Well, I've managed to drag the goat posts out for another week... They came back last Friday for a final (for now) visit and left Sunday morning. While they were here, Mr. Farmer taught my eldest how to milk a goat. He was so excited. And I was too excited to run back into the house for the camera, so no pictures. But I do have some lovely pictures of what I did with the milk!
But first, a few more before and afters...
The black thing there is my compost bin. Behind it is a pile of flower pots the previous owners of our house left us. I knew they were there, but had no idea how many there were!
We let the goats graze our property line this time. This is my neighbor's house. You can see what a good job they did mowing the grass! (And even though it looks like it in this picture, they did not eat all the branches out of that tree in front of the house. It's just a different perspective! lol!)
A tunnel of clean.
I didn't have a "before" of this area, but I think it shows a good portion of what they did. I'm not afraid to go back there anymore! Well, except now I'm afraid of stepping in the yellow jacket nest we found. Nature has sharp pointy bits.
I'm amazed by the amount of garbage we found back here. All kinds of soda and energy drink cans, a rubbermaid container full of what I can only guess is something from the dark and smelly pits of deepest Hell, cinder blocks, part of a car window, an old basketball, and an entire tree that had been sectioned up and left to degrade under the ivy that we had no idea was even there! We have a lot of clean-up ahead of us now. Besides all the garbage, it will be up to us to pull the old ivy roots out and keep an eye on any returning stragglers. I'm going to replant as much of it as I can with native plants that will serve to hold the bank in place better than the ivy did. Hopefully some that grow food!
And speaking of food... One of my favorite plants this time of year is rhubarb. I have tried repeatedly to grow it with no success, but nevertheless I make my yearly valiant effort. And when it fails, I go to the grocery and buy it.
Kumquats are in season this time of year, too and I've never really had much inclination to buy them before. But I hit upon the idea of adding them to a dessert with rhubarb and I bought a few to give it a try.
I should have sliced them a little thinner than this.
Having fallen in love with herbs in savory applications, adding them to desserts always seems like a cheeky little twist. I'm sure I'm not nearly as clever as I imagine myself, but adding herbs to unexpected dishes makes me feel like the sharpest knife in the drawer.
And finally to that wonderful goat milk the sweet little doe gave us... We tried to drink it. I must say, it's wasn't nearly as "goaty" as other goat milk I've had but my son wouldn't have it and my husband wouldn't even try it, which is pretty rare for him. I was struck by how salty it was so I decided to make a simple ricotta/farmer's type cheese.
Fresh Goat Cheese
2 C goat milk
3 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
Non-reactive pot (stainless steel)
Heat the milk on the stove in a non-reactive pot for a few minutes until it reaches 180-185°. Remove from heat, add the lemon juice and let sit for 10 minutes to let the curds form. Line colander with cheese cloth and place over bowl. Pour milk curds through the cheesecloth, catching all the milk in the bowl. Tie opposite corners together, then use a wooden spoon to suspend the cheese over the bowl to catch the rest of the draining whey. Let sit overnight to drain. In the morning, open it up and sample your delicious, creamy cheese! You can keep the whey for use in baking.
***So then I had sliced rhubarb and sliced kumquat and creamy cheese and what did I do with all these delicious ingredients? I made Herbed Rhubarb Kumquat Crisp, of course!
Herbed Rhubarb Kumquat Crisp
2 lbs rhubarb, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 C thinly sliced kumquats
1 C Sucanat
1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
1 tsp finely chopped sage
2 tsp finely chopped thyme, flowers included
1 C oatmeal
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/4 C Sucanat
1/2 tsp cinnamon
7 tsp softened, salted butter
1/4 C chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine rhubarb, kumquats, Sucanat, and herbs. Let sit while you assemble the topping ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine oatmeal, flour, Sucanat, and cinnamon. With your fingers, massage in the butter until well incorporated and clumps form. Stir in the pecans. Place filling in a casserole dish or deep dish pie pan and top with oatmeal mixture. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the rhubarb is soft when pierced with a knife. Serve warm or chilled with a dollop of goat cheese.
If this is a little too sour for your taste, sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream will do the trick.
This is a nice little dessert, even if the boys weren't convinced, my husband and I loved it!