Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Real Food SUCCESSES!!!

Yay! I have successes to report for a change.

Some of you may remember a previous post where my attempt to make cream cheese and whey from our raw milk was a complete failure. Well, I took the advice from one of the comments and pulled the failure back out of the fridge. I combined what should have been my whey and cream cheese into one jar again and let it sit for another day. Wow, what a difference a day made! Apparently I hadn't let the milk separate enough before processing it the first time. Of course, I started processing it this time before I realized...Hey, I ought to take a picture of this!! So, this picture was taken after I had already started pouring off the whey. However, I hope you can still see a big blob of white that has solidified in the center of the jar. That's the cream cheese. The yellowish liquid surrounding it is the whey.

When I first separated the cream cheese from the whey, I thought the whey had a very soured smell to it. However, I recently opened the container to use it for soaking oatmeal and noticed that the soured smell wasn't so bad. So, I don't know if I'm just getting used to it or if the smell becomes more tolerable over time. I am VERY pleased to report that oatmeal soaked using whey doesn't have a soured taste to it. I was pretty worried about that. I now have a new recipe for oats! Yay success!

Also...I recently made my own butter! I've been skimming the cream off the tops of our jars of milk. When I got enough to fill a pint mason jar I decided to process. I used the instructions from Mother Earth News.

It took me 20 minutes of vigorous shaking, but this was the end result. (The jar contains the buttermilk that I poured off the butter.)

You might be able to see the consistency of the butter better here.

My butter didn't have that pretty yellow color to it. Unless someone else has any ideas, I'm going to contribute that to it being winter and the cows not having access to much fresh green grass. Anyway, I'll take white butter as opposed to paying $9.25 per pound for pastured yellow butter.

So, things are improving. I have recipes printed out for soaked wheat bread and soaked muffins and soaked tortillas, so those are going to be the next experiments in the kitchen. It's a slow process, but we're getting there!

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  1. This brings back memories of when I was a little girl. My assignment from school was to make something the way the pioneers did. My step-dad made me a little butter churn using a jar and sticks. I churned butter. It was so cool. What memories!

  2. Suzanne,

    Oh, how I'd love to have a real butter churn. Of course I'd use it, but I'd also love to just sit it out as homestead decoration! I'm glad you had that assignment as a child. It saddens me to think how the old ways of doing things are being forgotten. For some reason, the "new, improved, and easier" ways of doing things just don't appeal to me in general.

  3. That is great about the butter! I can't believe butter costs that much! Are you talking about just the butter in the store? Or real raw butter? I've made the soaked w/w tortillas, they turned out great!! I can't wait to see how you make your soaked bread and muffins. I've done pancakes, but they turn out quite heavy (using homemade yogurt)

  4. Marcee, that's what I paid for real grass-fed butter. For me, the store-bought butter runs closer to $2 a pound. We'll probably have soaked muffins for a breakfast next week, so I'll try posting about it then. I'm so glad your tortillas turned out well. Shawn loves Mexican night, so I'm hoping to still be able to give him enchiladas with homemade tortillas.

  5. The color of the butter depends on the season and the kind of cow and the cow's diet. In the book series Little House on the Prairie they used shredded carrots to make the butter yellow. Thanks for sharing your success!

  6. Mindy M.,

    Thanks for the information. I was hoping that my white butter had something to do with the cow's diet and less to do with my inexperience with butter-making! I LOVE the Little House on the Prairie books. They are what really got me interested in butter-making, soap-making, candle-making, etc...