Friday, April 29, 2011

Professional Chicken Shoppers hit the Funtry Friday road!

No doubt about it!  These girls took to "chick shopping" like a duck to water - er, like a chicken to... um... dirt.  Or something like that =p 

Well, a picture (or two or three) is worth a bunch of words - so here you go!  Care to join us on a our trip to the feed store?

Our big adventure!

Awwwww!  Cute little babies!

A little help from big sister.

Don't let them get out of the box on the way home!

Here's your new home!

They're so soft and furry!

Yep!  Chickens are better than TV at any age!

Nice to have a little country fun any day - but especially good when the baby chicks arrive at the feed store! 

Hope you had a Funtry Friday, too!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Funtry Friday at the Feed Store

There is lots of fun in the country when the baby chicks arrive at the local feed store!

So many little fuzzy babies to see!

Awwww - and bunnies and ducks, too!

I showed great restraint and only bought these little gals ~

Well, at least for now! 

And what does the peanut, er duck, gallery have to say?

They remained strangely silent, although I thought I saw a smirk on Chuck the Duckin's little face.  He tried to tell his ducky friends that there were other chicken hearts out there, but they wouldn't believe him!

So here, they are - all settled in their new home.

Well, not their permanent home.  Once they have feathers instead of fuzz, I will reclaim the bath tub and move them outside.

For now, though, I am enjoying hearing their little peeps and watching their antics - and keeping them warm and inside.

Hope you had a fun Friday, too!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The next best thing to taking an art class is...

Do you love to feed your creative spirit by taking art classes?  Soaking up the new information, watching an instructor share techniques, seeing someone demonstrate exactly how to do "that"...  I do!

But sometimes it just isn't feasible to take a class.  Then, the next best thing to taking an art class is enjoying a wonderful DVD by an artist you admire.  I had a lot of fun today watching a watercolor DVD created by Arleta Pech called "Silver and Brass".

The DVD came with a drawing for a practice painting featuring a silver bowl.

I have traced the very detailed drawing, which is a "road map" for the painting.

I was going to paint along with her today, but I decided to watch the video all the way through first.  That is one thing that you can't do in the classroom!  I can watch this DVD over and over, pause, back up, skip that part, fast forward to the end - hehe - as many times as I want.

Arleta Pech has several DVDs on her web site for both watercolor and oils.  The one that I have has been discontinued, but there are two other gorgeous watercolor painting DVDs. You can find out more information about her by reading her biography.

I am looking forward to painting along with Arleta on her DVD.  I will post some work in progress photographs and share my "paint along" fun with you, too!

How about you?  Have you got a favorite artist DVD in your library?  Share your favorites in the comments!

Happy painting!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cheese fun and the signs of Spring! Funtry Friday

Ahhhh! I love the signs of Spring!

New little babies! These are actually not twins, but they can’t have more than a few days between them in age.

And this week I saw a pair of Canadian Geese wing their way north! There were several beautiful bright yellow locust trees, the tumbleweeds are still on the move… Oh, and yes, and the first grasshopper of the season made a kamikaze attack on my truck. Yep, it is definitely Spring!

Spring is a good time to do something new, so how about some cheesey fun? I promised I would share my cheese recipe and here it is. This is a quick and easy cheese to make and it needs no special equipment. THIS CHEESE HAS NO PRESERVATIVE! You should plan to CONSUME THIS IN ABOUT THREE DAYS. It’s not hard to do that since you can also cook with this cheese.

Here is what you need:

A big glass bowl, a big spoon, a strainer lined with a very clean cloth, and a warm place.

In your big glass (not metal) bowl mix approximately a quart of milk with one quarter to one half of a Junket tablet that has been dissolved in about a quarter cup of warm water (the more Junket, the stiffer the cheese), one cup of CULTURED buttermilk (it will not work with uncultured buttermilk!), and salt to taste (if you decide you want it saltier, you can add more salt with the seasonings). If your milk is cold, warm it up, but do not let it boil. Cover your bowl and put it in a warm place for two to four hours.

Your cheese should look like this after a few hours ~

“Cut the cheese” to release the liquid whey. Strain off the whey (which you can save use for soup, bread, or just about anything that calls for water) and let your cheese rest and drain.

Originally, I made this with raw goat’s milk. I would milk the goat, strain the milk, pour the warm milk into the bowl and then add the other ingredients. Handling raw milk of any kind requires a certain amount of knowledge and a lot of care in order to insure a healthy end product. This cheese can be made with pasteurized cow’s milk, too. Naturally, your flavors will be different. Adding a little bit more of the buttermilk (no more than one extra cup), makes the cheese have a little more of a ‘zing’ in its flavor.

You can season this with anything you like. My friend and I have made this LOTS of time with raw goat milk and these are some of our favorite ways to season this cheese ~

Dill; dill and onion; dill and garlic; dill and red pepper; red pepper; garlic and onion; basil – Well, really just about any flavor combinations that you like! The cheese has a mild flavor that goes well with spices and with fruit. I have mixed the goat cheese with pineapple - like we used to do with cottage cheese when we were young and it was really good.

There you have it! Any questions? Post them in the comments! Let me know if you make this easy little cheese and how you like it!

Happy Funtry Friday!


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Some things take a little longer… Like cheese!

Happy Funtry Friday! Yeah, I know, it’s Sunday. So happy Funtry Sunday! And, how about a little Funtry Saturday good wishes, too, since I have been working on this little project for three days. LOL!

I used to make cheese all the time when I was milking my goats – mmmmm! Yummy good goat cheese =) I have missed my homemade cheese, so I decided to see if I could come up with a soft cheese that tasted decent without the goat's milk. It took a little while, but I have a batch that I think will work. It still needs a bit of seasoning, but I’m not sure what I am going to do with it yet, so it’s just sitting the fridge for tonight.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Way ahead!

Here is flop number one ~

That there is a cheese brick destined for the chickens =p

Ummm, flop number two just went down the drain because it never set up at all.

This batch looks like cheese!

Especially when you ‘cut the cheese’. Yep, this is where that expression came from - cut cheese and you will know why.

Time to drain off the whey…

Isn’t that pretty!

Now it’s time to ‘hang’ the cheese. I have to admit, that I find it easier to just let it lay around in a strainer over a bowl. There are no handles on my cabinet doors…

Tomorrow I will have a nice little ball of cheese that will be similar to cream cheese. If this recipe actually tastes good tomorrow and if I can make it work again, I will share it with you.  For now, though if you want a recipe for cheese - just search the internet! There are tons of ways to make lots of different kinds of cheeses.
Now, if I can manage the bagels tomorrow, I will have a fun lunch ;-)

Have you made cheese before? What kind did you make?


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