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Milk Processes

Colonel's Blog, Earthdate 8 Jan 2023...

Hey Ya'll!! Happy Sunday! Please, go to the top of your screen and subscribe so you are notified when we post a new update.

Greetings and good Sunday morning from Free Missouri! It is a beautiful cool morning on the farm. No new babies today, although we are still closely watching a couple of cows. The new calves are doing great! One of the amazing things we noticed from the new ones was that within a couple of hours of birth, they were already mimicking the other cows by putting their noses into the hay. They aren't eating it yet, but everything in them is driving them to be like the herd. They are running and hopping around. They have discovered each other and now the two of them hang out together most of the time. We did some tax work yesterday and we made butter and cheese! Today we will mostly work inside the house. We still find it difficult to set aside time to complete mandatory house duties, like dusting, etc. When your home and work are colocated, it is very easy to just focus on work. We will also attempt another cheese today.

Wow, are we learning about milk. First, there is heated (pun intended) debate regarding raw versus pasteurized milk. We are not pasteurizing our milk. We are very excited for the amazing probiotics, proteins, and enzymes in the raw milk that are eliminated by the heating process of pasteurization. That said, we are extremely diligent regarding cleanliness during the entire milking process. The top pic is the stainless steel lidded milk canister in which we transport the milk into the house. Next to it is a stainless steel funnel with a milk filter, much like a coffee filter. Immediately following filtering, we put it into glass jars and into the refrigerator. Everything is then thoroughly cleaned and dried in anticipation for the next milking. We understand the benefits of pasteurization, especially when talking about industrial-scale dairies of thousands of cows, but we have the advantage of time and individual attention to detail to ensure our processes are sanitary. The second pic is the glass jars in the fridge, arranged by date. Yesterday, we skimmed the cream off of two gallons of milk and used that cream to churn about a half pound of butter. It took longer than I anticipated to get the cream to 'break' into butter and buttermilk. The cream was a bit too cool when we started and I put a bit too much cream into the churn. We didn't inoculate the cream and made a simple 'sweet-cream' butter. We drained, rinsed, salted, and then using wooden butter paddles worked the remaining water and buttermilk out of the butter. We also made a ricotta or queso blanco cheese with a gallon of the skimmed milk. The third pic is of the heated milk after stirring in apple cider vinegar to force the development of curds. We then strained the whey from the curds using a butter muslin over a stainless steel strainer, the last pic. The result is a mild flavored soft cheese. Not surprisingly, we had a couple of books out and that cheese was lesson one. We are going to skip lesson two because don't have citric acid (ordered) and move on to lesson three today. We are becoming more self-reliant every day!

Cheers! Rich & Shelley

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