Just Say Yes to Goat’s Milk!

{A few months back, Carolyn Gahn of Sweetgrass Granola educated us on why we need a home dairy. Today, her awesome husband Jacob shares with us how they use their raw goat’s milk in their own home. I’ll give you a little hint: for everything!}
 

Raw Milk: It’s what’s for breakfast, lunch, antipasto, dinner, dessert, snacktime, cocktail hour, bathtime, etc

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Since you are already totally convinced that drinking fresh raw milk from your local farmer (or home dairy!) is the way to go, you might be thinking, “What else can this magical liquid do for me?”  Well my friends, let me count the ways.

First is the simplest and most rapid method for consuming milk: Drinking.  I can’t tell you how many times our milk has been likened to the flavor of a milkshake.  With ice cold, creamy sweetness in it, a pint glass seems much smaller than it used to and a bowl of granola with fresh milk just can’t be beat.  But besides straight up gulping the stuff, the second easiest and most delicious way to use your milk is to make your own cheese!

Fresh soft goat cheese, called Chèvre, is always in supply at our home and is present in some way at just about every meal.  Fresh cheese is the easiest kind of cheese to make because the yield is very high for the milk compared to harder aged cheese and it is ready from milk to spreadable nutrition in about 24 hours.  There’s lots of places to buy the Chèvre starter cultures (try Caprine Supply or Hoegger Supply) to add to your milk and you can easily make the cheese using your friendly local farmer’s milk or even a gallon of plain ol’ grocery store milk if you are in a pinch.  Put a dollop on your plate with farm fresh eggs, spread on whole grain toast with dried herbs and tomato in the summer, add liberally to any pasta, soup, casserole, pizza, salad; my goodness, it’s versatile.  You can also purchase Chèvre already made from Kentucky native Susan Miller’s Bluegrass Chevre.  This spring when we get our freshened abundance of milk we’ll also be experimenting with some aged hard cheeses (provolone, cheddar) and mozzarella!

Many of the most enjoyable ways to eat milk requires you to get the cream from it.  The process of separating cream from goat milk is a little more complicated than with cows because the fat globules are more uniform in size.  This natural homogenization is also what makes goat milk more easily digestible to  the lactose intolerant, babies, and all humans, young and young at heart.  In order to retrieve the cream a special cream separator machine is required that uses a centrifuge to spin the lighter weighted cream from the heavier skim milk (it’s counter intuitive I know).  This process reminds me a little of distilling: extracting and condensing that precious butterfat, with the ability to make you feel as good as the whitest lightning.  Once you have the cream there a great many recipes for goat’s milk ice cream but I am quite partial to doubling up the cream products with a homemade Butter Pecan.  Both ice cream and butter require special churns for their production and the yield to milk ratio is low but the resulting accomplishment can elicit such a product that you will be the talk of the town.  And if you choose to hand churn then you won’t feel as bad about eating an entire quart of ice cream in one sitting.

And after enjoying your deserved dairy all day you can even wind down in the evening with a house made White Russian, or our personal variant: the White Kentuckian!  If you are a well stocked beverage maker: two ounces of vodka, one ounce of coffee liqueur, and a large splash of fresh milk or cream will have you on your way to chilling like our favorite Dude.  But if, like us, you rely on the combination of a few staples to make all your concoctions then substitute in bourbon for vodka and the day’s leftover coffee cooked down with sweet sorghum to produce a makeshift liqueur for the down home alternative.

And then, as if it wasn’t enough to have drank, cultured, strained, ate, separated, churned, ate, mixed, and drunk your milk, you can even take a hot shower with your very own house-made goat milk soap which has wonderful moisturizing properties for you skin and holds up to any dirty farmer’s hands.  Check out Kentucky Soaps and Such for a good example of goat milk soap.  And raw milk doesn’t just nurture the human body, pour your leftover milk, skim, or whey on your potted plants and garden, or feed it to your hogs and chickens for nutritional boosts.  There need be no such thing as waste.  I hope I’ve imparted to you the great many ways to enjoy fresh, locally raised, raw milk and its beneficial properties.  Oh the wonderful things you’ll do with a beautiful and loving dairy goat (or farmer!).

Find your local raw dairy source within this real milk directory or by getting out into the country and meeting some folks!

{New to the idea of raw milk? Here’s a raw milk primer from Sustainable Kentucky, including information on health and legal matters related to the sale and consumption of this important product.}

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