Monday, July 15, 2019

Cheese Making Weekend!! Jam, Pets, Garden and Squirrels Too! :))


Hello Friends!! :)

I have a lot of photos to share with you so I'll keep the yackity-yack to a minimum (although I highly doubt that is possible with me lol)! :) I MADE CHEESE!!! Not only has my overall MOJO returned, so has my cheese making mojo! The wheel on the left is a Cheddar that will age for 3 months. On the breadboard I made another American cheese and a Quick Mozzarella. I'll update this post and my cheese making blog this week with recipes! (www.rainydaycheesemaking.com)


I guess I can count this one as the fourth cheese I made this weekend. It is a failed Cheddar. It never "knit" together during the pressing process. But lemons into lemonade right? It makes a FABULOUS curd cheese for poutine! :)


Alex surprised me, he made me a cheese press! I'd been using bread boards balanced precariously with bricks and my dumbbells before and my cheese never got pressed evenly. This one works like a charm! This one cost under $20 to make. (Please see my post on Rainy Day Cheese Making for instructions on how to make this press!)


Two of these ↑↑ equals:


All of these! We have plenty of strawberry jam for the winter now! :) I made half the batch with brandy too, that'll be delicious! :)

The green and yellow beans are almost ready to harvest!

My greenhouse tomatoes are starting to flower too!
The pumpkins are flowering!

Out of nowhere, I have my first ever green pepper, it's about the size of a baseball right now.

This was an experiment - eggplant. I've never seen an eggplant flower before, very pretty!
Spunky and Frasier
Sweet Little Algie
Today is the day friends...we are starting the release of the squirrels. Boo hoo hoo...Two weeks ago, we weened them off the bottle. Last week we weened them off the milk. We gave them nuts in shells and a lot more branches, pine cones and leaves to teach them that's how they have to eat. They have done SO WELL. But they have ants in their pants! Stage one is bringing the cage out near the woods (in our backyard) and leaving them there a week in the cage. We will still bring them food and water a few times a day and put a tarp over the cage when it's bad weather. The following week, we make an opening for them to come and go as they please - that's what I'm dreading but we have to let them "leave the nest"!!!

But these six will NEVER leave our nest if we can help it! :)

Baby Oscar: One pillow is not enough

Pretty Miss Marlene

Charlie (a.k.a. Charlita)  thinks she's hiding

Big Boss Leo - how dare I waken his slumber...

Wiley Dana - hard to get a photo of this one!

And the apple of my eye, Jack (a.k.a. Jackson, Jack Rabbit, Hound Dog Jack, Flea-Bitten Jack, Scooby Doo Jackson etc...) :


Thanks for stopping by! For anyone interested, please join me on Thursday for Thursday Art Date With Rain, our theme this week is Yellow and Orange. 😊

38 comments:

Leftycrafter said...

Woohoo....the MoJo has returned. So happy for you. That strawberry jam with brandy sounds amazing. Alex is a gem to make you a cheese press. He is pretty amazing too. Hang onto him! I will be sad when we no longer have photos of the three squirrels. You have done a wonderful job of nurturing them. Love the photos of all your fur babies. Marlene looks like she is the queen of them all. Oscar looks mighty comfy there.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

That is one helluva nice cheese press! And I hope the squirrels transition well to their new life back in the wild.

Leanna said...

I've never thought of making my jams with brandy. I'm guessing it's awesome. Beautiful kitties and dogs. What a large family. I love your veggie garden, envious in fact.

Jenn said...

So cool to see what's happening there, the cheese, the garden...the squirrels! Seems like never a dull moment!

wyomingheart said...

How wonderful that cheese looks... Wish I had time for cheese... maybe in the fall! My pumpkins are struggling, but a couple of blossoms...cross fingers! Oh my aching heart for those little foster furry bundles of activity! Happy Furry children for sure!! They look just as spoiled as the ones in this house!...lol!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

the cheese just looks so perfect! and that is a pretty cool cheese press! jack is too funny. that's what teddy used to do when we went to the beach. eggplant flowers are pretty. one of my favorite veggie flowers is okra.

Leigh said...

I'm thrilled to see you making cheese again! And delighted that you are so excited about it. Alex's cheese press is fantastic! Garden and strawberry jam look great too. And it's always nice to see the fur kids. :)

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

You do things so well Rain. I would never attempt making cheese and am glad that I live near a Whole Foods where they sell local cheese.

Kristina said...

Glad to see you got your strawberries and got jam made. That press is awesome. I do miss our dairy goats when it comes to homemade cheese. Loved all the animal photos too. If you didn't see yesterday's post, we now have a new puppy.

Mama Pea said...

You're such a productive gal! Isn't it just the best feeling when you produce your own food? Your garden looks very healthy and it's producing, too! Oh, to have the get up and go to get into cheese making. Keep up your posts on it and I may get the inspiration I need yet. Early this spring/summer I took the "overflow" of last year of strawberries I had stashed in the freezer and made our year's supply of strawberry jam because I was afraid I might not have enough from this year's crop. Then, as you may know, I just made our haskap berry jam (surprise!) a few days ago. Such a great feeling to stock the larder for winter!

Lowcarb team member said...

So pleased your Mojo is back :)
That press looks excellent.

Lovely to see all your garden produce doing so well.
Hope the squirrels do ok.

All the best Jan

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

What a feast shown in your photos, Rain. We really love cheese, all types, especially cheddar and Gouda and how great that you can make your own! We picked some wild blueberries this week, but not nearly enough to make any jam with and looking at those strawberries and what you produced made me want to go out and get some peanut butter and bread! The young-uns have really grown since the last photos and as hard as it will be to release them, they will surely remember you and may even stick around outdoors.

baili said...

