing off by herself, finding a warm spot to lay down, while her siblings curl up together. She is really quite. She just went back into the playpen, her brother Jack calling after her. Sable seems really content just to be.

This is how we have to help them nurse. Betty, Patch and my husband
Picture 782
As I took this picture my husband commented "How's this for Soulless folk?"

And then he spouted, "of course we'll just eat them later." He was joking of course, the girls will be used for milking and Jack, hopefully I can find someone to trade us outright for him, like we are with our Dexter Bull.

Other than the above, there isn't too much going on here. I will take this opportunity to let you all ask your questions. Got something you need to know, want to learn or just curious about, than ask in comments or email me. If the answer is short, I will reply in comments, if need be, I will cover it in a post.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely adorable phelan. Congrats on your latest additions. That udder is amazing!!

Anonymous said...

I had forgotten, but I do have a question I'd like to ask someone like yourself. I am one of those homesteader wannabes, who's just trying to learn as much as I can before I strike out on my own adventure. In terms of preserving food, I seem to come along a lot of talk about canning, but not a lot about other forms (this is just in general). There is occasional mention of freezing and storing things like potatoes in buckets. Is this just because canning takes the most effort? Or is it really what most people use most of the time with most of their food?

Or at least, is it what you use most of the time? And if so, why aren't freezing and just setting aside more popular?

Sorry for such a long question, but I haven't been able to put this all together on my own yet.

Phelan said...

No problem Sarah. I do have tags on this issue. Homesteaders do talk a lot about food and canning. Canning is done more often than freezing because of space and power failures. You really don't want to lose a freezers full of food, and when you live outside of a town or city limits, power failures are a common occurrence. I dehydrate food stuff as well because of possible power failure and space issues.

As for just setting things aside, we do that, but you have to be watchful, those items can turn bad quickly if you aren't careful.

Hope that answers your question.

SkippyMom said...

Hi Phelan!

Your husband's comment made me chuckle "soulless folks" and "eat them later" HA!

I do have a question - we want to buy a dehydrator and were wondering what you think would be a good type/brand for our small family [of 4] - we will be doing beef and fruit - but are clueless about where to begin the process.

I have plenty of storage room, so size isn't a problem, but I don't need a humongous one because it is only for us.

Thanks for any suggestions :)

SkippyMom said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phelan said...

Skippy mom, I use an American Harvest. (a reader, and wonderful friend alrescate sent it to me a few years ago) It works great. However when it comes to jerky I don't use a dehydrator. I use a box fan, 2 new cotton fiber furnace filters and my living room window. dehydrators tend to cook them meat, not something you want to do. You want to dry the meat. I cut mine in strips and brine them in whatever flavor I want them to be overnight. Lay the box fan down, where the air pushes through, not sucks, and place 1 of the filters down. Put your strips on a place the other filter over top. Use zip ties, large rubber bands or twine to tie the two filters together tightly, and then secure it to the fan. Open window, place the fan in it, meat side out, turn it on low and allow it to sit for a few days. If it rains, pull it in, you don't want it to get wet.

More than you were looking for, I know.

Anonymous said...

I have an Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator. It is very flexible - I can make yogurt in it (without the trays) or jerkeys/leathers (with the liners) or else just dry herbs, veg and fruits.


JLB said...

Thanks for the welcome and for the archives :) I can't wait until mine are born. Although I keep hoping mine doesn't have an udder like that, even though she will be milked I'm not sure I could handle it lol.

Phelan said...

JLB, well our mom is very very very well milked. It happens sometimes with good milkers, most the time however, they are not that long. Every time I see her I start singing, do your teats hang low, do they wobble to and fro, can you tie them in a knot can you tie them in a bow. . .

Anonymous said...

I always knew D. was a boob man. *grin*

Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

Phelan, what exactly does "finger tip tight" lids mean when canning?

I was cracking up at..."do your teats hang low...." :) It is neat to hear about the babies personalities.

Phelan said...

Alrescate, why do you think he loves me so? ;)

Jennifer, finger tip tight means that once your cans have sat over night, you attempt to pull the lids off using only your fingers. If they pop off, they were canned improperly. If not, you did it right. However, sometimes the lids will pop off all by their lonesome down the road, even if they passed the finger tip tight test. (say that three time fast)

Green Griffin said...

I'm a new follower and neophyte too. I'm glad you are getting lots of new readers. This the best! Looking forward to lots of fun.

Jederah said...

Thanks for putting the labels back up. I was wanting to show Bill the seedling set up.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a new reader, just a new commenter. Ha!
I do have a question, we would like to get a goat for milking. I've been reading like crazy and can't decide what type to get. I'm leaning towards Nubians, but I've read a few places that say Boar/Nubian X's are better. What's your take on this?
Hmm, for some reason I seem to have forgotten my password. Ok well I don't want to be totlly anoymous again.
Take care and keep doin' whatchur doin'!!

ChristyACB said...

That is an adorable picture and her teat is truly amazing! Very cute I have kid fever.

I think its great you're taking on questions.

A full goat tutorial for newbies, or maybe a series of them, would be lovely and truly helpful!

Irma said...

Hi Phelan, any comments you may have on cheesemaking would be apprecaited. I don't have acess to raw milk so I am forced to experiment with pasteurized, and so far I have been unable to develop a hard enough curd to process. I am using liquid rennet, given to me by a "real" cheesemaker, as the powdered rennet I see mentioned all over the internet is very hard to find in my part of Canada. My ex-husband will be travelling to the US soon and has promised to bring me some junket, but in the mean time I spend a lot of time ruining milk!

Phelan said...

Welcome Green Griffin!

Stephanie, you're welcome

Debi, Nubian's and alpines are what I choose to use. The Boer mixes are good if you are looking for a goat to finish out quickly (eat) They grow quicker than normal Boers, but produce almost the same amount of milk.

ChristyACB, I will see what I can do.

Irma, I have never been able to make a hard cheese with store bought milk. If you like cottage cheese, I recommend this recipe by Alton Brown (I think I love this man) and there is a book with 30 recipes using pasteurized milk called Making Great Cheese at Home by Barbara J. Ciletti. I haven't used that book.

Jennifer said...

I think you stole my goat! At least the coloring and that udder looks exactly the same! I have a black Nubian with tan markings and a less than perfectly attached udder, but we love her and she is actually a great milk goat.(Hey.. we can't all have perfect boobs!) Crossed with a Boer buck she hasn't passed her large, low hanging teats on to any of her daughters. The teat song you sing cracked me up..I almost spit Dr. Pepper on my computer monitor. LOL! Love your blog!

slaterlife said...

I'm so excited to find others out there who are homesteading and doing what my husband and I want to do. I'm looking for as much info as I can get as we work toward our dreams. Great blog I really enjoy your entries!

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