Proverbs 27:27 And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Got Goat Milk?

Do you have an abundance of fresh goat milk/milk you are trying to find quick uses for?
On the left is just a few days of extra milk.  On the right is broth from one of the roosters we raised. We make alot from scratch and use a lot of chicken broth.

The blog post today is for all you ladies at Williams orthodontist office at Dr. E's office.  I know we always talk about food.  So I am going to do a few posts here and there sharing some of the foods or ways we make things here on our farm.  Today we cover basic farmhouse cheese.  Or what some people call vinegar cheese. 

Most people when they start making cheeses are disappointed in farm house cheese.  As it does not taste like a crisp flavorful cheese.  But that is what makes it so versatile and the great thing is that anyone can make this.  You don’t need fancy equipment, a cheese making kit or even rennet.  You just need a few simple things you can often find in your own kitchen.  Today, I am not only going to show you how to make the cheese but am going to show you over the next week or two a few things you can make with this great easy to make cheese. Truly, this is a cheese that is quick, simple and  you can be very creative with.  The possibilities of home use are endless.

When my goats are in full swing milk production I have to stay on top of using the milk up weekly.  Since I have gotten a bit lazy over the years I always default to the easiest thing to do in most situations in my life.   So every Monday I make Farmhouse Cheese.  Once I make it,  I immediately make it up into several casseroles and put them in the fridge.  I can use them to accompany a meal or as a meal in itself for the kids.  So it helps with quick meal planning.  Also there are two things you need to know about me and cooking. I am not organized and I am one of those people that doesn’t usually measure in the kitchen.  People ask for my recipes and they are in my head and I have no measurements to give.  So I will try to measure as I go thru the next few weeks to see about how much of things I use.  So lets get to it.

Farmhouse Cheese.


Large Metal Pot - Big enough to heat and stir the amount of milk you want to make into cheese in it. (not aluminum)  If you are going to start to make cheese regularly it is a good idea to buy and keep a good, heavy bottomed, stainless steal pot around just for cheese making.  So no oils or off flavors mess up your cheese.  If your just starting out…any clean stainless steel pot will do. 

Large Spoon for Stirring - I have a cheese ladle (spoon) in the picture but a slotted type spoon works well too.  If not, again just a metal spoon.

Themometer- food grade.

Colander - The heart shaped one I am using I use not because of the color or shape.  But most colanders have a few holes in it in a pattern.  This one is all holes so the cheese drains faster and better.  You can use what ever kind you have around the house.

Cheese Cloth – cheese cloth is not the kind you can get at Home Depo or the grocery store.  That is for refinishing furniture and not fine enough to strain cheese.  Cheese cloth, for cheese making, is actually a cotton fine woven cloth like muslin. 
 I have two types of cheese cloth around here.  One is the cotton kind and the second is a plastic one. (gasp)   I know all the hupla about our foods absorbing plastic and all.  But you see I have gotten rather lazy as I have aged and it is either stop doing all we do or cut corners to make it easier.  It takes me quite a while to clean my cotton cheese cloth to the standards that I think are really clean.  My plastic one, I just run it under hot water, put a few drops of dish soap on it, lather it up, rinse it and dry it.  Done.  Takes like 30 seconds.  So I have been using the same plastic one I have now for about 2 years.  If you can't get a hold of any cheese cloth believe it or not, a single sheet of an old cotton pillow case (that has been bleached and not used any more)works very well.
You will need at least a gallon of whole milk.    I am using two gallons today because I have an over abundance right now and plan to make a few casseroles from it for the week. 

And lastly white vinegar.  I use White House or Heinz.  As I have heard bad things about store brand vinegars and such being made with petroleum by products.  So I stick with the white vinegar brands that say what it is made from. 

The steps to making Farmhouse Cheese:

Put the pot on the stove and pour in your whole milk.  Place the thermometer on the side of the pan into the milk and turn the milk onto medium.  While stirring every once in a while, bring the milk up to 186 degrees.  You can raise the temp to do this and get it to the desired temp faster as long as you want to stand there and stir it more frequently.  I warm my cheese as I am working around the kitchen in the morning so I just check it and give it a stir every once in a while. 

Its ok if it gets up as high as 190 but not lower than 186 and not to much higher when proceeding to the next step.    
 Once it gets to 186 or a degree or so higher remove from the heat and pour in ¼ cup of white vinegar per gallon of milk you are heating, slowly keep stirring while you add the vinegar.  ( I am using 1/2 cup today as I am working with 2 gallons) 

It should immediately separate the cheese from the milk.  It will look like very yellow liquid (which is the whey) and clumps of white (cheese!).  If it didn’t spate try adding a bit more vinegar. 
 Place your colander in the kitchen sink and spread your cheese cloth out in it.(if using the plastic one, put it slick side up, to keep your cheese from sticking to it as much)  If you want to save the whey to cool and feed to your chickens or put on your roses once cooled, put a pot under the colander to catch the whey.  I used to keep it and do that.  Now as I said, I'm a bit lazy and let it go down and feed the septic.  :)  When I am working with two gallons of hot whey and cheese it helps to use my ladle or slotted spoon to spoon out a lot of the heavy cheese first and then pour the whey thru after.

After you pour out all the whey and cheese bits, the whey quickly drains away and you have just cheese in the colander on the cheese cloth.  Wala!  Farm house cheese!  Now, the vinegar was only used to separate the cheese from the whey.  And the vinegar is in the whey. So once you let it drain for a short while there will be no taste at all of any vinegar what so ever in your cheese.  So the cheese can be used after being sweetened for desserts or what ever.   Actually, If right now, at this stage, you sprinkle and work in about 1 teaspoon of non-iodized salt and then let it drain a while, it taste great crumbled up into small chunks and sprinkled on a salad. (if you used iodized salt it will turn your cheese green!)   I will make a few posts over the next few weeks using this wonderful Farmhouse Cheese!

Wash the pot you made the cheese in and your cheese cloth right away as when it dries it is really hard to get clean again.  Just a tip.

If you do have alot of fresh milk to use up and this was your first cheese making experiment and you loved it, my next suggestion is to go to Hoeggers Supply Company.   They have all kinds of free cheese making videos!  They sell all kinds of supplies.  My two most favorite cheese making books I got from there.  One is called Goats Produce Too and the other is called A Cheesemaker's Journey.

Both books are by Mary Jane Toth.  I have used many books thru the years and her ways are the easiest and quickest ways to get the best results for great cheese.  The first book, Goats Produce Too, is full of all kinds of ways to use up fresh milk from puddings to paint!  The second book, A Cheesemaker's Journey is just a great book full of the easiest step by step methods to make all kinds of cheeses. 

 Proverbs 27:27  And [thou shalt have] goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and [for] the maintenance for thy maidens. 

May God richly bless the work of your hands and the fruit of your lips as you serve Him in all you do!

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