Goats on a Crate

 5/24/13, 5/31/13

Goldenrod 9/18

Goldenrod grows in abundance around our property this time of year. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the bringer of horrible fall allergies. The confusion is a result of timing – we see it waving its showy face around everywhere right at the time ragweed starts causing trouble.
Even more interesting is the belief that goldenrod has many health benefits, including allergy relief.
Methow Valley Herbs  also has a lot of great information about the plant.
 To try this out I harvested a bit of goldenrod and made a tincture in vodka. I wish I had taken some extra to make tea with so I could try that, too. It’s patriotic, you know. Apparently after the Boston Tea Party boycott, goldenrod tea was used as a substitute and was referred to as Freedom Fries Liberty Tea.
Will report back with results after I’ve had a chance to use it.

Fromage Blanc, 9/1

My first attempt at making fromage blanc (using Cultures for Health cultures and recipe and cow’s milk from Bella) turned out pretty well. It needed salt and I forgot to add that, but we mostly ate it with jam on toast anyway. It’s very similar to chevre, so I was happy to find it and have a spreadable cheese. Previously I’ve only made paneer (farmer cheese), cottage cheese, and kefir cheese made by draining whey off kefir. Nobody besides me liked the kefir cheese very much because it is oh so tangy. I got the Ricki Carroll cheesemaking book for my birthday this year, though, so I’ll be experimenting a lot more with the rest of the cultures I bought.