Shades of Ireland

Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Chicken Cheese"

The milk barn is busy! I had not planned on milking more than the two late goats this fall. Honestly, I was considering starting to dry those two off after they were bred. That happened last week. Since the Jerseys have arrived, we are back to milking twice a day.

That is not a bad thing--- I am just not prepared for it! I have torn down, re-arranged and cluttered up the barn kitchen while remodeling things. I was planning on getting major stuff done to prepare for spring milking. Now, I barely have room to set the milk buckets. I really don't have a way to handle all this sudden influx of milk. It ends up being about six extra gallons of cow milk a day plus a gallon or so of goat milk.

So..... to help get rid of the extra milk with out pouring it out, I have been making "chicken cheese" at least once a day--- usually in the morning. While we are doing chores and milking, I put the milk left from the night before in a huge pot on the stove and let it be heating up. I keep a check on it and stir occasionally on my way by...... When it gets really hot ( too hot to touch), I pour in a dollop of vinegar, stir it and set it off the burner. By the time I finish up chores, it has seperated in to curds and whey. I dip off as much whey as I can and I give the laying hens the big lump of warm curds left in the pot. They LOVE a hot breakfast!

I then take the warm whey out and put it in the meat birds waterer. The barn cats get some, too. All of them are just glossy with good health! I am thinking that we will be butchering the meat birds in about two weeks.

I am hoping that I won't be making quick cheese very much longer. We still have one calf on the bottle and this afternoon, Adam bought two more bottle calves and also took in two more to raise as a job. So, we now have 5 calves on the bottle which will amount to about 5 gallons of milk a day.

I still will have a gallon or so to use for "house milk". That is quite a process in itself. Since these milk cows came from a commercial dairy, there is absolutely no way that I will use their milk raw until after their blood tests come back from the vet. Since they are so sore footed, it would be cruel to haul them the 15 miles to the vet's office and I am too stingy to pay the expensive farm call bill, I am double filtering and pasteurizing the house milk.

Nothing is ever easy around here....... LOL!    

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