Raw milk, that is. I’ve read about the benefits and supposed risks of consuming raw milk for the past year or so and have been intrigued. After a bit more reassurance from a chemist mama friend, we took the plunge. Thanks to some new and dear homeschooling friends here in the Grand Valley, we we able to try about one and half gallons for free. It was great! I was warned that you don’t want to consume too much initially so that your body gets used to “living milk” rather than the “cardboard” grocery store variety. So, most of our raw milk was converted to homemade yogurt and cheese.
Being the practical and I suppose lazy (really just a time crunched busy mama!) urban homesteader that I am, I made the cheese from a fabulous kit by Urban Cheesecraft. You can make ten batches of mozzarella or ricotta cheese with the kit. They send you recipes, cheesecloth, a cheese thermometer, vegetarian rennet, citric acid, and cheese salt. Add a gallon of milk and get a pound of cheese! I’m sure that I could have rounded up all of the kit’s contents, but it was nice having it all prepared and ready to go!
I made the same yogurt I’ve made for years now. I use a yogurt maker purchased from Williams Sonoma and get my yogurt starter from them or from Yogourmet. Both starters are great and I just use what is available. In Montana, I always had to order online and so right now I’m stocked up with Yogourmet from a bulk order I placed last summer. You can also use a jar of homemade yogurt as your starter in order to stretch a few dollars. The yogurt maker makes seven jars of yogurt and I just make it a habit to whip up a new batch every Sunday afternoon. I know that now there are lots of yogurt recipes online and many of them are for batch yogurt. Silly as it is, we like our yogurt in the cute glass jars. The individual serving sizes work best for our family. I have two sets of jars and the newer ones even allow you to register the cooking date on the lid.
All in all, our “raw” experiment was a success and we will probably do it again soon!