... and how to easily make Cream, Butter, Buttermilk, Cottage Cheese, Quark, Sour Cream, Whey, Yogurt, Labneh, Paneer, Queso Blanco and Farm Cheese at home...
Taking home ridiculously large amounts of Riverside Milk, may seem non-sensical to you. You may be wondering why anyone would want 10 or 20 litres of milk at once? How could you possibly even store this much milk, let alone drink it over the course of the recommended 4 days?
Well. as it turns out, 10 litres of raw (non-pasteurised, non-homogenised) milk can actually be dealt with fairly quickly. You just have to fully understand raw milk's amazing ability to turn into different forms and flavours.
Before we give you an example of the amazing variety of homemade raw milk products that you - yes YOU! - can easily make at home, let us remind you of the utmost importance of cleanliness and hygiene when dealing with any raw milk. If something you have made, doesn't smell or taste right, trust your gut and throw it out. Please also be aware of the following:
The Ministry of Primary Industries advises the following: ‘Raw milk may contain microorganisms that can cause serious illness. To reduce the risk of illness, raw milk should be heated to at least 70 degree Celsius for one minute. This is critical for infants, young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.’
With the above reminder in place, let us continue to delve into raw milk's magical transformations. Meet one of our dearest loyal customers: Miss Muffet... She just bought 10 litres of raw milk at our vending shed, and now carries two large buckets (lids on) into her house. She then proceeds to somehow squeeze both into her fridge.
Here is what she will create over the next 24 hours with Riverside Milk (and without any fancy gear or expensive cultures!!!).
Cream & Butter & Buttermilk: The first thing Miss Muffet is going to do, is to simply wait and not disturb the buckets... She waits for 8 hours, or even until the next morning. Once the cream has risen to the top, she ladles it carefully into a bowl.
Some of this cream will go straight back into her fridge (Miss Muffet likes her coffees with fresh cream), but most of it is turned into butter in her food processor. She will eventually end up with butter grains and a milky looking liquid. The resulting liquid is old-fashioned sweet buttermilk and Miss Muffet loves to use it in her cooking and sometimes even drinks it straight. (If you want to make cultured buttermilk, you will need to invest in a starter culture like you would have to for making yogurt, but it's well worth it if you are a buttermilk lover. Theprairiehomestead.com has all the instructions.)
If you want to learn in detail about how to make your own sweet (NZ style) butter, have a read through holleboomkitchen.com's post. For a recipe on old-fashioned cultured (European style) butter from raw cream, have a look at what seleneriverpress.com has to say.
Cottage Cheese/Quark (clabbered milk) & Sour Cream & Whey: Miss Muffet also likes to make cottage cheese (some people would call it quark) and some times sour cream. For that, she simply puts some of her raw milk into a super-clean mason jar with lid (make sure it's only loosely screwed on) and put's it on her kitchen bench for a few days (if it is warm it will take less time). Eventually her raw milk will sour (clabber) and separate into curds and whey. (Pasteurised milk will simply rot away...Yikes!)
If she had not skimmed the cream of her milk already, she would have ended up with a small yellowish cream layer on top of the curds. This is sour cream (it will smell much stronger than store bought cream) and can either be skimmed of to use as is or be mixed into the curds to make creamy cottage cheese (You can also throw it away if you want a low fat cheese or if it is too pungent a flavour for you - try to make mild tasting sour cream by using cream instead of milk and following the steps for yogurt making below).
For more detailed instructions on how to make cottage cheese, have a read through makingsenseofthings.info.
If Miss Muffet wants her cottage cheese to be more of a German styled fresh cheese (Quark), she simply blends her cottage cheese with her stick blender or in her food processor until it has reached the consistency of thick, whipped cream. Quark is very delicious with fresh fruit. It is also the crucial ingredient for German's baked cheese cakes and tastes great (mix in some herbs or spices) with fresh veges, potatos and chips. (Miss Muffet likes to make Diana's German Cheesecake with her quark - Yummy!)
The liquid whey - left behind from straining the curds - is a probiotic power house, perfect to put into Miss Muffet's smoothies, her baking or as the starting point for all lacto-fermentation adventures (hello sauerkraut and pickles!). For more information on whey, please check out 'The Fermentation Prelude' from offthehands.com
Yogurt & Labneh (Yogurt Cheese): Miss Muffet still has a few litres left and she decides to make yogurt. It's super simple and will provide her with a nutritious and yummy addition to her morning porridge. All she needs is a glass or stainless steel dairy thermometer and nourishedkitchen.com's steps to make her own raw milk yoghurt.
Labneh is yoghurt cheese and requires a butter muslin (finer meshed than cheese muslin) and some patience. Find Labneh making instructions on the website butterforall.com, and if you want to try your hand at marinating your yogurt cheese the Greek way, Miss Mufet recommends taste.com.au's webpage
Panneer & Queso Blanco (Farm Cheese): There is really not a whole lot of difference between these three cheeses, unless you are a cheese connoisseur or artisan cheese maker. Then you may argue that whether you add lemon juice or vinegar to your milk makes a huge difference to the texture, flavour and name of your end product. Some people would say that panneer is always made with lemon juice, queso blanco always with vinegar (or the other way around) and that farm cheese is really just a collective name for both.
Either way, Miss Muffet doesn't really care. What matters to her is that vinegar (she uses white) is overall cheaper (unless you have a thriving lemon tree) and makes for a more heat resistant fresh cheese, perfect for throwing into her cooking instead of meat or tofu. It's also a delight in slices, pan-fried with a litlle salt. Miss Muffet likes to follow nourishedkitchen.com's Farm Cheese recipe. Why not give it a go?
After having produced cream, butter, buttermilk, sour cream, quark, yogurt, labneh, whey and farm cheese, Miss Muffet has just got enough milk left for the next two days. She is also rather tired... Nevertheless, she already wonders when she should come out to Riverside Milk again as the prospect of trying her hands on making some hard cheeses is very tempting.
Perhaps she will participate in the next cheese making workshop at Riverside Community. Perhaps she will just experiment for a while and see how it goes... Either way, she can always contact Tanja on firstname.lastname@example.org and find out when the next cheese making workshop is on at Riverside.
We - the milk men at Riverside Milk - reckon that anyone can follow in Miss Muffet's footsteps and try their hand at the multitude of cheesy transformations that raw milk has to offer. Simply follow any of the above recipes! It's fun, a little magical (especially for kids) and the results are super delicious.
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