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May 10, 2008

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I bought raw milk a few weeks ago just so I could try it. Because I'm used to drinking nonfat milk, I didn't care for the high fat content of the raw milk. I realized that it was probably a taste that would take some work to get used to.

Oooh, I've always wanted to make cottage cheese, I might give this a go. It fits right in with my current phase of hanging and separating dairy products...

I have a gallon of fresh... uh, squeezed goat's milk from a friend who raises dairy goats. I've been planning on making cheese with it. Maybe I'll use half for cheese and half for butter...?

The raw milk is good but the kids won't drink it. This has something to do with the fat content and the fact that they've been raised on 2 percent. If I can get some more I'll sour it and see what I can do. The goats milk I've been buying to make cheese has been pasturized and so goes right on the stove with a bit of vinegar and then has some rennet after it's come to temp.

The point of souring the cream is just to make it easier to churn; the butter separates out faster from slightly soured cream if you're churning by hand. If you're churning by Cuisinart or Kitchenaid, it doesn't matter.

Another pet butter peeve of mine, to go with your "don't try souring pasturized cream": cultured butter -- which you can buy in ritzy stores and which is mad tasty -- is made by introducing strains of culture into the cream, not by souring it.

Pasteurization just kills all the fun, doesn't it? Boo, hiss.

I've had raw milk - straight from a cow in Austria. I'd been out walking in the mountains, and every so often are these wonderful alpine huts serving wonderful food and drink. From that particular hut, I had souffled blueberry pancakes with fresh (still warm) milk. Perfection.

When I was little, my best friend's family had a farm and we would occasionally go and help milk the cows. I remember taking the milk home with me once, though my friend's grandmother told me to home-pasteurize it. Now I feel like I missed out... :o(

I've made yogurt many times, a few times with goat milk, a couple of times with raw milk, and every other time with regular local dairy milk (Crescent Ridge and the like, not Hood or Garelick which oddly taste sort of like fish oil to me).

I am pretty much the only one who will eat it because after I explain how I made it people look like they've just thrown up in their mouth a little bit. For some reason the recipe/method doesn't sound all that sanitary or something.

The recipe is from Laurie Colwin and I really trust her recipes because they've never let me down. Or killed me.

Basically you heat up the milk, let it cool, strain into a big glass jar, and stir in starter (plain raw yogurt). Then you wrap the whole thing up in a scarf or a towel and you leave it somewhere constantly warm - like over the pilot light - overnight. In the morning unwrap it and stick it in the fridge for the day.

Sounds like a recipe for a gastric disaster, right.

I love this kind of yogurt. It's deliciously tangy and has not yet sent me to the hospital. I have the more detailed recipe if you want it.

Let us know if you make the cottage cheese. I love cottage cheese. When I was a kid I used to eat it with ketchup on it. Yeah, yeah, I know...

Oh wait yeah about the raw milk - there is a woman farmer out in Foxboro who sells it from her cow herd. Let me know if you want me to root up her number.

This is unrelated to this specific post ... but someday when you need a blog topic, maybe you could write about how you gathered all these recipes, photos and history. I'd love to read it.

Susanna: That would be a long post. But if you'll read it, I'll write it.

Lily VS: I would totally eat that yogurt. You've forgotten my track record. Let me think about your Foxboro farmer offer. That's more than 5 miles away, but I might be able to work something out.

Sandicita: I'm sure it was still really good.

aforkfulofspaghetti: Sounds like a fairy tale land. I want in.

Sarah: Ah. I always assumed the point of souring was just to add flavor to the butter. Yeah, cultured butter is ridiculously good. So, you're saying they control it by adding the bacteria after pasteurization? Yay, bacteria!

Alecto: Mmmmm, goat cheese. I guess I'll have to try making some cheese since I'm pretending to be some kind of expert on the matter.

NurseJen: Fresh-squeezed, huh! Whatever you make, let me know how it goes.

Helen: Let's compare notes. I can't remember the last time I had cottage cheese, which I love.

Jana: I'm worried I'll have the opposite problem. It's taken me years to wean myself off of whole milk and get to 1%, that I'm worried I'll fall off the wagon if I get a taste of the rich stuff again.

Aunt Della milked 6 cows (by hand) every morning and night and I remember helping her pour the milk into the separator in the basement. (A contraption where the milk and cream were ... ummm, separated.) She always kept a large pitcher of milk and a smaller pitcher of cream in her refrigerator. The rest was poured into metal cans and placed by the mailbox for the milk man to pick up twice a day.

I hated the taste of it! I drank it because that's all we had. But it had a definite flavor that I can still recall today and I much preferred the taste of good 'ol Roberts Grade A Pasturized Milk. From a paper carton. (Remember when milk only came in paper cartons?)

I applaud you for trying to make cheese and yogurt and cottage cheese. I think everyone should try to do this at least once. (I even did when I was in my "back to the land" phase.) But you can keep your "raw" milk! I'll take pasturized every time.

We have a raw milk dairy here in Fresno, CA. I love it if you get used to raw milk you wont be able to drink the stuff they sell in stores.

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