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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Raw Milk; What can't it Do? (and a Yogurt Recipe)

As I have mentioned in the past I use raw milk and because of that I now make many dairy products that I used to buy from the store. The other day I made my own butter from the cream I poured off the top of a gallon. It is great butter, creamy and bight butter yellow, far brighter than factory farmed butter. This surprised me and I don't know why. Grass fed hens lay eggs with deep yellow/orange yolks while factory farmed hens lay an egg with an incipid, pale yellow yolk. So it stands to reason that raw milk from pastured cows would make a fabulous deep yellow butter. To make the butter I take cream and put it in the blender and run it for about 10 minutes. Than I pour the liquid and butter chunks into a sieve and squeeze out the remaining liquid from the butter et voilà! home made butter and butter milk.

I also make yogurt from the raw milk (which I will be doing later this morning) and it is very good yogurt. For yogurt the milk needs to be heated to around 160˚F than allowed to cool to 110˚F before adding a teaspoon of yogurt to the warm milk. Don't worry about getting the milk too hot it will still work even if it is heated to 230˚F- been there done that courtesy of my Husband starting a batch of yogurt and not telling me there was milk heating on the stove and discovering rapidly boiling/burning milk. The yogurt is stirred in well (I stir for about 1 minute) than I transfer the the milk and yogurt culture to as many clean quart yogurt containers as I need (I usually make 1/2 gallon at a time). I suppose I could use glass canning jars also, which would be better than using plastic containers. The last step is to put the containers of liquid yogurt somewhere warm (around 95˚F to 105˚F) to set up for 18 to 24 hours. Do not disturb the containers while this is happening. It is done when it is a semi solid.

I also make 1/2 & 1/2 by pouring off the cream and than adding milk to that. I shake it before adding to my (fair trade organic) coffee.

I have not tried my hand at cheese yet but I am seriously thinking about it. Nor have I done any sour cream, though yogurt is close enough for me not to use the cream in this manner.

At first, I though at $4.50 a gallon this stuff was pricey but we no longer buy half and half or yogurt from the store which was costing about $8 a week for industrial pasteurized/homogenized dairy (organic would have been double that, if I could have even found it at the local Kroger's and still pasteurized/homogenized). So for $9 a week I get my coffee creamer, a half pound of butter, 2 quarts of yogurt and 1.25+ gallons of milk and all of it with a lot more nutrients than what I could buy at the store.

Wot a Deal!

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