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.