Culmination of disappointments

I’ve had a lot of long-term projects come to non-fruition this past week, one after another. It made for a depressing few days.

First I discovered that most of the cheeses I’d made back in January were no good; I opened all the remaining five in a frantic quest for cheese to use on a galette and all but one were inedible. So instead of a treasure trove of homemade raw milk cheese in the basement, we’ve been paying electricity to maintain a bacteria farm. Sigh.

Then I strained and sugared the limoncello and found that it tastes a lot more like rough cough syrup than the sweet Italian limoncello that I remember. Disappoint. Well, the recipe did say it has to sit another couple months with the sugar syrup – so it’s not done yet. Maybe that extra waiting time will help temper it. Maybe it’s the brand of vodka that I used? (I don’t know one vodka from another, I don’t drink the hard stuff.) In any case, I added the zest of another 5 lemons in the hope that the lemon flavor will get stronger.

And last week I found rat droppings in the chicken coop. According to chicken forums, it is inevitable – and having healthy free-range chickens with a widely varied diet gives them such a greater immune resistance than factory chickens that I apparently (they say) don’t have to worry about disease much… but it’s totally gross. I have taken MEASURES of many types. I haven’t seen any droppings in several days now.

Then I sent a question to a chef I know about why my water-cured olives were getting kind of puckered and too-soft along the slices I made in them. Turns out, I was supposed to be doing the water-curing process in the fridge all along... which I swear I never saw in any recipe! Chef Friend advised me to throw them out.

But… just toss more than 10 pounds of olives? It made me really sad.

So instead I spent several hours picking through them one-by-one. I ended up with maybe three quarts of still-good olives. The rest went to the chickens, who are rumored to love olives.

Disdain and disinterest. Oh well. Maybe the squirrels will like them.

At least there are still those several jars of lye-cured olives already brined (and thus preserved) in the basement – those didn’t sit at room temperature long enough to get mushy and they ought to be just fine. So I will still have olives even if these salvaged water-cured olives don’t end up being edible.

Just cross your fingers for me, and think good thoughts about my limoncello and my chickens. I can’t afford another long-term-project failure!

One Response to “Culmination of disappointments”

  1. Teresa Says:

    I just wanted to let you know that you really shouldn’t feed chickens anything that you would think was unsafe for yourself to eat. We learned this the hard way ourselves. 😥 So, it’s probably a good thing they didn’t like the olives. 😀

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