This Week at Peaceful Heart Farm: 12/5/19

Hello beautiful people,

And it’s December. Winter is coming. Couldn’t help it. Had to say it.

Scott has finished with the creamery walls. He is now on to other tasks such as fence repairs and gathering wood for the stove we use for heating in the winter. We’ve been using the central heat and it’s time to reduce the load on the electricity we use. 

I’m so excited to report that we have a newborn calf and it is a heifer. She is, of course, very beautiful. We are so excited to have a new heifer on the farm. We were beginning to wonder if we were ever going to get one. That worry will be taken care of in the next breeding cycle. We have finally reached an agreement with a semen supplier. There are two bulls that are certified A2A2 genetics that we will be using. Additionally, we will be using sexed semen. No more boys. Only girls. Who knows what we will get in April this year, but in April next year it will be all girls.  

Our herd shares are sold out, but please get on our mailing list. I will have more available in the spring.

Please go HERE to learn all about Herd Shares and get on our waiting list.

We are out of fresh milk and yogurt. We have lots of cheese and look forward to serving your cheese needs throughout the next 4 months until we once again have fresh milk and fresh milk products. Our farmhouse cheddar past the taste test and lots of you really like it. It’s still pretty mild and will only get better with time. We still have Peaceful Heart Gold and Ararat Legend as well as that very popular Pinnacle available for herd share owners.   

As a reminder, those of you that shop the Independence Farmer’s Market can still place your orders for lamb, beef and goat via the online market. Here is a link to the online store. Register for an account, place your order online and pick it up on Wednesday afternoon at Grayson Landscaping (next to the old court house). Email me if you don’t see what you are looking for and place your order now for holiday “leg of lamb.” Now taking pre-orders via email. 


News This Week

  • Products Available This Week
  • Let’s Get Together
  • This week’s FarmCast: “Popular Cheeses” Lots of good information on many cheeses. Types covered are hard, semi-hard, semi-soft and soft (fresh and ripened).
  • FREE Cheese tasting downloads
  • Most Recent Recipes – Queso Fresco was added.

Products Available to Herd Share Owners

Choose 1 per week 1/2 Share Whole Share
Butter 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Ararat Legend 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Peaceful Heart Gold 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Pinnacle 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Clau d’ville Cheddar 1/4 pound 1/2 pound

 

Products Available to the General Public

Beef Price / Pound
1/4 Beef (approx 100 lbs) $7.00
1/2 Beef (approx 200 lbs) $6.50
Whole Beef (approx 400 lbs) $6.00
Ground (approx 1 lb) $7.00
Marrow Bones (approx 2 lbs) $2.00
Lamb Price / Pound
1/2 Lamb (approx 20 lbs) $10
Whole Lamb (approx 40 lbs) $9.50
Ground Lamb (approx 1 lb) $10
Lamb Soup Bones (approx 1 lb) $3
Chev (Goat) Price / Pound
Ground Chev (approx 1 lb) $12
Meaty Goat Bones (approx 1 lb) $3
Meaty Goat Bones (approx 10 lb) Ask about discount

Let’s

As always, we’d love to meet you in person.  This week is additional Christmas market at Wytheville. The second Christmas market is on December 14th. Now we continue twice monthly through the winter.  The Winter Market hours are 10 am to noon on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month – Now through April. 

As always, you may visit us at our dairy farm in Claudville, Virginia Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 noon and Saturday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm. Find out how we raise our animals and why you will love the taste of tradition that is inherent in all of our products. Herd share holders will be able to see up close how their cows are cared for and where the cheese is made and stored. 


Peaceful Heart FarmCast

 This week’s podcast, Popular Cheeses, provides some great information about all kinds of cheeses. Cheese types include: Hard, semi-hard, semi-soft, soft (fresh and ripened). There is too much to do more than a brief overview. If you want more, see my podcasts The Taste of Cheese and The Basics of Cheesemaking

Listen to “Popular Cheeses” here.


