Friday, January 20, 2012

milk and more!

When a Female Goat Freshens (gives birth) she produces milk for her kids as well as extra for us to use. We hand milk all our goats and use the milk to make soap, cheeses, and to drink. Goat's Milk is naturally homgenized so we can't make butter with it. We do however own two Jersey Milk Cows that produce an abundance of Cream that we make into butter for our family. I often times make this ahead and freeze it for later use.
We love to use Goat's Milk cheeses fresh by simple adding a probiotic bacteria and then culture the milk to produce a probiotic friendly cheese. I add a culture from either a store bought culture or by adding a 1/2 cup of yogurt or kefir to a gallon of warmed milk ( 86 degrees). I set this in the warm oven with a light on in it or a pilot light and keep warm for 24 hours. At this point you can use this as yogurt or kefir or you can strain this in a very tight weave cheesecloth and drain for 24 hours.
One of our favorite Companies to purchase products for cheesemaking is found Hoegger's farmyard.
This Great Christian Company also has a lot of information as well as seeking info on youtube videos.
Finding a source of Goat's Milk or Cow's Milk is also getting easier if you check your local ads. Craig's list is often a source of fresh milk farm direct.
Kefir is one of our favorite drinks. We keep cultures on hand and use a culture rather than beads. I found beads more difficult and time consuming and not nearly as fast as opening up a packet or using a culture from the healthfood store. I use this with fruit and sweetner as well as any health supplements that I can add to it. I also use it in cooking or in baking. Over pasta is delicious and in scones and breads, it adds fluff and richness.
We have a very large Churn which we use to churn butter with. We skim off nearly all the thick cream from Cow's Milk and add this to the churn, which I turn on and leave it for about a half an hour. When the butter comes together I wash them in very cold, rinsing very well to keep the butter from going sour. Then I shape into blocks and use fresh and freeze.
Cream Cheese is also great when made homemade. Our favorite is homemade cheesecakes as well as using it to top over cinnamon rolls. With Cream Cheese you would need to purchase a culture from the above mention Hoeggers. Using cream you can make a very thick cream cheese or you can also add some milk to this to make a thinner cream cheese.
All cheese recipes are pretty the same or nearly the same concept each needing the warmth and the constant temperatures, carefully measuring them is crucial for successful cheesemaking. Also it is important to purchase the equipment necessary for making the cheeses. One inexpensive cheese drainer found at Hoeggers is easy to use and quick as well to ladle curds into
I would ladle curds and the drain this for 24 hours to make a soft cheese. You might also want to drain it further in fine mesh cheesecloth.
Well, I will share more later, as I don't want to overwhelm you :) I hope you enjoy this and will begin to be creative when it comes to making cheeses. Remember if you are not able to purchase a cow or goat, or fresh milk, you can use store bought yogurt and drain it for a very simple yet tasty soft cheese. You can add fruit and sweetner or you can add garlic and herbs. Which ever will be sure to please you and your family just because you made it!
God Bless You ALL!


Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

Thanks for the well-written article :) :) I love milk..and I especially LOVe raw milk :) :) There are two stores here in the area where I can purchase it..ANd the best part is that it comes in these cute, vintage looking glass bottles. I keep every bottle...and it's $1.50 deposit on every one..but I keep them to use as vases and whatever else :) :) I haven't reintroduced cheese back into my diet yet..but I do make raw milk yogurt. Next is sour cream, then cheese :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

Kasey @ TFOMplus2 said...

I am almost envious as I read this post! It sounds delightful to make so many of your own items. What wonderful homeschool you must have!!!