Monday, October 18, 2010

Boating, Goating and Baking

Boating season was officially over on Labor Day, but since I hadn’t been out on the boat this year, figured we should at least get out once before Paul winterized the boat.  I’m not comfortable with bringing Rhiannon out on the lake yet, so Grandma was gracious enough to watch her while Paul & I spent a few hours out fishing & enjoying a warm day on the water.  And since most people have already packed their boats away, there were hardly any other boaters out there.  We had a nice cove all to ourselves.

We took the mini-horse to the vet today.  Paul had him in the trailer pretty quickly.  He (the mini, not Paul) took the drive real well.  The vet confirmed our suspicion that he is just a baby so we’re going to give him another six months for his other testicle to drop.  Hopefully it will; then we’ll have him gelded & start working him with a saddle on.  If it doesn’t, we’ll have to take him on a two-hour ride to the closest vet who will do the surgery.  Also had the vet give him a tetanus shot & I picked up a dose for Ms. Melman at the feed store since she’s never had one.  Ms. Melman gets really upset when we take the mini out of the pasture.  Last time she got herself all in a huff, running around the perimeter fence & breaking a pretty good sweat.  When we brought him back home she seemed happy to see him.  I’m glad that they have each other for company.
On the goat-front; Ishtar is in heat.  I’m not going to have her bred until next month though.  This way Nettie will kid first in the middle of March, then Ishtar and Annette in April.  Hopefully Ishtar & Annette “cooperate” and kid at least a week apart so everyone can have some time in the kidding pen alone.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to have Nettie’s kid, Cloud, bred this winter or not.  She’ll be eight months old in January, so if she’s still in heat then I’ll probably breed her.  If not, I suppose it will just have to wait until next fall.  I’m definitely not going to have Stormy bred this year.  She’s a bit on the small side & I’ll have enough to deal with three kiddings next year.  I keep wondering when I’ll start selling the does.  It’s so hard to decide which ones to sell – I want to keep them all.  But they will eventually eat us out of house & barn & how much milk do we actually need?  Maybe it would be different if I were able to make hard cheeses, but since I haven’t mastered that skill in the least bit, the milk we get now from two goats is more than enough. 
Made some bread on the weekend.  A nice, sweet loaf with a decent rise (and I only let it rise once in the pan – I didn’t punch it down).  It’s a bit too sweet for meat-type sandwiches, but it was awesome with peanut butter & jelly or just a bit of butter.
 Here’s the recipe for one large loaf.  375 degrees for approximately 35 minutes.
1 ½ cups water
½ cup maple syrup (could probably use maple flavored syrup)
½ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten (optional)
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
2 ½ teaspoons yeast

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