What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, August 08, 2014

In the Kitchen, In the Garden

Remember my use-'em-up egg challenges?  Where I would see how many eggs I could use up in a day because I was drowning in them?  Well, the eggs no longer are the challenge- the milk is.

Penny is up to 5 gallons of milk a day instead of four and I am desperate to get it used up.  I make a bunch of stuff and think I finally have caught up- just to discover a new batch of milk waiting for me!

Yesterday I:

~ made a spicy hot pepper Queso Blanco

~ made Rosemary and Black Pepper Queso Blanco

~ tried my first attempt at Mozzerella and had so much fun stretching that I made it hard and rubbery.  I will try it again today and I will have to be more grown up about it if it will actually taste good!  (wink)

~ made a Peanut Butter Buckeye ice cream from this book (which I may have sampled early and I may have died and gone to peanut butter buckeye heaven.)

~ began a batch of homemade mesophilic starter

And then- voila~ five more gallons to deal with from last night and this morning and two left over from yesterday too.

And then there is the problem of eating all of these edible concoctions.  As quickly as I am making cheeses (I've made 10 pounds of cheese in the last week!) and other dairy products doesn't mean we can eat it that quickly!  I have to do some investigating to see whether or not it is legal to sell raw milk dairy products...because I could totally see myself selling ice cream and flavored cheeses out of the milkhouse~ "Every Friday At Hopestead".  ( I can practically see the sign now!)

I have discovered (in my teensy easiest-cheese-on-earth experience, that cheesemaking is SUPER fun.)  Love it.  I particularly like playing around with different flavors.  I have a whole list of cheeses I am planning to try to make.  Horseradish.  Garlic chive.  Cumin cheese.  Sundried tomato and basil.  Pepperoni cheese.  Oh my.  That is my favorite part of the whole process.

I can't wait to get going on some hard cheeses (not only because I LOVE cheddar but because you don't have to EAT them right away!) but I am going to be needing a cheese press to do it. (Speaking of cheese presses....like my plates and bag of flour presses?  Very chic. I tried using a gallon jar filled with beans until the one side of the cheese pressed so much the surface was uneven and the jar went toppling.)  This, in my mind, is a pressing need.  har har har

 I'd love this one- but who has that kind of money?  Not me, that's for sure.  Any of you cheesemakers have any good, cheap presses to recommend?  Maybe Matt can make me one.

I am not complaining, mind you.  It is a happy problem to have.  I am just wondering when I will have time to get to the other things that need my attention- like the beans that need canned pronto, the squash that is piling up and filling baskets...the swiss chard and collards that beckon...and the tomatoes that need some serious attention.

Speaking of tomatoes~ I spy blight. (NOOOOOO!)

The garden is moving into it's harvesting phase... the phase I simultaneously look most forward to AND dread.  ;-)   The harvest days always take a lot out of me....so I am not sure how this juggling act is going to work.  I am hoping I can muster enough time and energy to get everything done that must be.

On the lighter side- I went grocery shopping the other day...  I bought ziploc bags, plastic wrap and meat. 

 The end.

 It was AWESOME.


cheapRN said...

Rebecca, I know you like in Northern PA. I live in South Central PA and I know of one case in the western part of our county where a man keeps getting arrested for selling items made with raw milk. The deal in PA is you can sell the milk itself but not products made with it. Doesn't make sense but many rules seldom do. Good luck getting rid of it all. If I lived near you I'd help you out!

Mich Heywood said...

Make butter to freeze for when you don't have
fresh milk/cream and you should get some young pigs to feed excess whey, milk too. Hello yummy bacon & pork.

Miranda Hupp said...

I wish I could go to the store and only buy 3 things! I am also jealous of your cheese making! That is so on my bucket list. Maybe someday. :)

Paula said...

You could always pasteurize the milk. It doesn't have to be done as hot/long as the big dairies to be safe. And once it's pasteurized it might be legal to sell. May not be as good as raw, but it would be better than store-bought.

Terri said...

Your cheese looks wonderful and that is always something I wanted to try. Do you use rennet? And where would one get something like that if one does not have a cow? lol Check with your dept. of agriculture about the legalities of selling raw milk.

Theresa F said...

It is illegal to sell raw milk here in Ontario. Hope you can find a use for all your surplus.

beth said...

oh i would soooo frequent your sales at the milkhouse - those cheeses look delicious! it really is quite amazing, all you do -

Leah T. said...

Your cheeses look delicious! And the Peanut Butter Buckeye ice cream is making my mouth water. LOL

We have(had?) this cheese press from Hoegger Supply, http://hoeggerfarmyard.com/xcart/Hoegger-Maple-Wood-Cheese-Press.html . (It was one of the things left behind at the trailer and a mouse made a nest in it. :( ) I'm sure you could find plans on the internet and Matt could make one!

I wish we were still down that way as I'd be happy to help you get your harvest preserved. If we ever live in the Southern Tier again, we'll have to have canning bees at your place, the Owens, and our place. THAT would be so awesome! :D

And way to go on the grocery shopping trip! You need a beefer and a couple pigs to knock that list down to just two items. ;) LOL

Anonymous said...


Information on raw milk sales in Pennsylvania. Not as easy as it seems, and can be rather costly.cac

Anonymous said...

Maybe you could trade your raw milk products for other services? I would be willing to trade :). Another option is that you can freeze some of the milk and make soap when life slows down a little.

Megan @ Purple Dancing Dahlias said...

I can sell our raw milk as long as I don't bring it off the farm but there are no laws anywhere (that I am aware of) that say you can not barter with raw milk. People could bring you bags of feed, mason jars, anything you need in trade of milk, cheese, ice cream...I really don't take kindly to the government telling me what I can and can not eat. There have been times when I drop it off for someone, my little act of civil disobedience.

celina boulanger said...

see if i was your family/in real life friend...i'd love to help fund the press....and have gifts of cheese!!!!!and ice cream of course... i hope enough read your blog and think of this idea

Anonymous said...

Do you have a recipe for plum freezer jam or jelly? I have tons of plums in the front yard of my rental house and we need to take care of them. If anyone else does it would be greatly appreciated.

Alyssa Corley said...

Great...now all I want is some tortilla chips and cheese sauce. Thanks Rebecca.
Your flowers are so very lovely.

Olivia Flewelling said...

You need a pig to benefit from the excess milk! :)

Terri Cheney said...

The cheeses do look delicious and pretty too. I love the inspired ideas you have for other combinations of flavors.

Amanda said...

Yes, It is illegal to sell raw milk, but it is not illegal to BARTER! I've seen raw milk for barter on Craiglist quite regularly. With your eggs, vegetables and what not, who knows what you'd barter for but it is worth a thought. I also second the butter in the freezer idea!