Oh dear Rain love of lord is embracing your garden and home fully :)))

your plants have hold my heart ,how magnificently they are growing :)

such a delightful feeling to look at them ,summers are blessed season when grace of lord finds it's way to show his warmth of love to us :)

heartiest congratulations for successful growth dear friend!

Oh i know it is quite hard for you as so loving mom to leave your squirrels out there in woods but each parent has to to it one day :(
i wish hope and pray may they be safe in hands of lord and survive ,amen!

happy cheese making my dear Rain i know this is so therapeutic for you :)

how sweet of Alex to make you machine that make it easier :)

your cherry jam is so inviting :) what an excellent job by preserving it for whole year :) YOU ARE TRULY INSPIRATION I MEAN IT :)))

Ah these precious cute pets look absolutely darling while enjoying the warm soothing days :)

many more blessings to you my dear Rain!
hugs!

John M said...

Brandy in strawberry jam, I'd like to try it.

Rain said...

Thanks Marsha :) I intend to hang on to Alex forever. :) Marlene is such a beautiful dog, she does look like the queen of them all lol! :)

Rain said...

Thanks Debra :) I do hope they'll be okay in the wild, they seem so innocent right now!

Rain said...

Thanks Leanna :) I think the brandy will give the jam a yummy taste! The veggie garden is doing really well, but the slugs are even getting to the container veggies argh!

Rain said...

Thanks Jenn :) Never a dull moment for sure! :)

Rain said...

Thanks Dino :) I'm sure you spoil all of your furries like we do lol! Yeah, my pumpkins...the sugar pumpkins are doing okay, a few flowers but the bigger carving pumpkins are stalling. Everything is so slow this season! I hope you find time to make some cheese too! :)

Rain said...

Thanks Joyce :) I had to look up okra flowers, they really are pretty! The dogs can be so funny when they roll around like that. And yes, I'm so happy about the cheese!!! :)

Rain said...

Thanks Leigh :) I'm so happy I am back into cheese making! I stopped for a while due to fails and also with the anticipation we'd be moving. The cheese press is really easy to use and works so well! :)

Rain said...

Thanks Arleen :) Making cheese is easier than it seems! You just need the right ingredients and equipment! :)

Rain said...

Thanks Kristina :) Your new puppy is squishably adorable lol! :) How lucky! I'm happy to have the jam made too, I hope it lasts the winter!

Rain said...

Thanks Mama Pea :) It's so amazing to produce my own food. And also to be able to preserve it. I can't wait to have an overflow of berries myself. I'll definitely be keeping up the cheese making now - at least until the spring when I'll have to stop for a while during the move and settling in and all that. I hope it inspires you! :) xx

Rain said...

Thanks Jan :) I hope the squirrels do okay too, it's a little nerve wracking. They seem too innocent still, but this is what we were told to do! My mojo is back and I'm thrilled! :)

Rain said...

Thanks Dorothy :) I love Gouda as well, but we eat so much Cheddar and we no longer buy it from the grocery store. We were buying a better brand from cheese shops and it was getting pricey. We don't eat too much meat anymore so it's a big source of protein for us. So I figured I need to start making Cheddar again and I'm so happy I started - nothing can stop me now! :) I hope the squirrels hang around, it would be so nice to see them now and then! :)

Rain said...

Thanks Baili :) I'm so pleased the garden is finally doing something! :) The weather and the rain really helped things to grow fast. I hope it keeps up! Oh yes, we have to let go of our "kids" right? ;) It's hard, you're right. The cheese making is so much easier now that I have a good press, I have more confidence too. :) You're very sweet, I hope you're not melting too much in the hot weather!!! xx

Rain said...

Hi John :) I think it'll make a nice combination! Haven't tasted it yet though! :)

Henny Penny said...

Oh, that cheese!! I want to make cheese. :( Your strawberry jam is so pretty . Hope all the squirrels will be fine. You've done such a good job caring for them. I can't believe how much your cat Leo looks like our Smokey and how much Wiley Dana looks like our Dumperoo. Your garden vegetables are beautiful!

Rain said...

Thanks Henny Penny :) The cheese making is so much fun! It's an initial investment with the equipment and cultures and stuff, but so rewarding when you can bite into your own wheel of cheese! :) We just went out to check on the squirrels again, they're doing okay, finally sleeping! They seemed to be up and energetic for the last few days and kind of wore themselves out!

Wood Fairy said...

You have such a gorgeous family of animals. i expect your squirrels will find you but its going to be great for them to be wild, it will be interesting to see them enjoying the great outdoors. The cheese and abundant vegetable growing is impressive!

Rain said...

Thanks Wood Fairy :) I'm enjoying the cheese making again! And yes, the squirrels, I hope they hang around for a while! :)

Pam said...

I love your furbabes! Such sweet and loving faces and you know they are not going anywhere. They know they have it made! As for the newer additions they are wild so they have it in them to leave. So glad that you have taken the steps that you have for them to be able to leave and survive. Great job.

Rain said...

Thanks Pam :) Our fur babes definitely have it good here! :) And yes, the wild ones need to be out in the woods! I'll miss them though, when we go out to check on them, we call their names and they all run to the edge of the cage to see us!

Fundy Blue said...

All is good in your corner of the world, Rain! Way to go, Alex ~ awesome cheese press!

Rain said...

Thanks Louise :) Yes, all is very good! :)

Sandi said...

I wonder if the squirrels think you are their mom!

Stefanie said...

LOL your kitty and the pillows. My the squirrels have grown! Your cheeses look amazing. I want to try them and your jam!