Saturday, February 28, 2009

If you give me two gallons of fresh farm milk...


I will make...

Yogurt

1. Sterilize a quart-size mason jar.
2. Place milk into the jar and place the jar into a pot of water on the stove.
3. Heat the milk to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Put the hot pan in the sink and slowly start adding cold water to the hot.
5. Cool the milk to around 100 degrees F.
6. Add two tablespoons of fresh plain yogurt or a packet of yogurt starter.
7. Fill up a crock pot with hot water from the tap and turn it on Low or Keep Warm.
8. Keep the yogurt at 105-110 degrees for 4-4 1/2 hours.
9. Cover and put in the fridge to cool.

I keep a thermometer in the water and one in the yogurt while it's culturing. Sometimes I need to turn off the crock pot for a while to keep it from overheating. It's worse if you get it too hot than if it cools off.

Allow yogurt to cool in the firdge overnight. You can add flavoring vanilla, sugar, maple syrup, honey, frozen fruit or what ever suits your fancy. I use it for pancakes and in place of sour cream.

Cultured Pancakes

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups yogurt, buttermilk or kefir

Soak flour and yogurt 6-8 hours. The live yogurt will help break down the flour and release more nutrition. You can leave it on the counter or put it in the fridge.

2 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
Flavoring- vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, be creative

Mix the rest of the ingredients with the flour and yogurt and cook on a warm griddle. Thin the batter with left over butter milk. They take a little longer to cook then other pancakes. I make a large batch and freeze them for the boys. It's a great on-the-go snack for Amanda, too.

Yogurt Cheese

1 cup of yogurt
1 dash or so of salt

Mix yogurt and salt.
Line a large strainer with cheese cloth or Bounty white paper towel.
Place in the fridge and let the whey drain out. It may require some pressing. The result is a tangy cheese that is kind of like cream cheese. Mix the drained liquid (whey) into mashed potatoes.

Skimming the Cream

There are many different ways to skim the cream. The most efficient way is to drain the skim milk from the bottom from a spout. Our milk comes in sealed plastic bags so I just poke a hole in the bottom and drain the milk into mason jars for drinking and making yogurt.

Ice Cream

1. Mix about 2 cups of cream flavored with sugar and vanilla in a quart-size freezer bag.
2. Seal completely but with some air in the bag.
3. Place the quart-size bag into a gallon-size freezer bag.
4. Place alternating layers of crushed ice and rock salt inside the gallon bag and around the quart bag. 8:1 is the ratio of Ice:Rock salt
5. Shake the bag for a long time until the cream starts to freeze. Use gloves or wrap in a towel because the bag will get very cold!
6. Open and stir occcasionally as it all starts getting harder. Be sure to wipe the seal before opening to avoid salty ice cream. You can add other flavoring if you have some.
7. What you don't eat right away, freeze flat in the bag and it's easier to break into portions for later.

Whipped Cream

1. Put cream in the blender.
2. Turn to lowest setting.
3. Add sugar and vanilla to the cream after it gets light and fluffy.

Butter

1. Put cream in the blender.
2. Turn to whip.
3. In a few minutes butter will form.
4. Use a spoon to gather the butter together and then drain the butter milk.
5. In a glass jar or bowl, keep pressing and draining the excess milk.
6. Add salt if you like or melt and use in your pancakes.

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking power
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
3/4 cup buttermilk (what's left after making butter.)

Combine dry ingredients. Blend in olive oil until it's in fine crumbles. Add buttermilk and knead 10 times. Roll out with oiled or floured fingers and roller and use a glass upside down to make the biscuits. Let them rise about five minutes while the stove is preheating to 450 degress F. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

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