I offer this very cute picture as an apology for letting more than a month go by without posting. I’m trying to figure out what I’m doing—am I ready to start posting again? Or am I ready for an official hiatus?—and as soon as I know, I’ll let you know!

This is Nat, my favorite puppy. He’s very obedient and attentive—most of the time!

And this is Bell. She’s very smart, and a little aloof, which is how Joon was as a puppy.

Isn’t she fat?

Isn’t she the cutest thing ever?

This is from a recipe for French-style Tomme. It’s only 6 weeks old, but my impatience got the better of me, so we opened it last night. It has a very supple paste with mechanical eyes (meaning little holes in the paste caused by spaces between the curds when it was pressed, as opposed to holes caused by the gases produced from certain bacteria). At first I wished it was saltier, but now I’m not sure—it might be perfect. There’s a smoky flavor—not sure where that came from—and just a little of that special washed-rind funk. The rind is edible and pleasant tasting, but detracts a little from the sensuousness of the paste.

This is a raw milk cow cheese.

The cows are doing really well, both of them. We’re getting 5 or 6 gallons of milk per day from the two of them, which doesn’t seem like great production until I remember they’re both almost entirely on grass, with a very small—token, almost—amount of grain, and they’re both staying in good condition. So our input is very low, and considering that Pearl is going on a year of continuous milking, I’m pretty happy.

Last week I sold two of the goats. Oscar had just kidded, so I didn’t sell her, and I liked her personality so much more than the other two, that I thought maybe I would keep her and her two kids, which would give me a little goat milk to play with. Then this afternoon I walked outside to find her standing in the garden, and I turned around, came back inside, and listed her on craigslist.  Ten minutes later she was sold. I love craigslist.

So maybe goats really aren’t for me, or maybe I just need to have a better infrastructure before I attempt them again. And for now I can get 6 or 8 gallons of beautiful goat milk every week from my neighbor—all the fun, none of the hassle.

Speaking of animals wearing out their welcome, Gloria the pig has decided no fence can hold her—I had to chase her out of the garden last night at midnight. So, although I had hoped to breed her, she’s going to the butcher Friday, and we’ll just get a couple of weaner pigs who will have more respect for the electric fences.

It’s sort of a zero tolerance thing around here these days!