Thursday, January 7, 2010

Making cheese

  • With my fresh goats milk, I have been making cheese. It it so delicious and surprisingly easy to make. Goats milk is widely available at most grocery stores and just about anyone can make it. Here is the recipe that I use:
  • * 1 gallon of goats milk
  • *1 qt of buttermilk
  • *rennet
  • *thermometer
  • You whisk the goats milk,buttermilk and rennet together. heat on medium until the temperature reaches 170 degrees. If you do not have a thermometer you could probably heat it until it separates from the whey. Once it has separated you will have huge curds floating in a liquid. I leave it sit over night or at let 12 hours. In the morning, I drain it in a strainer with very small holes. I stain it for about 15 minutes. Then I mix in salt. Then I put it in a plastic container. There is still a little liquid, but that gives it more flavor. We eat it with pita bread either cold or warmed. Both ways are equally very delicious!

I buy the rennet of of Etsy from this seller HERE. Here rennet is vegetable base and works very well. She sent me a sample of another culture that makes yogurt or cream cheese spread. It is good too! She has all kinds of cheese making supplies.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Winter Wonderland

The winter here has been very intense. Even though I grew up in rural Indiana, I spent my entire adult life in sunny Florida. This is our second year in the winter. I think it still takes some getting use to. This weekend, the temperatures are suppose to be 20 below. I hope my animals survive it. May Allah protect them and keep them warm. Here are some pictures of my farm. Notice the before and after of my barn.

Milking Goats

Milking goats are alot of fun! We have four now, Alhamdolilah, Two of them are producing milk, and two of them are pregnant. My husband and son built this nice milking stand. The goat gets on the stand, and we lock the wood piece around her neck. She is eating corn out of the bucket and most of the time pretty happy while I get the milk out. When I first tried it, it was hard to do. You have to push the milk up and then pull it down to the pan. It definitely has an art to doing it right. The kind of goates we have are called Limocha. If you notice, they have these ity bity tiny ears. It looks like we chopped their ears off. However, this is how God created them. We chose these goats because they are known to be the most calm. I have been making cheese from their milk and it is very delicious. Once I take some pictures, I will show you my cheese making adventure.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fasting on the Farm

This is our second Ramadan on our farm. This year, our farm is more established with animals. when we are fasting, the animals can be quite bothersome. I usually like to go back to sleep for a short time after the Fajr. Roosters, chickens, guinea hens, ducks and geese are just waking up and making all kinds of rukus. We have a mini rooster and he has a high pitch crow that goes on and on. Each morning we would take him from the barn and put him in a cage so he could not come near the house. Also during Ramadan, our garden was growing fast and we did not have enough time to eat it all. Therefore, most of the zuccini and tomatoes are in my freezer. I made relish and pickles from my cucumbers. We should still be enjoying the garden veggies until spring again!

Friday, August 21, 2009

God Blesses Our Garden

Assalm alykom:

This was our first family experience with a garden. I think it was a blessed one too! We planted tomatoes, peppers, herbs, pumpkins, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers and zucchini. We also planted Jews Mellows. In Arabic this is called Moolookheya. It is a green leafy plant that I can only describe it similar to spinach. You stew it with chicken or lamb. It is not ready to be picked yet. I am hoping that it is really good. A garden is a great hobby for a family. I recommend it for any family. It is great exercise also. When I would go pull weed each evening, I used muscles that I did not know I even had. After all the work, it is so rewarding to go and pick all the goodies. It is even better to cook all the good things up and eat them!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Barn Swallows

Barn Swallows are just amazing creatures created by God. They usually start arriving in the spring. They build these amazing nests from mud and grass. They are all over our barns. After they build their nests, they have to put soft bedding down for their eggs. They collect chicken and duck feathers from all around the farm and carry them up into their nests. They lay about 4 eggs in each nest. It is hard to photograph them because their nests are so high up. Even if I can reach them, they are so close to the ceiling that I cannot get my camera in there. Well, feeling a little like a wildlife photographer, I climbed into semi-dangerous spots to photograph a couple of babies. My 11 year old daughter snapped a few of these too. Apart from being excellent builders, these birds are wonderful at flying. They glide and move like no other bird I have seen. Every time my cat goes out, they swoop down so fast and hit her that she does not even see them coming. Barn swallows are protected birds here in Nebraska. Their main diet is flies. Anything that eats pesky flies, I am all for protecting!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A few more flowers on the farm

Assalam alykom:

Even though it is summer, the flowers are abundant here in the prairies. This first picture is of wild chamomile. It smells so good! I have picked a bunch of it, dried it out, and I am storing it for the winter. I think it makes a perfect winter drink! This other picture reminds me of green feathers.

Are you able to spot a bee or butterfly on any of these flowers?

Mirror Mirror on the wall

We were installing an air conditioner into the kitchen window, and we had to remove part of the window. Well, I spotted my female guinea hen looking at her reflection. She was spending all her time grooming, preening and looking at her beautiful self. It is really quite ironic because if you have ever gotten real close to these birds they are not real pretty. They look very prehistoric and could pass for a dinosaur. They have a horn on their head, very pruney wrinkled skin and some kind of long hair. My children were so amused by her need to see her beauty that they eventually put a small mirror for her. Her and her husband spend a few hours a day in front of it admiring themselves.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A little gratefulness to GOD and a lot of MULBERRIES

When we first bought our house, we found one lone mulberry tree on our property. Our property was very overgrown, and it was very difficult to see what we actually had. However, we were so excited by this single tree. There was not much left on it because it was the end of the season. My whole family praised God for this one tree. We began fertilizing it and taking extra special care of it. We could not wait for the next season of berries. After the long winter, the buds started to emerge from this wonderful blessed tree. We watched as the green berries also started to form. Were are still praising God for what berries we will get. Little did we know that not only did we have this wonderful little berry tree that Allah had blessed us with, but we also had 49 more of them. We have so many mulberry trees on the property that we cannot possibly pick and eat all of them. We have invited people from our masjid to come pick some this weekend. I hope they will share in our blessed berries. We have really been enjoying them. We eat them right from the tree or we pick a bunch and eat them. We place a blanket under the branches and shake them. This way we get alot at one time. I have made a few sweets with them. The first one pictured with the red on top is called Balooza. It is from Syria. First, you make a milk like pudding. I use a pint of 1/2 and 1/2 cream and a pint of whole milk. I boil it with three heaping spoons of starch. Once it boils, it will thicken, and I add rose water and sugar to my liking. I like it sweet! I then pour them into bowls. They look really pretty in clear glass. I let it cool just a little. I then use any kind of juice you like about 1 pint. I used Sunny D cherry and orange. You also boil it with starch. Once it thickens leave it sit for a bit to cool slightly and then pour it over your white milk mixture. You can then add berries, whipped cream or whatever looks nice to garnish it. Last, place in the fridge for a while to set. The other desert is just the white milk part of the first sweet. It is called Mahalabeeya. You can garnish it with fruit, nuts or whipped cream. I love how it looks almost as much as I love how it tastes. I guess the lesson I learned from my little tree was that my family and I where so grateful to God for this little tree. I believe that Allah sent us more trees filled with berries for our appreciation. I think that when we are grateful for the little things, God will send us BIG things! I also learned that mulberries stain everything! They stain the sink, the clothes and especially your hands. So do not pick mulberries in clothes that are too nice.