i asked around for a good cookbook as a place to get my bearings & so many folks recommended "nourishing traditions", by sally fallon, that i ordered a copy...speed. (it was & is still on sale for like 1/2 off @ amazon.com if you'd like to invest in your own copy! :)
it is amazing!...and so much more than a cookbook. amazing articles said to unnerve the 'diet dictocrats' that we are currently (ill)advised by.
covers loads of ingredients & topics, sidebars chock full of info grace each page, not to mention the lengthy introduction covering "the basics".
at any rate, i am trying to resist my usual desire to jump in 100%, and just do 1/2 new recipes or 'projects' per week. so far, so good...
we have a friend who raised milk goats, so i started getting fresh, raw goat milk from her a couple of weeks back & absolutely love it! it tastes just like real milk (probably b/c it is, right! ;)
it will last 3 or 4 days as it, or you can pasteurize it by heating it in a stainless steel stock pot to 190-195 degrees & that will give you another week before it starts getting a bit goaty.
so, that was step one. (check!)
step 2 was to make a few things with the milk.
project #1: cream cheese & whey (so easy!)
1. set jar ( i used 2 qts) of raw milk on counter & let stand at room temp for 2-4 days until the curds & whey separate (when fully separated the jar will be half curds & half whey).
*we used goat milk, which is on the longer end of the spectrum, apparently, ours took 4 days*
2. line a colander with an old t-shit/doubled cheesecloth/old-school (thin) cloth prefold diaper that has been bleached. set lined colander over some sort of bowl/container so that the precious whey (the liquid) will not be lost down the drain.
*i set our inside a large plastic tupperware, as that is all i had that was large enough*
3. pour jar of separated curds & whey into lined colander. once most of whey has drained through, lift colander out of bowl & set aside in other sink (as it will continue to drip a bit).
pour whey into clean/sterilized mason jars & mark with date & refrigerate. the whey can be used in loads of fermented vegetable & fruit recipes, also used in soaking grains & a variety of other recipes.
4. carefully lift cheesecloth out of colander & tie to wooden spoon. suspend wooden spoon over a over a large jar/bowl & allow the last bit of whey to drip out.
as ours was made from raw goat milk, it does taste a bit goaty, more like the goat cheese that you would purchase at your local market. the texture is firmer though, i like it & there are definitely enough recipes on the wed that call for goat cheese, so no harm done.
my friend, amanda, who i get the milk from, suggested that i add a bit of honey to sweeten it up a bit, but i haven't tried that yet.
at any rate, that's it, you' re done! this recipe of 2 qts raw milk will yield 5 cups whey & 2 cups cream cheese.
the cream cheese will keep in the refrigerator for up to one month & the whey will keep for up to 6 months.