cheese making out of necessity
? I had to figure out how to clear out my refrigerator from the current week's seven gallons of goat milk — 14 half-gallon jars — to make room for the coming week's seven gallons.
Making cheese was one answer, and it handled some of the milk, but it brought to light another issue: One gallon of milk makes approximately one to one and a half pounds of cheese. We can't drink seven gallons of milk in a week, and we sure can't eat seven to 10 pounds of cheese in the same time, either. Obviously, I needed to find ways to use up the rest of the milk, so I started my ongoing search for any and all ways to use goat milk.
Here are the 10 ways I’m using goat milk right now:
: I learned to make yogurt
from my Armenian friends. During our lesson, we discussed kefir
, a fermented milk drink. I thought I was pretty much a know-it- all about anything dairy when I told her, 'Yes! I know how to make kefir!” prompting her launch into the centuries-long history of the drink in Turkey
, which included a war and a fair amount of bloodshed. She pronounced it ke-FEER, and just before I corrected her to our more commonly pronounced KEY-fur, I decided, after hundreds of years as a staple in her culture, she probably knew best.
I invented the White Milk Shake
, now famous among the neighborhood kids. Goat milk, sugar, ice and vanilla — blended till smooth — makes one of the best summertime treats.
3. Ice cream:
My family's addiction to goat milk ice cream began after I received an ice-cream maker as a gift one Christmas. It’s local, it’s homemade, it’s preservative-free, and it’s delicious. All it takes is fresh and creamy raw goat milk, organic sugar and vanilla.
4. Raw uses:
Through my lack of speed in getting through all the jars of milk in the fridge, I’ve learned that raw goat milk is edible in ALL of its stages. First, it sours into sour milk
, then proceeds to become cultured buttermilk
(great for pancakes!), and finally into curds with whey that can be drained off for cream cheese
. You never have to throw it away or give it to the dogs!
Once, I skimmed the cream off the top of each 1/2-gallon jar for a month, adding it to an accumulating container in the freezer to make butter. Goat milk is naturally homogenized, so only a teensy bit of cream rises to the top … about 1/8 of an inch (compared to 3 inches on a jar of raw cow’s milk). After a month, when I finally had about a cup of frozen cream, I thawed it to make butter using the shake-it-in-a-jar method. Twenty minutes later, I had a scant half-cup of creamy goat milk butter — delicious, but not worth the month-long process it took to get it.
6. Face wash:
I started grinding nutmeg, mixing it with milk, and rubbing it all over my face as an exfoliant
. It smells great, and leaves my skin feeling silky smooth.
I practiced soap making, learning terms like "saponification" and "French milled," and experiencing the skin-burning powers of lye
, before landing on the recipe I use today: oils, milk and lye. (Really, it’s important to respect the power of lye). Making goat milk soap from scratch is a tedious process — including the aforementioned risk of skin burns if you are not properly protected. However, when properly cured, the soap leaves your skin feeling soft, moisturized and healthy. It’s way better than all of the antibacterial, skin-drying soaps available today.
The newest addition to my repertoire of uses for goat milk is creamy, luxurious, goat milk lotion. It contains no lye — therefore much less risky than making soap — just a combination of oils (scented or unscented) and milk, making it incredibly soothing. I haven’t yet figured out how to get SPF into the lotion, but when I do, you can bet I’ll be making Goat Milk Sunscreen too.
9. Lip balm:
I haven’t had dry lips since I started using it, and it’s not addictive! My lips don’t crave it like they use to with store bought brands.
A Mexican caramel sauce made from goat milk. Similar to dulce de leche
, you spread it on bread, pour it on ice cream, stir it into coffee or eat it straight off the spoon.
— The Goat Cheese Lady
Lindsey is a city girl turned urban farm girl. She and her family are the proud stewards of a few milking goats, a lot of working chickens, an organic garden and a budding orchard. Just around the corner is the city. But she, and her farm, are hidden by the rocks. Follow her on Twitter (@goatcheeselady) and FaceBook (The Goat Cheese Lady) or visit her website (thegoatcheeselady.com). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Lindsey at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember when I told you that I learned