Thursday, January 5, 2012

Experiments with Milk

Happy New Year!  It's been a busy holiday season, hasn't it?  I gave out well over 60 jars of preserves, celebrated the holidays with family, helped throw a surprise 50th anniversary party, hosted a guest over New Year's, and took a 1250 mile road trip.  Now that school has started, work is settling down, the outdoor lights have been taken in, and we're all where we're supposed to be, I can get started again.

I drove out to the dairy farm today and picked up 2 gallons of raw milk.  When I opened the door to leave, I was greeted by a very brightly colored chicken, surveying the doorway.  As I got into my car, I saw a little boy pet it.  The chicken wasn't exactly pleased, but tolerated it nonetheless.  Made me want to have a chicken - it was so pretty!

Today's projects are - a batch of queijo fresco and a batch of yogurt.  I've never made yogurt before, but my mother used to.  She used to keep it warm in the oven while it... what?  Cultured?  Grew?  Incubated?  What is the correct word here?  Whatever.  The instructions I found suggested using a heating pad under the pot to keep it warm.  Great idea, and I have it set up in the basement so the heating pad is on the concrete floor.  That way the heat won't hurt anything.  I made a half gallon, and used a few spoonfuls of Fage yogurt as the starter.  It's due to be ready at 9:45 this evening and I'm looking forward to trying it.

As far as the cheese goes, we're not sure if the enzyme is too old, as I've had that bottle in the fridge for a little over a year.  We'll just have to see what happens in an hour!

5 comments:

  1. The cheese worked perfectly. I guess the enzyme lasts just fine in the fridge!

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  2. I make yogurt all the time. I leave it in my oven (gas) over night and it is perfect by morning. The pilot light keeps it plenty warm enough.

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  3. See, that makes sense. She had an electric oven. Mom, want to chime in, here? Did you keep it on warm the whole time or turn it off and it stayed warm on its own?

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  4. Incidentally, the yogurt was, indeed, yogurt, but it was very runny. I am not sure what I should do differently but maybe the milk needs to be at 185 degrees for several minutes. Anyhow, it works well for smoothies. For breakfast today we had smoothies made with 1 cup of the yogurt and 1/2 cup of marionberries in syrup. Perfect!

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  5. No, I turned the oven OFF! Cooked yogurt?? Yuk! Using whole milk produces a firmer yogurt, likewise, low fat a thinner even runny yogurt! I can't remember about the heating process being longer...Good for you!

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