A few days ago we received our full blooded Jersey milk cow! I was excited about it, and she is a very nice looking cow. She is very pregnant, and has a bull calf that she will suckle for awhile until she calves around June. She is a bit skittish, but she doesn't kick or head butt, so that's a good thing. I milked her for the first time (in her life) the evening of her arrival. Well, first we had to get a halter on her. That was a bit challenging. She wasn't really very keen on letting us get within about five feet of her. We worked on trying to soothe her into letting us get close to her for about two hours, then Dad come in and we got a lasso around her neck, an option I was saving for very last. But finally I was able to tiptoe up, talking very softly to her, and buckle the halter on her. She wasn't to happy about being clipped up to a post at first, but then we put some feed in for her, and she calmed down. I got up under her and milked her, and was amazed at the amount of milk I got. I got about 1 gallon the first evening, and the 1 full gallon and a half quart the next morning, and the pattern has stayed about the same since then. I went out to milk her this morning, (in the cold and the snow and the sleet) and she had somehow managed to get her halter off, and so I had to lasso her again, since she's still not so sure about us walking up to her, and slip the derned thing on again. But, eventually I got her milked out and got back inside, cold and wet, to warm by the woodstove.
Jennifer and I set about making butter this afternoon with the amazing amounts of cream we have been getting off of the milk. It took a while of churning with our hand crank churner, but it finally turned into about 2 cups of butter and one full quart of buttermilk. The buttermilk I set aside for baking, and the I washed the butter and served it with my potato soup ( also made with milk!) and rye bread for lunch.
Sawyer and Sugar had a bowl of milk for breakfast, and I heated up some mik and crumbled some old bread into it for the rabbits, and then sent a bucket down to the pigs. They all loved it, and I look forward to them becoming plump and happy milk fed barn animals. Goodness knows we have enough milk.
Right now as I write it is snowing, and there is a wet brown slush on the ground that freezes your toes right through your shoes. The wood stove is doing it's best to pump out heat against the creeping cold, and it is still a bit chilly in the kitchen. I am so glad I finally got a sunny day so that my clothes dried and I could get them in before the weather turned sour again. I am keeping occupied by finishing a Wuthering Heights on audiobook. It is about the most miserable, depressing, cold, dreary book I have ever read (listened to). I understand that it is a classic, and that they all can't be "sunshine and baby ducks", but sheesh, I doubt if Emily Bronte got any pleasure out of writing the dreadful thing. The people are miserable and evil, the weather is bad, the houses might as well be haunted, and the drama chokes me. I can't wait to get back to the Empress Josephine biography, although she wasn't such a angel either. It will be better, though.
Well, I'll get back to my reading, and y'all keep warm.