The Empress

UPDATED 7/21/21: I saw a post from Katherine last night (7/20/21) as I was going to bed. After 76 days of ruling the farm and the farmer, The Empress unexpectedly passed away. We were lucky to have snuggled her on Day 11.

Only 11 days old with a name bigger than she is: The Empress Isabel Paloma Consuelo Dioge.

This was back in mid May when an Adventure Buddy who wanted to try goat yoga came along. The Empress was not yet big enough for yoga because at the time she was not even the size of a newborn goat. We got to snuggle her and hear her story after the yoga session. As Katherine Harrison the farmer and owner told it, she found the premature baby goat in the straw left for dead. Katherine also thought the baby was dead until she moved her head slightly. The Empress became a “kitchen goat” with round the clock care and bottle service as well as a Pyrenees caretaker. The Empress has continued to grow and is learning “how to goat.” The farm’s Instagram is @harrisonfarm13 ; it is worth the follow simply for goat antics.

Goat Selfie

Per usual there were plenty of regular sized baby goats and adults to assist with yoga poses. I came back from the bathroom to find a goat on my mat as a greeting. I get a pretty minimal amount of yoga done during these sessions. I try, but I’m there for the silliness, the interactions, and to hear which rooster will reliably interrupt the instructor.

This baby was yet to be named on our visit, but I believe has been dubbed Ferris Bueller.

Adventure Buddy said that she would go again so that’s a win for me.

Being an unruly baby goat is exhausting!

Hey, Bun!

I have a small bunny who reliably finds the game camera in the yard, and acts like I’ve set it up for a photoshoot.

It got really hot recently and I did not see the bun for a couple of days. Usually I would see it in the mornings and early evenings more or less deciding what to destroy in my garden (pepper plants seem to be the answer). I was concerned. There’s traffic and plenty of predators.

However I discovered that the bunny just opted for a cooler time of day.

T80

There’s a possum also trying to get in on the photo action. We’ll see how it goes.

T80

Arm Day: The 10 minute knead

Humidity is 72% and it feels like way more than 77 degrees in my kitchen, but I’m going to bake. Allegedly warm and humid is a good thing for rising dough. I’m also out of bread--this stuff freezes well if pre-sliced and I have not bought a loaf of regular bread in ages— and Vincenzo needs attention.

Vincenzo is my sourdough starter that I acquired from a baking friend last May (Happy 1 Year Birthday Vincenzo!) when we were all trapped at home apparently hoarding toilet paper and yeast. Yes, there was such an uptick in people baking at home that stores struggled to keep yeast in stock. I now reflexively buy a packet whenever I walk down that aisle at the store. I have a reminder in my phone that pops up at 9 a.m. on Thursdays: “Feed starter.” He has been well fed and needs to either be used or dumped which just seems wasteful.

I’ve tried a couple of different bread recipes, but landed on a “San Francisco” recipe that is my favorite and has yielded the best results. The first time I adhered to the recipe and the chopped onion topping. It was good, but ….what if?! I ditched the onion for the next batch and started mixing in chopped up rosemary and thyme, sprinkling rosemary, thyme and salt on the top instead of onion. Oh, the warm, earthy smell. The perfect bread for whatever, but especially if you needed to sop up some herby olive oil and nibble some cheese.

After MomBert sent me an article about a local baker who sells sourdough loaves at the farmers market near her, I tried to do some researching about what and how I could add things to my bread. It was a lot!! There was an overwhelming amount of information and discussions about what ingredients need presoaked to maintain moisture and which didn’t and when was the best time add items. As established, I am not a scientist, a park ranger, or a vet, but I am a fan of let’s throw it in there and see what happens when I’m just baking for the sake of baking. I am much more fastidious if the end product is going to other humans.

So today’s product has rosemary from my herb garden, sundried tomatoes in oil, some shredded from a block parmesan, and garlic scapes because I have a ton and why not? This recipe has 3 different rise times, but requires only 10 minutes of kneading hence “arm day” as mind wandered to whether or not this counted as a workout.

Humidity and yeast at work. Note yellow squirrel holding my essential olive oil mister. It is the latest addition to my squirrel army.

I have taken to baking the loaves in my cast iron skillets for easy clean up. This is a doubled recipe. Would eat again.

The end product.

The Nerve!

MomBert came to visit for the first time in forever. We’re both vaccinated so we had a full day of licking walls and hugging strangers planned. We spent the evening eating glorious local pizza and watching the movie Tag. She was amused.

Sookie joined us in her current TV watching spot. She has taken to confidently joining me on the couch for evening television. I am even allowed to pet her. Partly though, she is waiting for me to go to bed after warming up the fuzzy blanket I use. If I come back out, I’ll find Sookie sitting where I was sitting.

I thought it was very brave of her to assume her normal position even though MomBert was in my regular spot. I watched as MomBert reached out and petted Sookie as one should do when watching a movie with a cat.

The horror. The nerve!

How dare she!

The look of disdain on her face. Sookie is going to have to lick all the fur off her back side now.