Free Downloads

I want to follow up on a previous FarmCast, The Taste of Cheese where I talked about developing your expertise with using descriptive words. The FREE downloads of Classifying Cheese by Type and Category and Expand Your Cheese Vocabulary are still available at our website. Please stop by and get your FREE resources. 

You can LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HEREOr, if you have an Alexa device, just say:Alexa, play podcast Peaceful Heart FarmCast.

And don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the Peaceful Heart Farm podcast on Apple PodcastsAndroidTuneIn, Stitcher or Spotify


Recent Recipes

Click the links and check them out. All of my recipes are printable.

chocolate peanut butter protein shakeQueso Fresco: Want to make queso fresco at home? Here is an easy recipe to make this homemade cheese that is a popular topping for tacos, nachos, enchiladas and tostadas. Many Latin foods use this ingredient and it is so easy.

crème fraîcheCrème Fraîche: Crème fraîche is similar to sour cream. While sour cream and crème fraîche are both used to add richness and tangy flavor, they are not the same thing. And is it worth taking the extra time to make your own crème fraîche? I’m going to say absolutely, yes, depending on the use.

vanilla cream cheesecake fat bombVanilla Cream Cheesecake Fat Bombs: A word of caution to anyone not living the keto lifestyle. If you are primarily burning carbohydrates and just add a lot fat such as in these luscious fat bombs, you will not induce ketosis and you will likely put on weight. There is a science to it. Ketosis first, then fat bombs for fun.

These delicious vanilla cheesecake fat bombs are high on taste and will give you a long-lasting boost of energy. They are deliciously creamy and taste just like cheesecake.

lamb chops with reduction sauceLamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction Sauce: This recipe for lamb chops is a favorite on our homestead. The title sound fancy but it is an easy and quick recipe for two people (we eat two chops each). Rosemary, basil and thyme give it great flavor.

Popular Cheeses

For a little change of pace, Popular Cheeses is today’s topic as I’m sure I’ve worn you all out with all of those raw milk podcasts. The recipe today is a fun, quick and easy method of making your own fresh cheese, or as the Mexican cheese lovers call it, queso fresco.

I want to take a minute and say welcome to all the new listeners and welcome back to the veteran homestead-loving regulars who stop by the FarmCast for every episode. I appreciate you all so much. I’m so excited to share with you what’s going on at the farm this week.

Today’s Show

  • Homestead Life Updates
  • Popular Cheeses
  • Queso Fresco

Homestead Life Updates

Just a few quick notes here. The most important news first.

Animals Updates

We have a new calf. Cloud gave birth to Luna on the 23rd of November. She was a healthy and vigorous 70-pound heifer. Mom and calf are doing really well. The other cows are drying up for their winter respite from producing milk.

Scott finished all of the blocks of the interior walls in the creamery. He is off to other tasks for the past few days. Fixing fences and preparing the pastures for winter grazing and hay-feeding as we move into the winter season on the homestead.

The sheep and goats are doing well, though we are missing two goat girls. All of the goats were escaping, as goats do on a regular basis. Scott fixed the place in the fence where they were escaping but we are still missing two. Scott also moved the goats from one pasture to another so perhaps the stragglers simply haven’t figured out where everyone is at the moment. There are gates open at various places so they can get inside a pasture and closer to the main group. No sign of them for a couple of days. We will keep our eyes open and do some serious searching if needed.

The Homeless Shelter

I had the pleasure of making a meal for the women staying at the homeless shelter sponsored by our church. We always have an abundance of food and this is a great way to help those who are less fortunate. Homelessness is running rampant in the US. I could just complain about how bad it is and look for the government to step in and do something. However, I wanted to make a real difference. Most of these ladies are either mentally ill and incapable of caring for themselves or have issues with drugs and/or alcohol. It’s a difficult situation and one without an easy solution. I do what I can to ease their troubles with a good hot meal on a cold night. I’ll be providing these meals 2 to 4 times per month throughout this winter. Cooking for 30 is a challenge but I’m up to it.

