Saturday, March 21, 2009

More on milk

I've made two attempts at Devonshire style cream. One flopped miserably, the other did not succeed as well as I'd have liked, but I think I'm on the right track. Maybe I didn't heat the cream to a high enough temp. I'll try again some time when I'm in the mood to play with it.

Anyway, I skimmed the top after the required cool down, and then used the rest (with some more milk) in vinegar cheese. I had made vinegar cheese before and had not been happy with the results. I am really happy with this batch. We'll be using it in a few Indian style dishes this weekend. I gotta dig the butter out of the freezer and make ghee so I can fry the cheese.

Next up is a yogurt cheese that is the precursor to making a chocolate dessert cheese. *yum* Then I will probably break down and make standard rennet chevre. Maybe I'll do them both tomorrow if I have enough milk. I think I will, I have over a gallon now and I can't imagine they won't give me another quart by this time tomorrow.

I am so far behind on working on seed starting for the garden I wonder if I will ever catch up, but rather than keeping saying "I will spend the day on this" and then not, I just make myself drop a few varieties in the germination trays every day. This way at least I'm doing SOMETHING rather than deciding I can't face it. I'm not sure what's up with that, either, normally starting seeds is one of my favorite activities. I just love seeing new seedlings. That whole promise of an excellent garden, before the reality of weather and work set in. ;-)

I should finish the peppers today. Then I should decide what I am going to do about alfalfa for part of the back pasture. As I plan to plant individual plants, I imagine I will not actually get as far as I would like, but since sowing them, even in a rainstorm, didn't work last year I need some assurance the darn things will germinate. Need to order perennial alfalfa, then I won't have to plant it again next year and I can replace and enlarge over time.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

And what do you do with all that milk?

Well, of course, once you have milk have milk. I know I thought about this before I got the goats and decided on minis partly because I didn't want to be swamped with too much milk, but the reality of even 1 quart of milk a day is more overwhelming than I thought.

We go through phases of drinking milk, and right now we appear to be "off", so I have to come up with more things to use milk in. I ordered a cheesemaking book and my dairy goat book has a couple of recipes in there, but I wanted something simpler. I poked around the net and came up with rice pudding. The recipe called for a quart plus one cup, but I use less than that.

Goat milk rice pudding recipe (my version):

3.5 cups goat's milk
1 cup of raw rice cooked in 2 cups of water, still warm (Ok, hot, even)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond flavoring
1/2 cup fruit (raisins, dried blueberries, craisins, whatever)

Heat oven to 350F.

Take cooked rice (still in pot) and add the 1/4 cup sugar to it and stir well. Pour in about 1 cup of the goat milk and mix well. You want your sugar dissolved.

Add flavorings, fruit, and enough of the rest of the milk to be easy to stir. Stir and pour into 2.5 quart square casserole dish. Rinse the rice pot with the rest of the milk and turn that into the dish, too. Then stir a bit to mix everything thoroughly.

Place in oven and bring the oven back to 350 for about 10 minutes. Turn off oven and let sit in cooling oven until the rice soaks up the milk. The top will be slightly browned and the pudding should cut easily with a knife and hold form fairly well. Serve hot or cold.

If you use raisins, you might want to put in a tsp of cinnamon and omit the almond extract.