Saturday, June 22, 2013

Oceans of Milk

Milk with cream at the top!
 One of the things about Mattie losing her calf is the fact that she is still producing milk as though she  has a calf nursing.

I had planned on an easy summer where both the cows would be nursing, and I would be milking very little, just enough for my family.

Well as the old expression goes, don't count your chicks til the eggs hatch. Here I am milking Mattie 2x a day, with no calf.

Now don't misunderstand me, I know how lucky I
 am to have this wonderful resource. The thing is I have been really busy finding uses for all this surplus milk..

Which brings me to the topic of Cheese.
Making cheese is actually letting milk go bad in a controlled way. There are all kinds of cheeses  most require  cultures, such as rennet or mesophillic, which I don't have at the moment. However, Cultured buttermilk is readily available...

so... I made plain old fromage blanc. Literally "white cheese".

I put 2 quarts of milk in the pot and heated
 It requires only the following ingredients,
cultured buttermilk
Lemon or lime juice
salt ( for flavor)
you also need a thermometer and a nice deep  heavy  pot
a colander
a cheesecloth or towel ( you can use old linens washed too)

Step 1:  Gather your ingredients

Step 2 :Measure one or 2 quarts of milk ( you will need 2 cups buttermilk to each quart of milk)

Step 3: .
I added 4 cups buttermilk
Step 3: Pour milk in pot and heat, gently stir while you heat milk to 175 degrees.

Step 4: When temp of milk is 175, add butter milk and about 1/4 cup lemon juice, or enough to cause
a reaction.
 I added the lemon juice after the buttermilk... I do it to sight
 Heres what I am talking about ....
Then curds will start to separate from the whey.

Let this sit undisturbed for about 10 minutes

lined colander all ready
 Get a colander and line it with a thin towel, place this in a bowl to drain your cheese.

curds and whey
Now it's time to gently spoon the curds into the lined colander, using a slated spoon
Cheese, wet.
The light looks a little harsh but this is what you get,


 It still needs to drain out.

I usually put it in the fridge to drain for a few hours
( have you ever noticed cheese from the store has
"gum" in it? that's because the makers are in too much of a hurry to let the whey drain, so they add gum to thicken it... Yumm!, Gross)

ready to be seasoned and refrigerated.
Add here it is! cheese, I add salt now, pepper and maybe garlic.
Or.. thyme, honey and pepper
or.. japs ...
what ever you want!

By the whey (ha), you can use the whey to make ricotta, which literally means "to cook again"
or just feed it to your plants or animals.

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