Last night, along with the meat loaf, green beans and chocolate cake, they got to try my very excellent mac and cheese. It was as big hit. The popular cheeses in that recipe are gruyere and cheddar which I will be touching on in today’s podcast.

Popular Cheeses

Let’s talk about some of the popular cheeses; how to recognize them and what to do with them. As I have talked about previously, cheese results from an interaction between milk and bacteria or an enzyme called rennet. For more information on basic cheesemaking please see my previous podcast, “The Basics of Cheesemaking.”

In a nutshell, the milk proteins (casein) coagulate, forming the solid curds, which then are separated and drained from the liquid whey. Additional processing, both before and after coagulation and whey separation, include: adding special cultures and bacteria, yeast or mold; salting; pressing; aging; and curing. Various combination of these processes create the variety of cheeses available today.

There are several subgroups that I will talk about today. Based on processing techniques, cheeses fall into a few select areas. There are hard cheeses, semi-hard cheeses, semi-soft cheeses, and soft cheeses which come in both fresh and ripened varieties.

I’m going to give a very brief overview and description of a few popular cheeses and how each might be used in your home. Brief overviews and a select few is all I will have time for today. If you’d like more information, please comment below the podcast and I will answer your questions to the best of my ability.

Hard cheeses

Hard cheeses have been aged to reduce moisture content to about 30%. Hard cheeses often are used for grating. Maximum flavor comes from freshly grated cheese. Some of the most popular cheese in the category of “hard” follow.

Asiago: asiago is an Italian cow’s milk cheese with a tangy, nutty flavor and a texture that varies depending on the age of the cheese. Asiago is white to pale yellow and melts easily. Wendy’s fast food restaurant makes an asiago chicken sandwich. This asiago is sliced, not grated but certainly melts well. Yum, yum.

Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan): True Parmigiano-Reggiano is a cow’s milk cheese from an area in Italy near Parma. The name is protected and can only be used when strict production guidelines are followed. The least of which is it must be produced in a specific area near Parma, Italy. It has a sharp, spicy taste and a very hard, dry texture. Parmigiano-Reggiano is always used grated or shaved. The knock-off produced in the United States and elsewhere is called Parmesan and does not match the flavor of the original. Parmigiano-Reggiano is used in gratins and pastas and as a topping for salads and other dishes.

Pecorino-Romano: Made in central and southern Italy from sheep’s milk, Pecorino-Romano has a robust and piquant flavor and is noticeably salty. It can be served as a table cheese or grated for cooking. Again, the name is protected. In the US we know this popular cheese as Romano.

Semi-Hard cheeses

Semi-hard cheeses have a little more moisture content than hard cheese. They range from 30% to 40% moisture, giving them a firm, solid texture. Their flavors can range from mild to quite sharp, depending on age.

Cheddar: With origins in Great Britain, cheddar is now the most popular cheese in the world. This cow’s milk cheese ranges from mild to sharp in flavor and has a dense texture. Orange cheddars owe their color to a vegetable die made from annatto seeds. Uncolored cheddars are pale yellow. Colby is a popular mild American cheddar cheese. Use cheddar in grilling and cooking, as well as on sandwiches and snack trays.

Emmental: Emmental is the original cow’s milk Swiss cheese with very large holes caused by gases that form during ripening. It has a mild, nutty taste and comes in 200-pound wheels. Emmental is the classic choice for fondue, but it also is used in sandwiches and snacks and dessert trays. Swiss cheese is the Americanized Emmental cheese.

Jarlsburg: Although jarlsburg is a cow’s milk cheese from Norway, it’s taste, fat content, and appearance are similar to the Swiss Emmental. Jarlsburg is used on cheese boards, in sandwiches and cooking.

Gruyere: Another Swiss cow’s milk cheese, Gruyere, has a mild, nutty taste, moist texture, and small holes. Because Gruyere melts easily, it is suitable for cooking. It also can be served as an appetizer and as a desert cheese. I use it in fondue.

Monterey Jack: Monterey Jack is a rich cow’s milk cheese from California. It ranges from mild and pale to a sharp and pungent yellow cheese. Monterey Jack sometimes contains peppers or herbs for flavor. It melts well, making it an appropriate choice for cooking.

