Baking, death, etcetera

Today marks a week that I’ve been here– and I still can’t believe that much time has passed. I’ve been busy gardening, writing, reading, baking, attempting to cook, etc.

First, a sad story to get it out of the way: yesterday the cows were crying and crying, and I asked Kim what was the matter, and she explained it was castration day. Someone came and took all the male calves away and the cows couldn’t handle losing their babies. They kept mooing and mooing all night. Today, one of the cows kept crying, so Kim went and looked, and her baby girl calf is dead. I didn’t want to go see, but I’m very sad. This is how farms work, I suppose.

Oh, the Fermentation Fest is coming up in October, and I’m doing a reading– the first weekend, I think, at the opening.

Last night, Kim and I and two of her friends went to an open mic in a nearby town. We got grilled pizza, which was delicious, and saw an open mic where a man played guitar on his guitar app on his iPad, which was… interesting, but best of all: I met a cheesemaker! Of course, after one second of meeting him I asked if I could come along and see the process. He works at an artisan cheesemaker; he said his favorite variety is this kind that incorporates sheep’s milk, goat’s milk, and cow’s milk together. He said he’d take me, which I’m thrilled about, and that the day starts at 2am, which I’m a little less thrilled about. More on that to come. (I hope I get to swim through a vat of Brie.)

In other news, I’ve been baking a lot and cooking a little. We picked all these beautiful carrots:

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But a lot of them had little rotten parts or were weird-shaped so we get to keep them. Now we have bushels of carrots and I’m trying to figure out what to do with them. You can only make so much carrot cake.

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The tomatoes are starting to come in!

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I cooked my very first thing, which was a weird kind of ratatouille with all the zucchini and tomatoes. It was delicious, mostly because of the red wine vinegar. I was surprised it didn’t turn out to be a bland disaster, but I guess you can’t really go wrong when you put in that much olive oil.

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Baked some blueberry crisp, which unfortunately I ate in about a day. We’re going blueberry picking again this Saturday so we can make a lot of jam. I used to not like blueberries, but they’re growing on me.

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These are the beautiful eggs the hens lay. Apparently we get around 8-12 a day.

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The yolks are so startlingly burnt orange. The first time I cracked one, I thought something had gone wrong– but no, they’re just such a dark gold. You can’t really tell in the picture, but they’re around 5 shades darker than store eggs.

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Chopped up a load of zucchini, then:

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Zucchini-blueberry bread, with a crumble topping. This was way more delicious than my other attempts at carrot/squash/zucchini bread (there was a sad, sad time in State College when I tried to replace all the oil with applesauce and double the amount of zucchini, which resulted in a squishy, stew-y mess.) I used sunflower oil instead of vegetable oil, and it turned out well.

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I was hoping I’d become healthier since I’m only eating vegetables (as Cori says, a “situational vegetarian”), and not snacking all the time since we can’t bring food into other rooms (mice), but the amount of baked goods I eat is mitigating any other positive steps I’m taking.

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We line dry our clothes, so I’ve been putting off doing laundry, but the smell in my room is becoming swoonworthy, so I’ll have to do that tomorrow.

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This is Crookshanks (named after Hermione’s, of course), and although I am a verified pet-ambivalencer, this one is nuzzling its way into my good graces. Mainly by being quiet and not trying to be on me all the time.

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This is one of our farmstands where we sell our veggies.

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Chickens, chickens, everywhere.

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The baby ones are so wobbly and cute.

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