Tomorrow is Tuesday. Milk day. Raw milk. Contraband. I have to drive 25 minutes north of my house to buy this stuff. It’s not legal here. Makes me feel like one of those bootleggers from the last century. Like someone from the Beverly Hillbillies. I loved that show. That theme song still gets to me.
Oh yeah, this is about milk. Raw milk causes so much controversy. By law, in most states, cow milk must be cooked. They heat it to high temperatures, ensuring that ALL the bacteria is killed. Good and bad. It also changes the proteins, and destroys most or all of the enzymes, making it hard for many people to digest. It’s still a good idea for commercial dairy’s. Their cows are raised under less healthy conditions, and the milk has many opportunities to get contaminated between the cow and your cup. Human breast milk is also raw milk. No one ever expects you to cook human breast milk. Or sterilize the stuff. FYI- most women don’t use any special cleaning process. It’s “hoist and latch”.
But this is about cow milk. I’ve been doing the running every Tuesday for just a few weeks now. Some in our family are fans of the taste. It’s also richer. Especially Jersey milk. There’s a lot of cream that rises to the top. You have to shake it up to mix it. Unless you’re PJ. Then you sort of pretend to shake it and enjoy a big fat helping of cream in your milk. One person in our family, won’t touch it. I’m not saying who…. but she recently returned from Guatemala and was quite happy to come back to a civilized country where milk is pasteurized. She has no intention of drinking “that stuff”. I still buy her the regular, legal, boring stuff.
But, back to the fresh stuff. When I get home, I try to take off most of the cream (after I let PJ get at a cup of “premium”). Usually we use it to make butter. It’s easier than you’d think. I pour it into a large glass jar, and add 1 Tblsp of butter milk (the real kind that’s left after making butter) or yogurt with active cultures. I mix that and set it out for a few hours to culture. Then, just start shaking. It takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes to shake the butter out. After all the butter is shaken out, pour off the liquid (that’s the buttermilk), but save it for another use. I use a bit for more butter, and also to make salad dressing. I also use it to soak chicken in before frying.
Take the rest of the butter and put it into a bowl with icy cold water. Swish it around; press lightly against bowl, rinsing, draining and refilling with cold water when the bowl of water looks cloudy. The cloudiness is the last bit of buttermilk. You want to get it out as it’s kind of tangy. The butter will be sweeter if you do. After the water stops clouding up, you can drain the bowl and add salt to the butter if you want. If you want fancy butter pats you can press it into butter molds; or plastic candy molds work well too. Or, you can just scoop it into a container and enjoy.
*** Photo of rinsing butter was borrowed from http://www.raisingarrows.net/2010/05/making-butter-from-raw-milk/
Amy’s website is filled with great information and inspirational stories.