Beverages by the Pool and Dogs at Play

The post-retirement routine still religiously includes “beverage hour“.

That’s after a day’s work, by the pool, when the weather is pleasant, as it has been.

Featured recently are a selection of David’s cheeses (aged chèvre, mozzarella, aged cheddar and cream cheese with chives), and our hard apple cider.

It is Spring, so we are losing a little weight with all the work, despite beverages and cheeses.

A funny, side note on that related to health … while in a doctor’s office for a routine visit, the young lady that took my blood pressure said, “Wow, that’s excellent … don’t mean anything bad but most people your age have really high blood pressure. Are you taking blood pressure meds?” I laughed to myself and thought: 1) wow, my gray hair is really influencing how others see me (that was the second time recently that someone prefaced a comment about my age with something to excuse their comment about by age), and 2) good food and hard work, plus retirement = excellent blood pressure.

Meanwhile, in dog world …

Ayi continues to grow and mature … you can see in the video below that she’s gotten larger and stronger.

Forty-Five Minutes to Sweet Cream Butter

You already know that it only takes four minutes to churn cultured milk to butter, by hand.

You also know we recently picked up an antique, motorized churn with bare wires and fixed it up.

Now we know that it takes forty-five minutes to churn sweet cream into butter, using a machine.

This is why sweet cream butter would be a rare thing in this world if it had to be produced by hand! Forty-five minutes of constant churning!

There’s not much difference in color (and Lucy’s milk produces a naturally bright yellow butter), and most people who buy real butter in a store are buying sweet cream butter. Sweet cream butter has a milder tasted than cultured butter — some would say almost no taste compared to a definite butter taste with cultured butter.

Here’s a short video clip of the renovated antique churn in action, and a couple photos of the churned butter/buttermilk, and finished, pressed product.

Motorized butter churn in action

Eating and Ethics

In the “New York Times” this morning, I read:

“In a Starving World, Is Eating Well Unethical,

A meditation on the true cost of dining when nearly one-third of the planet lacks regular access to food.”

The New York Times Style Magazine, March 18, 2022, by Ligaya Mishan

If you are not a subscriber, you can use this gift link to read the entire article, see the photos and peruse the comments.

It’s a fascinating read, and the comments are equally illuminating. Please take the time to read both, especially if you like food, art and eating.

The lead photo for the essay is a prime steak wrapped in gold-leaf. One like it was served to a Vietnamese official at a high-end restaurant in London.

In the comments, you can find comments about virtual signaling, overpopulation, costs of food production, resources, hunger, etc.

You’ll also find this comment from me:

Just drop the “well” and we still have a dilemma. Is eating … unethical? Questions like these aren’t even good for mental masturbation because there’s no satisfying ending. Maybe we shouldn’t apply ethics to eating, or to much of anything at all because as Matthew wrote in the comments, “Pretty much doing anything now is unethical from the standpoint of inequity and impacts.” Maybe we should go off ethics altogether. Meditation, however, might be beneficial!

I do appreciate this essay and the comments, though. My spouse and I work really hard to grow and prepare most of our own, exceptional food. It never occurred to me that I could buy a $2 sheet of gold foil, wrap a grilled rabbit leg in it, and sell it at such a markup!

Deep Recycle

… as in digging deep into the junk box …

Y’all know that with Lucy, we are swimming in milk. David is generating cheese, cream cheese, and butter like a maniac. However, the butter he makes is cultured butter, not sweet cream butter.

Cultured butter is cream lightly fermented with kefir and it churns by hand in about 4 minutes. Sweet cream butter is an entirely different ball game. It is not cultured, and it takes a lot of effort and a VERY LONG time to churn it to butter. So much time and effort that we haven’t done it.

BUT, I found a motorized churn on ebay.

Ta da! (Hope for sweet cream butter).

Only thing was … the cord had disintegrated and was nothing but bare wires … a total fire and electrocution hazard. And there was no way to know if the motor would actually work. A total spark-fest and breaker flip would have been the result of plugging it in.

Since it never hurts to tear a motor apart to see if it might work (and we could always use a spare jar for our hand churn), I was the only ebay bidder for this fire hazard (notice the wire in the picture below)

Motorized butter churn with old, deteriorated, electric wire.

This is where deep recycle comes in …

Those of you who know us know that we rarely throw anything away if it could possibly still function. THEREFORE, we have boxes of old wiring and cords … some that came with previous properties we purchased (yes, we move junk to keep it on hand).

ANYWAY, I tore the motor apart, dug into our box of wire and found one to replace the old one with.

Viola! The motor works.

It remains to be seen if it will churn sweet cream butter, and how long it will take.

Stay tuned!

Here’s the churn with new (recycled) wire:

Motorized butter churn with new electric cord

Note: old electric motors usually have two or four screws that hold two halves of a metal shell together — in that shell is a coil, and within that is an armature. Current flows through the coil and causes the armature to spin. It’s a fairly simple matter to attach a new cord to the coil wires … and that’s what I did once I managed to get that delicate egg (motor shell) apart. I think it is motor repair week … we also had an electric motor-driven concrete mixer that came with the property … motor didn’t turn/flipped breakers. I tore the motor apart, determined the motor was fine and decided the motor start capacitor was bad. So, for $12, I ordered a new capacitor and now the cement mixer works too! Things don’t always go this well with electric motors … sometimes the coils are bad and have to be re-wound — that is something almost no-one does anymore and beyond my ability.

Lucy Gets a New Boyfriend

Lucy must be “over” her old boyfriend, Pancho.

Lucy has declined to conceive again with Pancho (via AI) two times in a row now.

We only have one straw of Pancho left, so we left him on ice and went for Frazier’s Credentials (Rio), pictured below:

Photo from TDH Miniature Jerseys
‘Rio’ (Photo from TDH Miniature Jerseys)

Hopefully Lucy will be happy with this choice and present a healthy mini-calf just before Christmas … around Dec. 17.

You know what this means, right? There will be NO ROOM in the manger for strangers!

Celebrating Our Mothers’ Eighty Years

Both our mothers recently turned 80. We were not able to be in their location on the exact date. However, we decided to give them both surprise parties when they visited us this Spring.

It was great fun and we are blessed with wonderful mothers and our friends that know them.

David’s mom with us, Joey and Alton

Neil’s mom (center) with us, niece/granddaughter Josie and her man Patrick, dad, Brenda & Holly

David and I also want to thank our sisters for helping keep things going at home while our moms were here!

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