Saturday, January 26, 2013

A few weeks ago my husband brought home 20 pounds of labneh from the Middle Eastern grocery store. I love labneh. But as much as I love it there is no way I can eat 20 pounds in a week. But wait, what is labenh? It is made from yogurt that is strained in cheese cloth. Salt is added and then it is rolled into 1" balls. At the point it is either packed into glass jars or sprinkled with herbs such as thyme, oregano, mint or red pepper. Once in the jar, olive oil is poured over the balls to preserve it. Now the labneh can be stored for 6 months up to a year. Labneh is a traditional Syrian breakfast or snack food which is eaten with bread. It is very nutritious and delicious. I love to eat it spread on toast with sliced tomatoes, capers and black pepper. When Sam first brought home the labneh we laughed about the different ways we could eat 20 lbs of the stuff. Joking aside, we both knew what we had to do. We set out an afternoon a few days later and begin the task of rolling balls of labneh. We raided our herb pantry. All of the herbs were raised here at Via Verde. We got a little "out of the box" with our decision to use Herbes de Provence, chives, and lemon thyme. We did go with the traditional flavors of mint, oregano, thyme, marjoram. However, my two favorite flavors ended up being chive and Herbes de Provence. Sam took the photos of our hard work. We have enough labneh to get us through the winter and maybe even into summer. I definitely will try this again and maybe push the flavor envelope a bit further

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

May 9 and May 10 Journal Entries

May 9, 2012 Wednesday After feeding I wandered around the barn cleaning a bit. Petting and brushing the cats. Harrasing the goats. And taking photos of the pacs. One of the cats left a present for me in the barn. Ick. It seems to be a dead ground squirrel. Maybe one of the ferals will carry it off.
I left it with the hopes that would actually happen. The little goats were positively gleeful when I let them run around the barn today. I freed them from their paddock so I could mow it. It is a bit scary to mow on their hill. I don’t have the leaf bags on the back of the kubota to give weight to the loader on the front. I need to put some cinder block weights on the back. I just took my time as I turned on the hill. Unnerving. The middle paddock that has been partially seeded needed to be harrowed. I hooked up the harrow and quickly turned up the soil in the other half with the intention to go pick up some seed and plant it. I got the quote for my sprinkler systems in the front and middle paddock. It is a bit steep. I will have to wait on that one. But with all the rain we have had I haven’t really needed it.
May 10, 2012 Thursday Got out to the barn a bit late this morning. After feeding I used the broom to sweep off the cobwebs from the barn doors. I gathered up all the dye stuff for the demo on Saturday. I am going to use Osage Orange shavings for the natural dye demo so I poured hot water over them and let them soak overnight. Tomorrow I will dye a skein in bath to see how it will turn out. I used about 1 ½ ounces of shavings to 2 quarts of water. Tonight I checked on it and the dye bath was a orangish brown. In other events, I moved the items in the store down to the living room to be organized tomorrow. I still haven’t prepared my bags and labels! Agghhh! There is so much to do still!! I had Sean, my helper, come over and weed whack the chicken coop. Then Taima suggested that we put the goats in there since the whacker jammed and we couldn’t finish mowing the pen. I left the goats in for about 2 hours and they managed to break a hole in the chicken coop. Ugh! I’ll have to fix that tomorrow now. We moved the gates from behind the boys paddock to up by the house. The goats will have lots to munch on tomorrow. And they will be visible for the guests on shearing day! I actually drove the gates to their new location with the truck. It was faster and not as tiring. I hope the goats don’t give me problems tomorrow as we pass my blueberry and currant plants on our way to their new pen. I am almost out of goat grain and will have to find another bribe until I can get to the farm store. On the fiber side, started plying a pink combed top merino from Stonehedge farms and a multi colored alpaca from my animals. I am enjoying the colors as they meld together.