Writing Prompt # 12: Fruits of Labor
Lead image: canned black-eyed peas; photo by Jonica Bradley
As most of you already know, I work hard in my garden. I also work hard out of my garden.
I see the fruits of my labor almost immediately whether they be in the form of vegetables or milk or cheese.
Sometimes I have to labor to preserve the fruits of my labor. With the black-eyed peas for example.
I had to shell them, then I had to cook them (it took more than 16 hours), and then I had to preserve them in jars. A process called canning.
I also had to wash and disinfect all the jars before I put the black-eyed peas in them.
And of course, wash and put away all of the canning equipment afterward.
And then I have to harvest MORE black-eyed peas from the garden and repeat the entire process.
Other veggies I've harvested are tomatoes and peppers. Not to mention herbs.
I use the herbs in the cheese I make from the milk I get from my goat.
The cheese is not an immediate gratification. Because first, I have to have a dairy goat who has to be bred and give birth. The milk has to go to the babies for a while before I can start using it. Then, I have to go every day to milk my goat.
Even that takes a lot of steps before I can get the milk inside to stay making cheese.
First, I have to get her on the milk stand and put some brain in a bowl for her.
Next, I have to brush her so no stay hairs fall into the milk.
I use hot soapy water to clean her udder. When I'm finished milking, I use the water to wash off the milk stand.
And then I milk.
We're still quite away from cheese. We're still quite away from enjoying the fruits of my labor.
After I let J.J. off the milk stand, clean the milk stand, and head back to the house, I filter the milk either into jars or directly into the pot I use for making cheese.
If I'm not planning on making cheese, the milk goes into the refrigerator.
The refrigerated milk can also be used for cheese. I usually make a gallon or two at a time. I only get 1 to 2 quarts a day, so often I have to save up to have enough for cheese.
I usually get about 2 quarts of milk a day. Depending on how much JuJuB had had to drink before I get out there.
When I have enough milk, I filter the morning milk into the stockpot. I add the culture and let it rehydrate for a few minutes. Then I pour the refrigerated milk into the pot.
Before I pour the refrigerated milk into the warm, cultured, fresh milk, I have to wash and disinfect my equipment.
After that labor is finished, I add the child milk.
I just leave it to ferment overnight. The next day I have curds and whey.
I use a knife to gently slice the curd. And leave it to ferment some more.
After 24 hours or so, I pour all of the curd and whey into a cheese-cloth-covered strainer.
I place the strainer over the pot and leave it for an additional 24 hours to drain completely.
Finally, I can take the cheese out of the cheesecloth and add salt and herbs.
But I can't yet thoroughly enjoy the fruits of my labor! I have to leave the herbed and salted cheese in the refrigerator for ANOTHER 24 hours.
Until finally, I can enjoy the fruits of my labor.
The ready cheese, pictured above is salted with fresh and dried dill from the garden. It's delicious. Especially crumbled over fresh tomatoes.
I'm enjoying the cheesy tomatoes for breakfast! These are the fruits of my labor.
This prompt is all about the results you see from your hard work. How do you labor? Do you sit in an office or a classroom all day? Are the fruits of your labor a paycheck or good grades? Do you work with your hands, building homes or furniture? Do you labor on a farm to feed your family or to take your wares to market? Do you get to enjoy your rewards right away or do you have to wait?
Tell all of us all about the fruits of your labor!
The rules to the prompt are simple.
Write anything about The Fruits of Labor
Write 100% original content
Write at least 600 words so Rusty will come to reward you
Submit your story to PromptlyJonica here
Tag me @JonicaBradley
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