I had an impromptu lesson on the art of cheese making and milk separation this morning! Shortly after cleaning up breakfast dishes, unpacking the car from yesterday's excursion, making a quick cup of GML, I loaded up Egypt and headed south. My lovely nanny goat, is about to "meet her man". It's that time of year and in order for me to keep having milk, my girl needs to get with her guy so they can make a baby! I've never considered myself much of a match maker but in this case, I guess I am!
I always enjoy visits to the Double K Ranch. Our friends, The Kaiser Family, are such wonderful teachers and mentors. Elizabeth is my "go to Goat Lady". If I have a question, I call her versus getting on the internet and researching. She is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to the caprine species. When she asked if I'd like to see how she separates, I jumped at the opportunity. (BS is was in pre-school and I am all about putting off tomato canning and pickle making for a few more hours!) She gifted me with this jar of delicious fresh cream to go in my coffee, which instantly earned her a HUGE hug!
I watched in awe as I saw her old separator do its job! Elizabeth takes the cream and makes butter, cheese and yogurt for her family. I was given a sample of one of her hard cheese creations............YUMMM! This is definitely where I am headed. It was delicious. I'm planning to start making cheese this fall. I'll be starting with my favorite, Feta. I think this is a good idea as this costs upwards of $5.00 for a small package in the store. I eat it on everything from toast to pasta. Feta is divine on broiled tomatoes sprinkled with basil too!
It may be a while before I'm in a place where I'll need a cream separator. I eventually would love to make butter but for the time being, I am content to have fresh milk and cheese. All in good time right?! For now, I've stored up a bit of milk in Egypt's absence. I'll miss the cantankerous old bat, simply because I love her milk, certainly not because of her personality. Come March, we'll have an adorable new kid to play with and tame down. I'm really not sure what we will do with it either. I haven't gotten that far. All in good time right?!
At this point, I am looking at possibly expanding my tiny herd. I've had several inquiries about goat's milk. So to the "powers that be" if you are reading, please note, this is INFORMATION, NOT ADVERTISING: Goat's milk can be purchased in Nebraska at the farm site. It cannot be "officially advertised" but it is legal to go to the site and buy it there! Cool. I learned something new today!
I have done quite a bit of research with goat's milk and I very impressed. It is extremely healthy, especially for infants due to the healthy fat content which aids in brain development. I am sure there is a slew of information if any readers are interested about the subject. I'd love to have it neatly posted here, but alas, I will skip that because I have a kitchen full of produce waiting to jump in jars and a house the need to be re-shui'd. (That is a word in my language, a shortened version of hollering at the kids and telling them if they don't put their crap away it will be "lovingly" hauled to Goodwill on my next trip to town, which incidentally is tomorrow!)
As a personal testament to the benefits of raw goat's milk, I can say this. I am now wishing I would have collected more and frozen it! I see my stores are thin and I will be anticipating having my girl, as crabby as she is, be back on the ranch. Previously, I've not been a big milk fan. In fact, my children have NEVER see me, drinking milk out of a carton here! I'll eat ice cream from time to time but drinking milk.......is, well. I'll just keep that one to myself and simply say, I'm NOT a fan. Goat's milk however is very "light" and sweet. I have it in my coffee every day. I cook with it and...........I did something really amazing the other day...........I DRANK IT STRAIGHT UP! *Gasp* I've had it in so many things and not been able to tell the difference that it actually came from udders in my back yard, that I wanted to try it out. You can imagaine my amazement when I discovered it tastes delicious, absolutely sweetly delicious! I could go on an on but instead, I'd love to encourage you to try it out for yourself. I highly recommend it in peach smoothies, strawberry ice cream, coconut cream pudding, and scrambled eggs! Tasting is believing. I'm looking forward to tasting this rich, fabulous, fresh cream in my coffee this afternoon, while I am canning the final produce of the season.
I'm looking back with nastalgia, as this time last year I was only dreaming about the possibility of having a goat. I now have two. We've enjoyed fresh milk since May. Though I didn't know how all of this was going to go and I certainly was ready to scrap the idea at times, I'm glad I've stuck with it. True, it is not easy to be "tied down" with twice daily milking, but thanks to our fabulous, supportive friends, I've been able to do some traveling. I have no idea where this "project" will go from here and I am happy to relax into the "adventure of not knowing".
If you are in the area, and you are interested in sampling goat milk, please stop in! Taste tests are absolutely FREE and so is the coffee!
Here's to enjoying a brilliant, autumn day!