Tuesday, July 27, 2010


More chanterelles!!!

They're so young and perfect; not waterlogged like they will be later in the fall. Less water means less moisture/sogginess when you cook them - and more flavor.

And yes, I did sear that piece of halibut for dinner. We had some buttered zucchini "spaghetti" on the side, then the caramelized chanterelles (with a touch of garlic, white wine, lemon juice, and a healthy dose of butter) strewn over all. Mmm. I'd better go 'shrooming tomorrow...

Monday, July 26, 2010


Just look at this.

The first chanterelle of the season. Can you believe it? It's July!
The earliest I've seen them before was in September.

I am a very happy person right now.

But I'll be even happier tomorrow when I saute them in butter and either, A: make a fromage blanc and chanterelle tart, or B: add some white wine and Jersey cream and spoon them over a seared hunk o' halibut. There's just so many choices....

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Giant Mountain in Our Backyard...

Otherwise known as Mt. Rainier. Actually, these were taken from a few miles away, at Misty Isle Farms. We used to be able to see the mountain from our property, but the surrounding trees have grown over the past ten years.

I didn't even realize there was a full moon when I set out with my camera. Lucky me!

The barn swallows were having a grand time with all the mosquitoes and gnats.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


One of the nice things about milking at 6 in the morning is that, by the time I'm done, it's not too late to go back to bed! I don't often do it, but it was unavoidable today. Makes me feel like a cheater of a milkmaid though.

Iris, looking majestic.

Iris, looking more normal.

New-Cow. She becomes concerned when I take her picture.

But not for long.

I made a batch of mozzarella today - the first with New-Cow's milk. It tastes fantastic, but I need to modify the recipe - the texture wasn't quite smooth enough. I also have some cream souring for cultured butter and tomorrow I'll make a wheel of cheddar-style cheese, or feta.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A cart ride

I took Cheerio for a short drive with my friend Natalie yesterday evening. Thank you Lexi for taking pictures!

No-Name Cow

We picked up my new cow on Monday morning. Still no name, but a lovely cow. She is settling in just fine, happy with Iris and the bountiful fields of grass. I think she enjoys the island life.
Thankfully she dropped in production with the long drive - I've been getting 6-7.5 gallons each day. Still a ton of milk but better than 10 gallons. My hands and forearms actually aren't too sore!
And she's great with hand-milking, considering she has been milked by machine her whole life until now.

Help! Look at all that milk!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Green Mountain Competitive Trail Ride

Yesterday my mom and I rode in our first ever competitive trail ride - a 12.5 mile ride on Green Mountain.
We arrived on Friday afternoon at the campsite, checked in and got the horses settled in. Once everyone else had arrived, the judges began going through the pre-ride inspections. Because the ride is quite strenuous for the horses, it is important that close attention is paid to their condition, respiration, heart rate, and soundness (of feet and legs).

We woke up at the crack of dawn - to boot and saddle the horses, pack the saddle bags, scarf some breakfast - since the ride started at 7 am.
After a quick tack check, the judges started sending off the riders, in 30 second intervals. We ended up right in the middle of the group.

The trail consisted of two loops, both starting and ending in camp. The first loop stayed mostly in the woods and on logging trails, about 8 miles. Though both loops covered very challenging, rough terrain (steep hills, narrow, winding trails), the second loop was particularly rocky, with steep drop-offs.

My mom riding Marmot; I'm on Cheerio.

A beaver pond.

The logging road.

View from the top. The Olympic Mountain Range.

Wild rhododendrons.

Me, on Cheerio.

At the P&R check (pulse and respiration). After one long uphill climb, everyone had to dismount and wait with their horse for 10 minutes. Each horse was timed as it came in, then checked by a judge. If either the horse's pulse or respiration were over 64/minute, they had to wait 10 more minutes and recheck. If they failed the second time, they were disqualified. Cheerio is famed for her ability to fall asleep within seconds of stopping, so of course hers was very low! I think she was at 16 and 48.

Cheerio, wearing all four boots. She definitely needed them, considering the rocks they had to climb on.

Approaching the rocky area with the big drop. Unfortunately at that point two mountain bikers came tearing down the hill around a blind turn. They managed to slide to a stop just in time, and surprisingly Marmot (in the lead) didn't even flinch. But as we were passing one of the bikes slipped back onto the trail towards Marmot. He, being just barely 5, spooked and jumped to the side. But with the drop-off the footing was really soft and he went down. Of course my mom came off, but they're both fine! I feel bad for the bikers because it really wasn't their fault, and they were so shaken when they watched it happen. They probably won't go near horses for a very very long time, judging by the look on their faces!

Thankfully that was the only dramatic occurrence during the ride. Both horses were great - and fit enough to make it the whole way with no problems. And the weather was perfect!

Amazingly, despite our lack of experience with these rides and pacing our horses, and our confusion with the map and mileage, we made it in the time limit with just 25 seconds to spare! We obviously didn't win, but sure had fun and saw some beautiful scenery.