Luring the Deer – and yogurt!

This morning, when putting feed out for the deer, I’d put some at the bottom of Eunice, the scary snowman, that has been making them so nervous.

It had a 2 out of 5 success rate. 😀

Before I saw any of them, though, I took care of the yogurt I had started last night.

I did things differently this time.  First off, I splurged and got some Greek yogurt as the starter.  Not my preferred brand, but there wasn’t any plain Greek yogurt in my preferred brand.  Which is fine.

Then I discovered that I didn’t have enough powdered milk for the quantity of liquid milk (a gallon/4L) that I was using.  I made it anyways.  Then decided to add the last of my whipping cream to see if that would help.

When I took it out of the oven, where it had been left overnight to ferment, it was thick, but it seemed almost as if it hadn’t set.

Other than being runnier, it seemed fine, though, so I filled my 4 containers for yogurt, then used the rest to start a yogurt “cheese”.

That’s when I discovered that my cheese cloth to do the yogurt “cheese” had shrunk, and folding it in quarters was too small.

So I lined my colander with a large clean tea towel, then put the cheesecloth, in a single layer, over that.

After letting it sit for a while to drain, I knotted the corners, laid a plate on it, then weighted it down with a marble mortar I’ve got.  After a fair amount of whey drained out, I transferred the thickened yogurt to a bowl, rinsed out the cheese cloth, folded it into quarters and lined the colander again, stirred up the thickened yogurt so it was consistent in texture, then poured it back into the lined colander to drain some more.  This time, I tied the corners, put the handle of a ladle under the knots, then hung it over the colander.  It was just enough to hold it up, but it was still touching the base of the colander.  I didn’t dare rig it up to hang by its full weight.  It still wanted to drain through the cheesecloth.  After several hours, it didn’t drain much whey at all.  Eventually, I turned it out into a bowl again, scraping and squeezing as much off the cheese cloth as I could.

I’m not happy with the amount of waste.  It’s a shame.

The taste and texture is very different than usual.  When ladling the yogurt into containers, it was almost stringy.  The flavour is incredibly mild – more like fromage frais than yogurt.   Even after being in the fridge for several hours, it was still thin.  After tasting it, my daughter poured herself a cup full, mixed it with vanilla and a touch of honey, and drank it!  It is so good!

The thickened yogurt is also delicious, and I love the smooth texture, even though it’s not at all what it’s supposed to be.  It’s actually a lot like clotted cream, in both texture and flavour.  It would be awesome over fruit!

So that was my culinary adventure of the day.

Meanwhile, outside our window, we were first visited by Hungry Girl and Barbecue.  They gave Eunice the scary snowman a wide berth, though at times they did seem tempted by the feed at its base.  Not enough to actually go near it, though.

I ended up taking so many photos today, but I settled on two goofy pictures of Hungry Girl to start with.

2018-03-08.goofy.deer2

I can’t help it.  These split second captures just make my day!

2018-03-08.goofy.deer1

So silly!  I love it!

Okay.  I’m done with the goofy pictures.

For today.

2018-03-08.3.deer

Later on, Mama and the twins came by.  They, too, gave Eunice the scary snowman a wide berth, though the twins were more curious.  In the end, though, it was something else that spooked them off.

I ended up having to quickly take the camera off the tripod and get right up into the window to be able to get this picture…

2018-03-08.butterscotch

Butterscotch did NOT want her picture taken!

She seemed interested in getting up onto the stairs to the front door we don’t use, but the snow proved too much for her.  She stuck to the path made by our boots.

After she left, the deer still seemed nervous, so I look again and found…

2018-03-08.trulbus

Trüllbus the Crime Eater had moved in, and was checking the deer out.

I always find it funny how the deer get so skittish around the cats, but the cats are not at all intimidated by those much, much bigger animals with hooves!

2018-03-08.deer.looking.up

Mama, as always, was on high alert, including checking out the roof.

I wonder what’s up there that they keep looking at?  Birds?  Noise from the branches?  Falling snow from the upper floor?

After much back and forthing, on of the twins finally went for the feed at the bottom of the snowman.  That made the other comfortable enough to come over, to.

And even chase his sibling away a few times, even when he didn’t go for the feed pile himself!

Meany.

Other times, they ate together in peace.

2018-03-08.deer.twins

By the end of the day, between the deer, squirrels and birds (who really enjoyed perching on Eunice’s limbs), that area was picked clean!

I think I’ll add more there again, tomorrow.

The Re-Farmer

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