Provolone: Provolone is a cow’s milk cheese from southern Italy. It has pale yellow color and flavor that ranges from mild to sharp, depending on age. Provolone also comes smoked and in a variety of shapes, including cones, rounds, and cylinders. Use provolone in cooking, as well is in sandwiches or as an appetizer.

Semi-soft cheeses

Semi-soft cheeses have a moisture content of 40% to 50%. Their texture is smooth and sliceable but not spreadable. Semi-soft cheeses can be classified into two groups: the smooth, buttery cheeses and the veined cheeses which owe their distinctive appearance and taste to the veins of blue or blue-green mold running through them.

Smooth, Buttery Cheese

Fontina: Fontina is a nutty, rich cow’s milk cheese from Italy. It has a slightly elastic touch and a few small holes. Use fontina on dessert trays and in cooking.

Gouda: Gouda is a Dutch cow’s milk cheese with a pale-yellow color and a mellow, buttery flavor. Mature Gouda has a firmer texture and a more pronounced flavor. Gouda often is packaged in red or yellow wax-covered wheels. Use gouda in cooking and serve it as an appetizer, with fruit, and on dessert trays.

Havarti: Havarti is a cow’s milk cheese from Denmark. This pale creamy cheese is filled with many small irregular holes. These are mechanical holes related to light pressing as opposed to the Swiss cheese holes resulting from ripening cultures that produce gasses that form the holes. It has a mild, buttery taste and sometimes is flavored with caraway seeds. Havarti makes a fine addition to a snack tray or sandwich.

Veined Cheeses

Gorgonzola: Gorgonzola is a blue veined cow’s milk cheese from Italy. It has a distinct aroma and a tangy, pungent flavor that is sharper in mature cheeses. Its texture is smoother than that of other blue-veined cheeses, such as Roquefort or Stilton. Gorgonzola is used in sauces, on cheese trays, with fruit, and in mixed salads.

Roquefort: Though similar cheeses are produced elsewhere, EU law dictates that only those cheeses aged in the natural Combalou caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon may bear the name Roquefort, as it is a recognized geographical indication. As with Emmental, Camembert de Normandie and many others, it has a protected designation of origin. Made from sheep’s milk, Roquefort is a crumbly blue-veined cheese with a pungent taste and strong aroma. Use Roquefort in mixed salads, Roquefort dressing, cooking, and as an appetizer or dessert cheese.

Stilton: Stilton is an English cow’s milk blue-veined cheese. It has a crumbly texture, edible rind, and pungent tang. Traditional compliments to Stilton are fruit, walnuts, and port.

Fresh soft cheeses

Fresh soft cheeses are unripened cheeses with mild flavors and a moisture content of 40% to 80%. The high moisture content gives these cheeses a soft texture and short shelf life.

Cottage cheese: Cottage cheese gets its name from the fact that it was originally a home or cottage-made cheese. Commercial cottage cheese is made from skim, low fat, reduced fat, or whole cow’s milk and has a bland taste. It comes packed in tubs in small, medium, and large curd forms swimming in cream. Cottage cheese can be used in cooking and as an accompaniment to fruit or raw vegetables and salad.

Queso fresco: queso fresco is literally Spanish for fresh cheese. It is a Mexican cheese, traditionally made from raw cow milk or combination of cow and goat milk. Queso fresco is a soft, moist, curd style fresh cheese that’s bright, creamy, and pleasantly milky. In traditional Mexican cuisine, queso fresco is used as a crumbled or cubed topping to balance out the flavors in rich and spicy dishes. It’s a perfect stuffing cheese because of its soft yet compact consistency. Today’s recipe is how to make this treat quickly and easily.

Feta: Feta is a great cheese traditionally made from sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep and goats’ milk. After the curd forms, it is salted, sliced, and packed in salt brine. Feta is a crumbly, white cheese with a salty tang that grows stronger with age. It is used in cooked dishes and salads and as an accompaniment to olives and bread.

