Two days ago, on one of those tremendously hot days, Daisy launched herself into the milking parlour. She always pours through the door at speed, she has never and will never be a gentle giant of a cow. The moment she hears the bell she takes two steps backwards to accomodate the opening half barn door, and the moment it is open enough she propels her one ton body in through the gap.
That day I moved around to the side of her head to click the tether onto her collar and oops.. no collar. She had lost it. Already her head was deep in her treats tray so, after a pause, I just clicked the leather catch beside her ear, patted her, saying the usual things, and proceeded with the milking. She behaved exactly as she always does. As though she were actually tethered. Later I looked for the collar but she has hidden it out there somewhere. So I have just continued to pretend clip her ON and pretend clip her OFF.
Last night I forgot to pretend clip her OFF. Yhe last steps of our routine are always the same. I take off the cups, apply the iodine, open a side door and take out a small handful of the extremely popular lambs quarters hay, then open the barn door to the yards and place it out there, leaving the door open as I return. I come back in, unclip her and slap her on the rump in a friendly way and say, ‘There you go, Boss. Off you go, Daisy. Off you go’ And she turns herself completely around and out she goes. Last night I did the door, I did the hay, I opened the other door, popped the hay out, walked back in, slapped her on the rump, said,’ There you go Boss, off you go, Daisy Off you go.’ And she did not move. Her four big feet stayed firmly planted in the same place and she continued to stare at her empty tray, heaving a great sigh and waiting. I patted her again. ‘Off you go boss. Off you go, Daisy.’
Still no reaction. I raised my hand to pat her again and move her off when she turned to look at me.
Keeping all four feet in exactly the same place, she turned her head at an angle and looked at me standing at her rump. She reached her head around to the exact length of her pretend tether and quite clearly said. ‘You have not unhooked me you stupid blond.’
‘Oops, I said sorry Daisy. I forgot to pretend Unclip you.’ I moved to the correct side, picked up her tether from its ring on the wall, clicked the clip by her ear then dropped it back with its usual thunk.
Thank you, she said, you can carry on now. And she turned her massive body around and out the door she went. Muttering about how it is hard to get decent help nowadays and don’t be giving too much of that good milk to those no-good lay-about cats.
It was significantly cooler yesterday. We all breathed a continuous sigh of relief. I love that word sigh. There is such gentleness in that word. We also exhaled a glorious sigh of relief when it rained too. Just a little rain but wet.
Good morning. Daisy has been giving so much beautiful milk with cream that yesterday I made icecream. The Tall Teenager has returned too, so this is a wee welcome home treat. This is French Vanilla icecream. And just out of the shot is the Tall Teenager, muddy from filling the water troughs (thank you God), with his spoon poised, saying hurry up already, it is melting. It may be cooler but it is still hot enough to melt icecream in a hurry.
French Vanilla Icecream made with raw milk.
In a pot I heated 2 cups of whole fresh milk and 1 split vanilla pod until hot. Turn off the heat when the first bubble breaks. Do not boil. Allow to sit.
- In a bowl
- Whisk 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup of sugar (brown or white)
- 3 tablespoons of honey
- big pinch of salt
(I made this sweet as a treat for the boys.) Slowly combine the egg mixture into the hot milk. Back to the stove and heat stirring until 180F(82C) and thicker.
Strain and add 2 cups of cream. Refrigerate until cold then proceed to your ice cream maker. Freeze the ice cream afterwards to let it harden. This icecream was the best I have ever eaten and I do not have a sweet tooth.
If you want to make icecream to have with your high tea, start it in the morning. It all take a while.
Good morning. Yesterday was a wonderful day of the most tremendous support and care. All day comments poured in from you, encouraging me to look after myself and growling me for staying out in the heat too long. There were many stern voices! I think what you all created yesterday was a bubble of loving and encouragement so strong that it will have encompassed you all as well. We are now more together in this enterprise than ever before. You and I. Thank you. I will be good I promise.
As I was meant to be resting, I spent a fair part of the day (when I was not making cheese and ice cream) trolling about reading many of your blogs, confident that you would go and find my comments should they tip over into the Spam Can. My internet connection even sped up to a crawl which was helpful. There is so much lovely work out there. Thank you.
It is cooler again this morning. We will have a good day.
I can hear Minty calling. Time to begin.