Friday, July 30, 2010

Tis the season for eatin'

Homemade chocolate-peanut-butter ice cream
in a baked meringue shell with caramel sauce
I just realized why I usually write so much about food in the summer -- it's because I'm cooking all the time, except when I'm working in the garden or milking goats. I'm looking at food, working with food, and eating like a queen July through September.

Blackberries are in the woods, and Mike has been picking them once a week for the past couple weeks. There are some bushes that haven't even ripened yet, so for whatever strange reason, the blackberry harvest seems to be prolonged this year.

In the garden, we're getting green beans, several types of squash, tomatoes, onions, sweet and hot peppers, and basil.

We're milking 13 goats, which provides us with almost two gallons of milk a day after all the goat kids are fed. That means we are making lots of cheese, as well as buttermilk, yogurt, ice cream, and more. Yesterday, I experimented with a recipe for cajeta. None of the recipes I found were very complete, so I had no idea whether this would take an hour or all day. As it turns out, it took about six hours, which was more than I expected. It's basically a caramel sauce, and all you're doing is reducing goat milk, sugar, and a tiny bit of baking soda until it turns golden and sweet! This is what I used:

2 quarts goat milk
2 cups sugar
1/2 t. baking soda

I whisked it all together and put it on the stove to simmer or gently boil for hours and hours. When it was a light tan color, I tasted it -- perfect dulce de leche for coffee -- so I poured off enough to fill up my cream pitcher, and this morning we used it for our coffee. It reminded me of those artificial creamers that I used to use when I lived in the burbs -- except I knew this didn't contain any multi-syllabic ingredients that were unpronounceable. I continued boiling the rest of the mixture on the stove, and a few hours later it was caramel colored. It was evening by then, which meant it was time for me to milk goats again, so I turned off the stove, because I didn't want it to suddenly turn into fudge while I was gone.

The caramel sauce in the above photo is what I wound up with.


skippymom said...

It's official - my daughter wants to come live at your house. She is not only the lil' Doolittle in our home and going to school to be a vet - you had her at the caramel sauce for coffee.

Need a helper? She works for coffee. Swear. lol

That pic' looks delicious. I can't wait for our farmer's market on Sunday. Wish they came more than once a week tho'.

Michelle said...

It should be a CRIME to post photos like that without being fill orders on the spot anywhere in the country! I'm drooling so much I might die of dehydration....

momanna98 said...

OOO, I'll have to try that for my coffee!

Deborah @ Antiquity Oaks said...

skippymom -- would love to have another daughter, since mine are growing up!

Michelle -- ROFL!!!

momanna98 -- warning: it's addictive!

Barb said...

I often feel that way about food. I didn't set out to write a lot about it, but our life does seem to revolve around food. Being so involved in the creating of food I think weaves itself into our writing.


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