The peaches and early rabbit-eye blueberries are coming along – it looks as if it will be a very good year for blueberries, and a very poor year for peaches. The very late, only frost we got was at the worst possible time for them. The Florida King trees have a few, and Snow Queen has perhaps four. Disappointing, but these things happen. One year we got almost no blueberries – the blossoms had all frozen in a late frost. The next year the bushes were extra loaded down. They save their energy for the next spring.
Today was an epic dairy day in the kitchen. Four gallons of milk a day is not something to be taken lightly. I am beginning to remember the stress of skimming every day when Clothilde was a baby. I skimmed milk, made butter, made yoghurt. It’s been so long since we’ve had that much milk that I had forgotten how to do everything. Butter-making is not really difficult – you whip the cream around to the point where it becomes yucky for whipped cream, and then voila! Butter!
I dusted off my long-forgotten standing mixer, and quickly realized I had forgotten how all the parts fit together when I put them on in the wrong order several times. I over-loaded the machine with two quarts instead of just one, and had to pour one out before it could make butter properly. Washing the butter was the only thing I felt I remembered well, for some reason. In the end, we got a lot of nice butter, and a whole bucket of skimmed milk/buttermilk for the pigs. I didn’t save the buttermilk to drink because it wasn’t cultured. I’m not about to break out a new culture just before we leave for two weeks. I’ve killed so many already.
My hands are finally adjusting to milking so much. I milked Matilda out yesterday without Ethan’s help. Geranium’s udder is really annoying. You work so hard, and the bottom of the pail is only just covered. It takes ages to fill the thing.