Saturday, October 29, 2011
I am still hand milking, but hope to try the machine out again tomorrow. Timing the milkings to be done while all the kids are sleeping is fine when it only takes a half hour. The hour and a half to two hour thing, not so easy. Essentially, when I add in all the prep work and clean up, Buttercup is a part time job seven days a week. Plus, there is the added time of simply making all the butter, cheeses, and yogurts. No wonder I am struggling with my time.
Yesterday I made some more coffee creamer. I love flavored coffee, but when I actually started reading the labels in the grocery store a few years ago (!) I had to stop buying them. I really try to eat anything containing ingredients I cannot pronounce. It is a simply rule really, but makes for a lot more cooking from scratch.
I was inspired by her posts on creamers a few weeks ago and pinned them. Since I have an unlimited source of fresh milk and creamer I decided to try some.
Now, I have altered the recipes to fit what I have on hand and doubled the recipes (see unlimited source of milk note). Essentially, I heat up one cup of milk and one cup of cream until they steam. Then add a variety of ingredients. The link's recipes call for maple syrup for sweetener and cacao beans. Not having these on hand, I just used sugar or sucanat and unsweetened cocoa powder. Not as natural, but I don't get out much and try to use what is on hand. I did equal amounts of sugar for syrup, but it was pretty sweet the first time. Now I just use less.
I don't seem to have almond extract on hand, but I have all sorts of other yummy extracts I had bought at my favorite spice store before we moved. Last night's batch was one cup milk, one cup cream, 4 Tbl cocoa, 3 Tbl sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 tsp orange extract. I have made it with coconut extract and plan to try out my caramel extract next time. (I just on their website they have a Butterscotch Extract. Yum! Maybe I can get Sweetheart to drop in before he comes home!) I poured it all into a quart-sized milk bottle and chilled it. Shake well before pouring! And try not to just drink it out of the bottle. I have heard that some people do that. :)
So now after freezing out in the barn this morning, I turned on the coffee percolator as soon as I got back inside. I let the coffee brew while I skimmed and chilled the milk. Then I poured my huge mug full of strong coffee and added the creamer. A little bit of bliss goes a long way! And there is no weird film left on your tongue. What is that from? Sorry.
Ok, so today we are planning on just relaxing and having some fun. I do need to churn butter and steam juice the elderberries I picked the other day. There will probably be some cookies or scones made as well. I will need to check on the apples on the trees and maybe pick some more pears.
Last Sunday, I made cookies after breakfast and surprised the boys with a reading and eating cookie time just all snuggled together. It was such a nice break after all the turmoil of the week. And seriously, those cookies are just perfect this time of year and gingery and spicey and soft. Go make some. And sub in some coconut oil for the shortening, if you want. It is an old recipe. ;) Also, you don't have to make them in bear shapes. I just use my mini cookie scoop thing and bake them for 10-12 minutes.
Well, I just heard the boys wake up, so it is time to go. Have a wonderful weekend! What kinds of fun do you have planned?