My “Milky Whey” day
Today went quite well. Early in the morning, my husband gifted me with a bucket containing about three gallons of raw, chilled milk and its cream. He carried it from the milk house ready for my use.
Since my refrigerator was already filled with all of the milk and cream I could use, I skimmed off the cream and dutifully began making butter. Mixing the cream in the blender does a fine job of bringing the whipped cream to the butter stage. The two blenders I use speed up the process handily. The yield produced two pounds of butter.
The butter requires repeated rinsing to press out the leftover buttermilk that might be hiding in little pockets within the yellow delicacy. When the water rinsed off of the butter is no longer milky, the butter is ready to shape in a butter mold or a favorite butter dish.
With four quarts of buttermilk left over from this task, I set it aside. The buttermilk stays on my counter for 24 hours at room temperature. During that time a wonderful process happens. The next day, there is a nice batch of buttermilk cheese waiting for me to scoop up. I sometimes use it in lasagna as a substitute for ricotta cheese.
After noting this little scenario, you might notice that I still had three gallons of milk for which to account. I poured up a gallon of milk in order to make fresh mozzarella cheese. Several of my friends have encouraged me to learn to make it. Today I had the wherewithal to mix up a recipe of cheese. It worked great! It is considered a treat at our table.
After the mozzarella was heated and stretched sufficiently, I packed it away in my refrigerator. The byproduct left from the cheese-making was a few quarts of whey. Not wanting to waste all of it, I used some of it to make two loaves of fresh bread.
The aroma of baking bread wafted through the house. Brushing the hot loaves with my freshly made butter softened the hardened crust. I confess that I did have to try a nice hot slice with the new-made butter. Satisfied that it was worth eating, I put a jar of honey on the table for use at supper. Simple meals like this are eaten with gusto.
With the abundance of unprocessed milk still in my refrigerator, I proceeded to make a triple batch of Vanilla Pudding. It is a favorite dessert on our farm. It is easy and tastes better than the kind you normally find in a box at your favorite grocery store.
So that is what a real “Milky Whey” day looks like at the farm house.