What I do with “all that milk”

Our milk cow, Happy, gives us between 3 and 3 1/2 gallons of milk per day. I’ve been asked a few times what I do with “all that milk”. There’s so much I do with it (besides drinking it fresh).

I make:
1. Yogurt
2. Ice cream
3. Cultured butter
4. Cheese

I add cream to
5. My coffee
6. Recipes, such as cream soups , curried dishes and creamed cabbage

I make cheese about once a week. The different kinds I make are mozzarella, ricotta, cheddar, queso fresco.

I love, love, love cream in my coffee! To me, this is one of life’s simple pleasures.

Everyday, I share about a gallon of milk with my chickens. They love it! I don’t think the ducks do, though. I haven’t seen them touch it.

So if the words “all that milk” have crossed your mind, and you’ve wonder what I do, now you know. 🙂

What do you do with extra milk? Which way is your favourite?

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday hosted by GNOWFGLINS, Sustainable Eats and Culinary Bliss

Simple Lives Thursday blog hop

Makin’ Mozza

I make mozzarella cheese a few times a month from our own milk. I like it because it freezes really well and we use a lot of it on our pizza every Saturday night. Added bonus is the ricotta cheese. I haven’t found a lot of ways to use it yet but it’s so yummy.

As I’ve been told, I’m NOT making traditional mozzarella. Traditional mozzarella is made from the milk of water buffalo, it is never refrigerated, and is always eaten fresh. It’s still pretty good, though. 🙂

Checking the cheese for softness

The first few times I made it, it turned out really good but I think that was luck because after that I was having a hard time. It took some practice but I think I’ve finally figured out how to do it. I follow the general directions from fias co farm.com so I won’t repeat the whole procedure here. To get a good stretch out of mozzarella, there are a few things I found out through trial and error.

Getting a good stretch.

One thing is using fresh milk or in the least only one day old. Using milk that is 3 or 4 days old is fine for drinking or making other types of cheese but not for mozzarella.

Another thing is the curd and when it is ready. I can’t go strictly by time but I use it as a gauge.  I had to learn to identify when the curd was ready before I drained it.

Once I figured these things out, my results were a bit more predictable.
And, yes, I use a stainless steel pail as a pot. 😀

Cheese in a homemade cheese press

One of the things I wanted to try after getting a milk cow was make cheese! I was encouraged by Wardeh’s post at GNOWFGLINS on homemade raw cheddar cheese, so I tried it. I thought I didn’t have much to lose, after all I’m getting 4 gallons of milk a day. 😯 The first time I tried it, I over cooked the curd and it turned ‘corky’. That’s okay! I figured that out and tried again. The second time, all I can say is WOW. Sooooo good!

In one recipe, I started with 2 ½ gallons of milk and that turned into 2 ½ pounds of cheese. All the curds fit comfortably into my homemade cheese press.

Cheese presses are so expensive. I did a little research and decided we could make our own. Hubby made the frame for me. Do you recognize what the cheese mould is? It’s a hamburger press. I found it at the thrift store for 50 cents. I used a crayon to mark a grid on it and a soldering iron to melt the holes. The tray that collects the whey was also from the thrift store, also 50 cents. There are different styles of the same thing out there. Dh drilled a hole in the tray so the whey could flow out. I position a pail, sitting on a stool to catch the whey. A little basic but it works. The frame, dh made for me was made out of material we had, except for the dowel which was $3.40. Total cost of cheese press: $4.40

I can’t wait to try some different cheeses! I don’t know which ones yet, there are so many different kinds!

I’m sharing this post as part of Simple Lives Thursday, hosted by Diana @ A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa, Annette @ Sustainable Eats, Alicia @ Culinary Bliss, Mare @ Just Making Noise and Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS