So here we are in February, 5 weeks away from our first kidding due date. We are so excited to have our first little Nigi kids! Our kidding box is ready and waiting along with our Kidding Preparations To-Do List. Desta will be due first, on March 16, and then Ellie and DeeDee in April and hopefully Jubi in May. So, with all this anticipation going on, I have been reading up on what to expect, look for, etc. One topic that has come up a lot lately is "pregnancy ketosis". I have never experienced this, even with our Lamanchas which were not nearly as healthy as our NDs are. However, it seems like quite a few goat people have lost or nearly lost does and kids to this imbalance. There is a very good article out there written by Sue Reith, and I am including a link to it for those of you who would like to read it. Basically she says there is no such thing as "pregnancy ketosis" that pregnancy is one condition and ketosis is another condition. However, pregnant does can have ketosis as a secondary condition to pregnancy. Anyway, there is a lot of good information in the article, it is definitely a recommended read. http://www.kinne.net/ketosis.htm
We will be posting "cute kid" pictures on the site as soon as they are born, so don't forget to come back and get your "kid fix" starting in mid March! In the mean time, we will be adding some "kid bump" and fuzzy goat pictures this week, so feel free to check those out as well. Happy kidding everyone!
Ellie's Kid Bump!
A big thank you to everyone who visited our new website and gave us feedback. We so appreciate all the constructive criticism and ideas for improvement! One thing that a lot of you suggested we add is pictures of the girl's udders. Everyone loves to see those beautiful, full udders.
Well unfortunately, most of our girls didn't have beautiful, full udders when we got them. We purchased three first-fresheners, in-milk this year. For those of you not familiar with milk goats, moving first-fresheners in-milk is not the best way to keep milk production up. Most of our girls dropped to about half their previous production when we moved them. Ellie is a second freshener, but we purchased her with a lopsided udder. She lost one of her twin doe kids this year and the other kid definitely preferred the right side. We have been working hard to even her out, and I have high hopes she will be back to normal after kidding this Spring.
There are definite plans for some clipping and a photo shoot in 2016, and we can't wait to share our girl's beautiful, full udders with you!
This Thanksgiving Hannah made Homemade Cranberry Sauce. Hmmmm, what can we do with all that cranberry pulp?! Make Cranberry Kombucha, of course! Yummmm!
Cranberry Sauce Recipe courtesy of PickYourOwn.org
Recipe and Directions:
Part 1 - Get your cranberries, There are very few places to pick your own, but happily, they store and transport well, so there probably isn't much difference. Most grocery stores sell the 12 oz bags. Look for firm berries with a dark color. ( We used fresh organic cranberries)
Step 2- Wash the cranberries. Pour them into a large bowl of cold water, and swirl them around, scoop them out with your fingers, feeling for any mushy berries, as you scoop. Discard any mushy, soft berries.
Step 3 - Put in just enough cranberry juice (or water or apple juice), and a half cup of orange juice (optional) in a pot, get it boiling!
Step 4 - Pour the cranberries in. Let them cook for about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring once or twice (you'll hear the berries popping, as the berries cook - your kids will get a kick out of that). Once half the berries are popped and the sauce feels mushy, it's done! It should take no more than 10 minutes of cooking over medium heat.
Step 5 - Crush and strain the cranberries. Crush the Cranberries with a potato masher, then strain (a sieve and a rubber scraper work fine).
Step 6 - Add the pectin (optional), cranberries have enough pectin naturally to set on their own, but it's a lot more certain to add the pectin and know it will set! If you make jam, you probably have some pectin handy. Adding a half packet of it will ensure a good set. Again, it's not necessary, so don't panic if you haven't got it!
Step 7 - Bring the strained cranberries with the pectin back to a boil.
Step 8 - Add 2 cups of sugar, of course, you can use other sweeteners, such as honey (2 cups), or even frozen concentrated fruit juice (like grape). Bring it back to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
Step 9 - Pour into a mold or serving container, chill in the fridge for a couple of hours and serve!
TIP: to get the jellied cranberry sauce to come out of the mold intact, especially if it hasn't firmed up hard enough; I stick it in the freezer for about an hour or so. That makes it hard enough that if you run hot water over the outside bottom of the mold, and invert the mold, it should slide out easily and remain in tact.
For canning instructions go to PickYourOwn.org
Cranberry Kombucha recipe
Now if you have a batch of Kombucha ready, pour the Cranberry pulp into it and set on the counter (with a tight lid on it) for 1 week then transfer to your refrigerator and leave for two days. Strain the cranberry pulp out before serving. Enjoy!
Thanksgiving at our house is a big event. This year we are taking Thanksgiving to Mimi's house. Usually she comes to us, but she isn't feeling great right now and so we are going to her. Last night we made a quick trip to drop off the turkey, homemade cranberry sauce, and some other goodies. We took a few moments to clean her kitchen, vacuum her floor, and a few other things to tidy up. The children also set the table with our special Thanksgiving placemats, and napkins. And then....... we hung up the Thanksgiving leaves.
What are the "Thanksgiving Leaves" you ask? Well....each year we try to add a little something to our decorations to help make this holiday special. One year we bought a table cloth and some napkins at a yardsale. Another year Hannah and I made quilted placemats. And then a couple of years ago, we were going through a tough time and really wanted to focus on being thankful. We got the idea to trace leaf shapes onto card stock and write something we especially appreciated on each leaf. We then laminated the leaves and hung them on a long piece of yarn. Every year we hang it up before Thanksgiving to remind us of how much we have to be thankful for. We have all kinds of things on our leaves from friends and family, to Legos! This year I realized we hadn't added to it in a while. I think we will do that before we put it away.
God has blessed us abundantly as usual. He always takes great care of us. When we stop and count our blessings, it is very hard to be ungrateful. I pray that you also have been blessed in some way this year.
So.... to you and yours Happy Thanksgiving!