The Promise of Things to Come...

Love is in the air! 
Gunnar, the Gotland ram from Heidi Quist's flock, arrived for duty on Saturday, December 23rd.
If all goes well, I will be inundated with lambs around May17th, right after Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival. Gunnar's getting 15 ewes in his breeding pen, so I should have lots of Gotland cross lambs in 2018.  Included in his breeding group are nine Teeswater cross ewes, two Shetland ewes (River Oaks Camille and her daughter Mystery), two Shetland/BFL ewes, Roxie, my Finn/BFL ewe, and Wanda, my Wensleydale/BFL ewe. In the photo above, Gunnar is getting to know Wanda's 2015 daughter, #123. Look as those fleeces!

Sid and I bottled up another batch of Limoncello. We gave a few bottles as Christmas gifts and have a lot left to enjoy ourselves. I hadn't ever had it before I met Sid. He had a gallon jar of lemon peelings in alcohol for months when we first started going out. I didn't exactly know what it was for, but when he removed the peelings and mixed up lemony alcohol with simple syrup I was hooked. It's great for an after or before dinner drink. Aids digestion. :-)
I always like to start a batch about 3 months before I run out. I usually make a batch using two 750ml bottles of neutral spirits such as Everclear or Vodka. I peel about a dozen lemons, being careful to just get the yellow part of skin, not the white part.
After I put the peelings in a gallon jar, I just pour the spirits on top, cover and let sit until the color is gone from the peelings. I usually let it sit a few months, but I think a few weeks would work too.
On a side note, I usually squeeze the lemons and freeze the juice in an ice cube tray for easy homemade lemonade later.
When you're ready to make your limoncello, mix up batch of simple syrup. The simple syrup should be 50/50 water and sugar in an amount equal to the lemon liquor (minus the peelings). Bring the simple syrup to a boil and simmer until it looks clear. Then let it cool. When it's room temperature, just blend it with the lemon liquor, stir and bottle.
Serve over ice. You may want to dilute it with more water for a very light, refreshing drink that still packs a bit of a punch.

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