Sunday, 30 June 2013

The slurping mum-piggy

Milk is coming regularly into the kitchen, not huge amounts, just four to five litres per day.

Since I am not used to this daily harvest, the milk can stack up in the fridge. For example: three days x 4 jars = 12 jars =  12 litres of milk. Seven days x four jars = 28 jars = 28 litres.

But at three days the raw milk starts going into its second stage, the third being the natural separation of the curds and whey. Milk will make itself into cheese, but by adding starters and rennet we keep the milk going in the direction we want it to go in to make the cheese we want to make, rather than letting the milk do what it wants to do. Anyway, at day three the milk is going into its second stage, which I actually prefer to the more blander tasting first stage, but  the second stage milk Lester refers to as 'going off' which means going 'sour', which I think does not do justice to the tastiness of the milk at this stage. However, it is the first stage milk which I use in the kitchen for cooking with, but have used the second stage, and even the third stage, for using as the liquid component of our bread. 

I am a busy girl, and am often not as attentive as I should be to the traffic jam of bottles building up in the fridge, so frequently we have a mix of first, second and third stage milk sitting in the fridge waiting to be sorted out. 

Not to worry:
- can have another go at making cheese. Opened our first cheddar today, made just four weeks ago. Room for improvement. Lester gave the remainder of his morsel to Bools. Have been trawling the Internet for helpful hints about making hard cheese, so will continue on with this project. I ate my morsel though, didn't think it too bad, just a tad on the dry side, that's all. Think it will do well as a cooking cheese.

- can make goats milk cheese, which is becoming a firm favourite of ours, so I have got that right.

- can water down the later stage milk and cook it with brown macaroni. This will go towards feeding the dogs and the chicks, thus reducing their food bills. 

- can use the whey from the third stage milk to water the house plants. 

- can use the curds from the third stage milk to give to the chicks. 

- can use second and third stage milk to give to the hens and cockerels. Put into a bowl, they regard it as a real treat, sipping it delicately and with much relish.

- can wander out to mum piggy and pour a jar of second stage milk into her water bowl. I did this yesterday. First she dipped her nose into the milk. Hesitated. Took a lick. Wandered off, savouring the milk in her mouth as she did so. Mused on the taste. Wandered back to the bowl for another try out. Took a mouthful. Then another. Wandered off again, as if disinterested, leaving half the milk untouched. 

   Later on, I went out to see if she had drunk it all, but half remained. She saw me having a look. Did a charge towards me, chortling as she came, dove her nose into the last of the milk, and with an almighty slurp, emptied the bowl. She looked up at me, and told me that it was jolly good, and could she have some more. It was as if she had left that last bit of milk so she could show me that if we needed her to help out with the backlog of milk , then she would be willing to do so. The hens tell me this as well. They are all very appreciative of this new food, as indeed are we. 

Been a sleepy day here today. Apparently we have a heatwave on the way. Have started watering the veg patch already, which seems silly after all the rain we have had, but I guess that the river has taken the underground water off to the sea, as is the nature of things, leaving us to have to use tap water to keep the veggies watered. Will sort out some sort of irrigation system when we have more funds, but meanwhile, tap water it is. 

Have just put the courgette seeds in. Crikey, but everything is way behind this year, like my attempts at keeping the milk from getting stacked up in the fridge!

Hope you have a good week.

Blessings to you.


Denise said...

Could have done with some of that milk here this morning, Vera. Barely a dribble left in the fridge because we had no time to shop over the weekend. Toast it was for breakfast then.

Vera said...

Denise, and we have had the last of the 2012 DIY Jam, which was quite a shocker!

Denise said...

I have some 2010 marmalade I can offer you...still tastes good. Must have gone a bit marmalade crazy that year! We might just finish it by marmalade season 2014!!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

This is a busy time of the year, how do you fit it all in. We have not got animals and there are still not enough hours in the day!!
If you are this way you can have some bottles of jam, we do not eat a lot so I am getting back logged!
Love your slurping pig ha ha. have a great week Diane

Vera said...

Denise, yes please! It was a horrible moment in the history of me and my kitchen when I realised we were out of jam!

Diane, but I have been back logged with jam for the last three years! But last year the fig harvest didn't happen, which has rendered my larder now empty of jam! Thanks for the offer though. If you were not so far away I would welcome the offer to help you sort that jam backlog out!

Practical Parsimony said...

I read that too much milk for hens will cause them to not lay as many eggs. It is good for chicks, though.

Vera said...

Practical Parsimony, thanks for the helpful hint, but I don't give the chickens first stage milk, but the second clabbered stage, in which the milk has turned to yoghurt. They won't eat the first stage milk anyway!