Thursday, February 21, 2013
Penny's a generous cow, giving us five gallons of creamy milk each day.
Five gallons a day was working out all right when we were feeding her calf two of them, but now that he's gone to his new home we're scrambling to use up the milk.
If any is left over a day after its milking, we feed it to the pigs.
Besides puddings and hot cocoa galore, we're making soft cheeses now, and hard cheeses by next week, I hope.
The bottom photo is the first cheese from last night. It's Fromage Blanc, which is just like cream cheese.
Since the milk happened to be exactly 86 degrees when Becky brought it from the barn, all I had to do was stir a packet of direct set starter into a gallon of milk, and stick it into the oven to incubate overnight. In the morning, I strained it through one of Danny's T-shirts.
Note to self: buy butter muslin from the cheese store.
The photo on top is called "Ricotta from Heaven" in my cheese making book. It's made by almost boiling the whey from the first batch of cheese, then straining the curds through the cloth (or shirt. whatever.) again.
This one is almost unbelievably yummy, with a luxurious texture.
Tonight, Becky and I plan to pressure can two gallons of milk in pint jars, to have in case of emergencies. If that works well, we'll try to put up many gallons for the few months that Penny's not fresh.
I hope to get a good store preserved into hard cheese to cut down on our grocery bill next year.
Thankfully, the pigs are always standing by in case of a spectacular cheese fail, so there's not much pressure for me as I learn Cheddar making.