As a meat eaters I really want to have a relationship with the meat we consume and for it to be as ethical as possible so home produced beef has been one of our homesteading goals since the beginning.
Nyah named the little bull calf seaweed to continue the tradition (our last calf female calf being Stingray).
Our relaxed milking routine has kicked off and we have already started cheese making. I’ve been asked a bit recently how we manage a cow along with everything else we do so I thought I could give a bit of insight into our life with a dairy cow.
The key to a ‘easy’ routine is milk sharing with the calf while it is young this means we don’t seperate and in the afternoon Dane will get Kisses food ready bring her into the yard. He will squirt some milk on the ground to clear any dirty milk out of the teat then wash the tests and udder with warm soapy water and milk by hand while kisses eats and the calf frolics around the yard.
The positives to this system are that kisses is relaxed having her calf close by and it doesn’t matter greatly if we are late or miss a day of milking but there are some negative points too.
For one because we don’t use a milking stand I can’t milk her as I often have the children with me and sometimes cows can be moody.
We also don’t get as much milk as we could if we were milking twice a day and separating for long periods.
We do get 5-7litres a day with thick cream it’s not the most we COULD be getting but it’s more than enough for our families home dairying.
After the milk is brought in its poured through a sterilized cheese cloth into another food safe bucket and left to sit in the fridge over night until the cream settles.
The cream is then skimmed with a ladle and placed into the cream jar and the milk poured into the milk jugs.
So there you have it our milking routine. We will start seperating the calf for a hour prior to milking and increase after that once the amount of milk we are getting declines but once a day hand milking is enough.
Last week I made some cream cheese and used that to make a delicious baked creme brulee cheese cake. You’ve never tasted cheese cake until you’ve had it with home made cheese and free range eggs. Absolutely sublime!
For anyone who’d like to try making their own cream cheese below is the recipe I used its my adaptation of Dick and James Strawbridge recipe from made at home cheese and dairy which is a great book for beginners like myself.
1 litre milk
1 litre of double cream
1/4 tsp mesophilic starter
3drops rennet mixed with 1 tablespoon sterilized water
1.Heat milk and cream slowly over low heat for 20minutes until it reaches 40C turn off and allow to cool to 30C
2.sprinkle starter over surface and leave for 5 minutes. Stir and add Rennet
4. Transfer to a cheesecloth lined colander and drain for 6-8 hours then season to taste.
That’s it now you can use it for whatever takes your fancy. If you would like to try a creme brulee cheesecake just follow a new York cheesecake recipe then after you bake sprinkle the top with caster then caramelize with a blow torch and serve with fruit.