Stuffy!

I went out early this morning to feed the cats and dogs and the air was thick enough to cut with a knife.  As I was coming back in, I went through a swarm of gnats and I felt like I needed to get in the shower to get them all off me.  Came back into the kitchen and was hit by a swarm of fruit flies.  This heavy, humid weather is conducive to bug production.  I have a bowl of tomatoes on the kitchen island which is what is attracting the fruit flies.  Not much I can do about that except use up the tomatoes as quickly as I can.  I was going to can them last night, but there wasn’t enough to justify heating the water to do the canning.  Maybe with tonight’s harvest there will be enough to can.

All the wild yeast in the air made my last batch of cheese go bad.  Damn!  No big deal, it won’t go to waste as the dogs and chickens will suck it down like candy, but I hate it when a batch doesn’t come out.  I usually let the cheese curd in a small bathroom set aside for cheese making and bucket washing and if I had done that, it may not have gone bad.  I left the last two batches in the kitchen to curd.  The first batch came out fine, the second did not.  The past few days have become progressively more humid so I assume that’s why.

Wally is off this Saturday, which is a good thing, except for when he gets his paycheck next week.  On the agenda this weekend is working on the rabbit cage.  We are going to put a solid extension off the back of it.  The rabbits are big enough to breed so I need to shop for a buck, but I probably won’t breed them until it cools off somewhat.  No sense in stressing them.  The solid extensions will be for nesting areas and will give them more shelter when it gets cold.  I hate keeping them in such small quarters so giving them more room will be nice.

I think we might go to the farmers market Saturday morning so I can try to get a box of canning tomatoes and start to get some canning done.  There are a lot of tomato plants in the garden that have a lot of green tomatoes on them so in a few weeks I’ll have enough in the garden to can, but I want to get an early start.  I didn’t can last year and I regret that.  The year before last, I think I canned about 50 quarts of roasted tomatoes and almost broke the stove.  This year, I’ll raw pack them.  I can always roast the canned tomatoes as needed and get close to the same results.  I also want to make some pesto and pickles.  The year before last, I made some corn relish which Wally really enjoyed so I’ll add that to the list of things to can.  I found a fantastic recipe for a heirloom tomato and polenta tart which I might make this weekend which would give me an opportunity to try to make homemade ricotta.  Last weekend, I made a tomato and goat cheese tart which was very good.

I continue to think about playing around with the goat cheese that I make, but I just keep on randomly throwing it in dishes.  The meals that I add the cheese to always taste good, but the cheese ends up being used more to add creaminess to a dish rather than standing on its own.  I am toying with making some marinated goat cheese using the herbs that are growing in the garden.

Too much to do, too little time.  Off to milk.

Until later …