What Do I Do With All This Milk?

WP_20140308_013                 .Clearwater Farm Journal

There is nothing more satisfying than bringing in fresh milk from the barn.  I am now milking 4 goats and getting plenty of milk.  But I cannot drink it all so what do I do with it? Soft Cheese:  I make a lot of fresh soft goat cheese.  This takes a gallon of milk and I eat it fairly fast.  I have flavored it with powdered ranch dressing mix, or fresh basil and garlic, or jalapeno peppers, or chipotle salsa.  The varieties are as limited as your imagination.  I heard the other night about taking a two inch ball of fresh goat cheese, dipping it in flour then beaten egg then bread crumbs.  Take that and fry it just until golden brown on the outside.  It is cool on the inside, crispy on the outside.  I gotta try that!

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Hard cheese:  This takes 5 gallons of milk to make a 3 pound block of cheese.   My girls have not gotten that much production yet, but I am looking forward to it.  I have made cheddar, jack, feta, and pepper jack.  Mozzarella and ricotta are good too and don’t take a whole 5 gallons to make.

Kefir:  This is the champagne of milk.  It is slightly bubbly and is full of probiotics and health benefits.  I have used the powdered culture that is available in grocery stores with limited success.  The best way to get good kefir is to find someone with kefir “grains” and make it from there.  I will be doing a post just about kefir soon.

Yogurt:  I love fresh yogurt.  There are different cultures that you can get that make the yogurt different in flavor and texture.  I have used the package of dry culture, plain yogurt from the store with live cultures, and purchased specialty cultures.  Experiment and find the flavor and texture that you like the best.  I make a batch and use it with fruit, in smoothies, frozen yogurt, and cooking.

Soap:  It does not take much milk to make a batch of soap, but it is a way to use up some.  I love goat milk soap.  It is the smoothest feeling of all soaps that I have made.

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Freeze:  Goats need to be allowed some time off before they have a new baby next year, so with only a few goats it would be a good idea to freeze some for that time. Make sure that you leave plenty of room at the top of the jar for expansion.  I have put in too much on occasion and had the jar break.

Feed a calf:  Every spring when I have a huge amount of milk, I raise a Holstein calf for my beef.  I go to the local dairy farmers and pick up a newborn calf.  They don’t want to feed it when they can get more money from their milk. This is a great way to increase the value of my milk.

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Feed pigs:  Milk that has stayed too long in the refrigerator or the whey from making cheese feeds pigs very well.  The best pork I ever had is what I raised primarily on goat milk and bread.

Share with friends:  I have friends that love goat milk.  I share when I have enough.  They bring me homemade wine when they have some.  Sharing talents and food is a great community benefit.

Ice cream:  This is the best part, fresh hand cranked ice cream.  It has been a family tradition for years.  If you don’t crank, you don’t eat it.  Everyone from the time they can understand gets a hand on the crank and goes around and around with it.  I haven’t made goat milk ice cream yet, but summer is coming!

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What other ways can you think of to use up an abundance of milk?

The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

About Janolyn

I am a mother of 5 wonderful children, 4 boys and 1 girl. During the years that my children were growing up, we grew most of our own food with a vegetable garden, many fruit trees and berry patches. I grew flowers for joy. We milked goats and raised our own meats and eggs. I learned to make my own cheeses, butter, canned foods, sourdough, and fermented foods. I made our own health products like soap, hand creams, lip balm, and herbal tinctures. We live off the power grid and have learned to do without conveniences that most Americans consider essential. The land clearing and building has been mostly accomplished with hand tools; some of them even the right tool for the job. After a couple of miscarriages between #2 and #3 due to “standard medical procedures”, I consulted a midwife and my last 3 children were born safely at home. That was when I was first alerted to the fact that doctors did not know everything nor would they have the time to share it with their patients if they did. As I learned the basic principles of heath-through-nutrition from my midwife, I learned alternative gardening practices from her husband. That introduction started a lifelong love of learning the practical life of our ancestors. I want to share what I have been learning with you and learn from those who are also living a sustainable life.

Comments

What Do I Do With All This Milk? — 7 Comments

  1. Hello,
    I’m a new reader, & just thought I should say hello. :-)

    Do you know how to make all those cheeses etc. that you listed off in this post? Or were you just listing them off for the sake of an informative list?

    I am not necessarily into “goats”, but I have some questions none-the-less. My brothers in-laws raise goats, and his MIL makes soap, lotions, etc. like you do & she is willing to teach me to make soaps etc. but since my thing is more along the lines of a pet milk cow etc. I was wondering if I could make soap out of cows milk or does it work best with goat? If it does work, should I pull the cream off since I think goats milk contains less cream right?

    Anyway, thanks for posting!

  2. Hello Heidi and thanks for reading.
    Yes I know how to make all the cheeses that I posted and even more. I will be making posts about all of them as I get to making the harder ones.

    And I am sure that you can make soap from cow milk. And no the milk is not any fatter, the cream just separates easier. So I would find a simple recipe (or I could give you one of mine) and try it. Nothing is lost by experimenting. Edison found thousands of ways that a light bulb did not work, but kept going until he found a way that did. I have many bars of soap that do not lather like I want, but they still clean and I know not to do that recipe again.

    I would love to hear how it works. Please keep me posted on your adventure.

  3. We use some to feed any bummer lambs we have.
    I also like to make the soft cheeses, yogurt, and ice cream!
    I tried buttermilk last year. I want to make cottage cheese this year.
    I look forward to your post on Kefir. I have been reading a lot about the benefits, but have never tried it.
    We make frozen yogurt more than ice cream, but it taste great.
    Stopping by from HomeAcre Hop!

  4. Your blog an how to use milk reminded me of when we lived in Sisters, OR and had a Brown Swiss cow. Talk about: “how do I use all this milk?” We made a lot of buttermilk, sour cream, cottage cheese etc and fed the whey to the chickens. They loved it! Interestingly, eating all that fat and dairy products, we lost weight and were healthier than at any time in our lives. We made a lot of homemade ice cream during those years and developed recipes for strawberry, Rocky Road, maple nut, etc. If anybody would like the recipes, I’d be glad to share.

    • Awesome Rita! Thank you so much. I would love the recipe for Maple Nut.

      I know that now that I am back on the farm I am healthier than when I was in town. Another reason that I am glad that I’m home.

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