Dairy in every meal…

Robyn, her husband Zach, and their three young children, own and operate a remote cattle ranch in Northern BC, where they homestead and grow the bulk of their own food.

Robyn recently started a blog where she is teaching homesteaders how to make cheese, and incorporate homestead cheesemaking into their lifestyle.

Owning milk cows and cheesemaking is my passion. I always describe our lifestyle as a dairy lifestyle, because truly our life revolves around dairy. It starts when we wake up in the morning and doesn’t stop until we go to bed. Dairy finds its way into every meal, every snack. It takes up time in the barn and time in the kitchen. My schedule revolves around being there to milk our good cow and to process that milk.

A common question that I get from people, is how do you fit it all in. How do you milk, and make, and use all of that dairy?!

Let’s go back for a second and remember, dairy is my passion, it is my hobby, it is something that I love.

I have time to use all of my dairy, because I make time to use all of my dairy. In fact I love it so much that I created a business modeled primarily around dairy! Not everyone can do this, nor does everyone want to do this.

That being said, regardless of if you want to make cheese all the time, or if you just want to make it here and there, sometimes there is just too much milk and not enough time!

As Mamas we don’t have a ton of time anyway, and sometimes you just gotta get the job done! So I have compiled a list of ideas for using all of the milk, when you are short on time, (and fridge space.

How to process a lot of milk, quick!

Here is what I would do. Skim all of the cream and make butter or sour cream.

Butter

Step 1: Transfer heavy cream to food processor, or blender. Mix on high until butter separates from the butter milk.

Step 3: Strain butter from the buttermilk.

Step 4: Knead and press butter with a wooden spoon to get as much of the buttermilk out as you can.

Step 5: Wash the butter in cold water until the water runs clear. Knead the butter some more to get as much moisture out as possible.

Step 6: Mix with salt to taste.

Sour Cream

Step 1: Transfer 1 quart heavy cream to a clean jar.

Step 2: Sprinkle surface of cream with 1/8tsp Mesophilic culture. Leave it for 5 min to rehydrate before gently stirring it in.

Step 3: Leave it on the counter at room temperature for 24-48 hours. When it is the consistency of yogurt, transfer it to the refrigerator where it will continue to thicken.

Mozzarella

Use that skimmed milk to make Kate from venison for dinners 1 hour mozzarella recipe. Fresh Mozzarella, as lovely as it is, can be a real pain to shred! Thats fine if you are cutting it up, but a lot of times, (especially as Mamas) we want to shred our mozzarella to use on pizzas and other things. Guess what?! I have an easy shredding technique!

Instead of salting your cheese while you make it, use this technique.

Easy Shredding Technique For Homemade Mozzarella

Step 1: Make and Stretch your mozzarella. Omit adding the salt to your cheese during the stretching phase.

Step 2: Transfer your mozzarella to a holed form, dry salt the top of your cheese with just enough salt to coat the top. Let your cheese drain for 15 min in the form on a draining board. After 15 min flip your cheese in the form, coat the bottom with salt (just as you did with the top). Let your cheese drain for another 15 min.

Step 3: Transfer your cheese to an 18-20% salt brine (ratio to make this brine is 1 cup fine ground salt to 5 cups water). Transfer your brine to a cool area or the refrigerator. Let your cheese brine for 2 hours per lb of cheese.


Step 4: Remove your cheese from the brine and let dry overnight covered on a plate in the fridge.

The next day you will easily be able to shred your mozzarella for the freezer, (I use a food processor) or it will keep in the fridge for up to a week (this is a lot longer than normal for mozzarella).

This is my go to way to use up a lot of milk in not a lot of time.

How to process a little bit of milk that just won’t fit in the fridge! 


We have all been there, the fridge is full, all the jars are used up, you don’t have time to deal with the milk, but the milk came anyway.


On these days I like to think of quick ways that I can use up one days of milk and turn it into products that don’t require a lot of time now, and will be nice to have later.

Yogurt


I make my yogurt in my instant pot, but there are many other ways to make yogurt if you do not have an instant pot.

Step 1: Dump 1 gallon of milk into instant pot

Step 2: Set to the boil function

Step 3: Once the milk has boiled, remove the lid and let cool to 120F

Step 4: Make yourself a latte with that warm milk (Because you deserve it Mama!), and then whisk in 1tbsp of previous batch yogurt for every quart of milk you are using (1/4 cup for 1 gallon).

Step : Transfer your cultured milk to four wide mouth quart jars and put on your lids. Place jars directly into your instant pot and set the yogurt function to 8 hours.

Step 6: After 8 hours transfer your jars to the fridge. Mess free, time saving yogurt!

Ricotta

Step 1: Dump your milk into your pot

Step 2: Heat your milk to just before boiling (Make yourself a latte, do you see a theme here? I drink a lot of lattes!)

Step 3: Stir in 2/3 vinegar, or 2/3 lemon juice, or 1 tsp citric acid (dissolved in 2/3 cup water) per gallon of milk you are using. The curd will separate from the milk almost instantly. If it does not separate, add a little more of your acid until it does.

Step 4: Scoop your curd out of your pot (it will be floating on the top, drain in a cloth lined colander for 10 min, eat immediately or transfer to the refrigerator.

This cheese does not last long, so try to use it in at least a day, or freeze it for later use.

These are just a few ways that you can use up milk quickly without having to dedicate hours to the kitchen. I also love these ideas, because they save you time down the road. (I mean how convent is shredded mozzarella stashed in the freezer?, Yogurt that is ready to be scooped and served? Sour cream that took 2 seconds to make?). I am all about convenience. Cheesemaking takes up a lot of my time initially, but in the end, it saves me so much more!

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