Saturday, October 29, 2011


Sweetheart and my Mom left while I was out milking Buttercup to head back to Denver.  That leaves me in charge again of three kids, one cow and 18 chickens.  Hopefully, this trip will be faster for Sweetheart for all our sakes.  We will miss my Mom though.  We have enjoyed this time with her and her help was invaluable when Sweetheart was gone and I had to hand milk.

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?


Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Hubby had to change all the water filters today which include the well filter in the crawl space of the house (you could not pay me enough to go down there) and the under-the-sink filters.

We are always glad when that is over as at least one filter tends to leak and has to be worked on a second time... but we are now ready for colder weather with them done.

Stephanie and her family went to an annual church conference, hoping to arrive home before the storm hit but she texted me on their way home saying there had already been a foot of snow.

They arrived home safely only to lose power soon after but at least I could breath easier knowing they were out of that Noreaster.... it hit earlier than originally expected.

Kimberly said...

Glad to hear they are home safe!

Birds, Bees, Berries, and Blooms said...

Ok this is the 3rd time I have tried to leave a comment. I liked how you said you were in charge of the 18 chickens and 1 cow. Good luck with that. I remember churning butter when I was a kid. It was a lot of work. It is nice to know people still know how to do that. I just canned meat and you would be amazed how many people didn't know you could do that.

Buttons said...

Oh that must have been hard saying bye to your Mom.
You are very clever with the coffee creamer. I admire your work ethic and creativity. You are going to do great.
I wish I had of had a computer and someone to listen when I was going through my Journey.
Thank goodness for modern conveniences. Enjoy your day. B

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries® said...

Hi Kimberly,
You are such an inspiration to me. :) It is a joy to read about your journey (although it is filled with hard work). While the chores sound strenuous and never ending, (as I know you already know :) they come with such blessings as well. And not just when I think about the $16 per gallon they charge out here for raw milk and nearly $12 for a pint of raw cream--IF you can find it for sale. What you are doing is so valuable, not only financially but on so many other levels. What a good example you are giving to your children...and all of us. Thank you so much for making the time to share it.
P.S. I love, love, love coffee with just plain raw an ultimate luxury...but definitely NOT frugal or common out here (sadly). ;)


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