My ministry of cooking, canning, growing, and sharing!

My ministry of cooking, canning, growing, and sharing!

Three years ago we bought a small farm with ten acres. The property had a mucky creek on the South side that was covered in raspberry brambles and poison ivy. The back six acres were so overgrown that I couldn't make it half way through the first pasture. There was mud, 10 foot tall weeds, about ten million ground hogs, and a house with "fabulous" 80's wall paper on EVERY surface. I looked at this property and my mind was spinning with possibilities of what I could grow, raise, and even forage off this little plot of land. My husbands mind, who was standing in nearly the exact same spot, was spinning with the thought of how much work he had ahead of him.

From my Farm to my Kitchen is a way for me to share my stories, recipes, failures, and successes. It is a way for me to tell you how sharing with others has opened the flood gates for abundant blessings, new friendships, and great lessons.

We have fought to "take back" parts of our property that had been swallowed by willows and scrub trees. My husband has suffered the wrath of the evil wood emperor, Sir Poison Ivy and our five children have worked tirelessly to help with chores like, "go get Mommy some basil" or I KNOW there's a Morel out there, GO FIND IT!

Please enjoy this glorious adventure with our family. Learn the lessons that I stumbled over, take the great recipes that I share and leave the miserable ones. I am hoping to write each day but you never know if the kitchen or the laundry monster will get me!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Milk, milk, and MORE MILK!

I have this wonderful friend, Cheri.  She has a cow!!  I LOVE my weekly visits with Cheri as it gives me a chance to talk with a  kind, Godly woman about cooking, children, gardening, and everything I enjoy.  Cheri and I share canned goods, recipes, and most importantly she shares some milk with me.  

Now let me say that raw milk is tough to come by in this state.  You have to either own your own animal, buy into a cow share, or have a fabulous friend who will just share it with you.  I am blessed with the later.  

Yesterday I packed up the two little ones and drove out to spend some time with Cheri.  After our visit we started jarring up the milk.  I usually bring a large cooler with me to pack some in and transport it home.  By "some milk." I mean about five gallons.  Yesterday she had TWELVE!  Yes, I said twelve gallons of milk.  Now this is AFTER two gallons of cream was taken off.  So I've got to get though twelve gallons of milk and two gallons of cream.  

I started making butter and cheese the minute I got home.  You see, raw milk is the best milk to use if you want to make cheese.  Once it is homogenized and pasteurized it loses a lot of the ability to properly coagulate.  So as of this morning I've made several pounds of butter, a gallon of buttermilk, lots of cottage cheese, and I'm working of mozzarella.  I've got a great story about my butter making experience that involves my Kitchen Aid mixer, some plastic wrap, and the odd fan-like effect they create when used together.  I will have to share THAT in a later post :)

 I just want to say that everyone needs a good friend like Cheri.  Not only is her generosity amazing, but she offers constant encouragement to me.   

Here is a cute article about making cheese done by Mother Earth News.

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