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August 23, 2009

week of 8/17/09

Honey mead: 2, 3, 4 lbs of honey in each!

Vera 0809





Storm damage 0809

Storm damage 0809




The return flight home Monday night was long; and it was great to see the kids and animals! We spent an hour in the hot tub later that evening—joyous!
This is the last week before school starts. We have school supplies, school clothes, haircuts, backpacks, lunch supplies—all ready! The kids are ecstatic about seeing friends and being back on campus next week. They went with me to the college bookstore to get my books, what an embarrassment. I had forgotten my schedule so I wandered aimlessly trying to find the right books. Finally I looked up my schedule on the computer and found a very nice assistant who had me loaded up and check out in 10 minutes! I think the kids were in the student lounge acting like they did not know me.
We started the heat synchronization protocol (on Hattie) before we went to Iowa. The first step is a week long, so on Tuesday this week we continued and on Friday morning we AI’d her with Holstein semen. Here is a link to the bull’s data: http://www.accelgen.com/htm/sire_pages/014HO04191.html
We have our fingers and hooves crossed that it took! We should know in 22-40 days—she will come into heat or we will send off blood. Vera looks to be a month away from calving; she is in great condition and slowly building an udder.
A big storm blew through on Friday night, limbs and leaves are all over the yard and a few trees are down, there is also part of the roof missing off the back barn. We also had some hail, about dime size. Thankfully there is no garden to worry over right now. The rain amount was 1.75”—yippee!!
The A/C quit again, exactly one month since it was last repaired. We had to replace the fan motor, thankfully they were able to come out the same day (Saturday evening after 7pm!) and get the job done. The heat lately is absurd. The weather forecasts are a lie; they project a high of 98-99 and our thermometers say it is 102-107. We are longing for fall and cool weather!
I tried to make butter when the A/C was out; it was not very successful due to the room temperature. I have more cream to separate so will try again Sunday.

I had 1+ gallon of honey from last year that needed to clarify (heat to 120’F to take care of crystals), so I started it and then started reading up on how to make honey mead. I found a beginners 1 gallon recipe that looked doable (and we had all the supplies/ingredients). So, I made 3 gallons of mead! One has 2 pounds of honey, the next has 3 and the last has 4 pounds of honey (the last will be much sweeter so that one I put cinnamon sticks in).
It sits for a few weeks then gets racked (strained into another container) to ferment as long as we can leave it alone. I am excited to see how it turns out! For anyone else wanting to try this making mead, here is the link:
http://www.stormthecastle.com/mead/fast-cheap-mead-making.htm
I made yogurt and enchiladas today also. I love kitchen days!

2 comments:

  1. The honey mead looks super cool. Let us know how it turns out!

    ReplyDelete