Chevre: chevre frais, French version of fresh cheese. It is fresh goat cheese. Chevre is soft and spreadable with a mild but characteristic goat cheese tang. Many times, you will find herb and spice flavored versions. Use chevre in cooking, as a spread with crackers and raw vegetables, or on sandwiches.

Marscapone: Marscapone is an Italian cow’s milk cream cheese with a rich, creamy taste and the silky, smooth texture. Use marscapone in desserts such as tiramisu, in sauces, and as a spread. Marscapone can also be served plain, with a sprinkle of cocoa or liqueur.

Neufchatel: Neufchatel is a cow’s milk cheese, similar to cream cheese, from the Neufchatel region of Normandy. Neufchatel has a soft, creamy texture, and slightly tart flavor that builds as the cheese ripens. Use it the same way as cream cheese. My recipe, Skillet Chicken with Neufchatel Spinach Artichoke Sauce, can be found here.

Mozzarella: Mozzarella is the firmest of the fresh soft cheeses. Traditionally mozzarella is a small oval cheese made with water-buffalo’s milk, although cow’s milk is now a common substitute. Fresh mozzarella is white and quite mild. It melts well in cooked dishes and often is served in salads with fresh tomatoes and olive oil and as a cold appetizer. Commercial mozzarella has a much firmer texture and a blander flavor. That version is often used shredded in cooked dishes and on pizza.

Ricotta: All of the other cheeses before this one have been made from the curd part of the “curds and whey”. Ricotta is an Italian cheese made from the whey part of the “curds and whey” left after making use of the curds for other cheeses, such as mozzarella and provolone. Its uses are similar to those of cottage cheese, but its flavor is slightly sweeter. Ricotta has a smooth, slightly grainy texture. Use ricotta in baked goods and in pasta dishes such as lasagna. Italians also serve ricotta as a dessert cheese, sprinkled with sugar or salt, and as a filling for pastry.

Ripened soft cheeses

Ripened soft cheeses have rich flavors and a buttery smoothness. They are characterized by thin rinds and soft, creamy centers.

Brie: brie is a French cow’s milk cheese with a white crusty rind and a buttery texture that oozes at room temperature when the cheese is fully ripe. Brie has little flavor before it is ripe and will stop ripening once cut. Overripe brie develops a strong ammonia odor. Serve brie when its center begins to bulge slightly. Include brie on appetizer and dessert trays, in sauces, and in pastry. Brie should be served at room temperature.

Camembert: Similar to brie, Camembert is a cow’s milk cheese that originated in the French village of Camembert. It has a slight tang and the pasteurized version is generally milder than brie. Its shape is round as is brie, but with a smaller diameter. Its uses mirror those of brie.

St. Andre: St. Andre is a French triple-cream cheese with a white downy rind and a slightly sweet, buttery taste. It is most often served as a dessert cheese.

Queso Fresco

Want to make queso fresco at home? Here is an easy recipe to make this homemade cheese that is a popular topping for tacos, nachos, enchiladas and tostadas.  Many Latin foods use this ingredient and it is so easy.

What You Need

  • ½-gallon fresh whole, low-fat or skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 3 Tbsp white vinegar

What To Do

  1. Assemble a cheese cloth lined colander.
  2. Heat the milk and salt stirring constantly to prevent sticking.
  3. Bring it to a boil, turn the heat to low, and add 3 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar.
  4. Watch and stir. Almost immediately, the milk will separate into curds and whey. If not, add one more tablespoon of vinegar. Continue to stir gently to encourage whey extraction and curd formation.
  5. Drain into the cheesecloth-lined colander in the sink. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is cool enough to handle. Form the curds into a ball or disc while squeezing excess whey through the cheesecloth. At this point the cheese is ready to eat, but if you prefer a drier, firmer cheese, you can set it on a plate or a sheet pan with a plate on top of it. Use some kind of weight — cans, pots and pans, or books — to press it down for 15 more minutes or up to a couple of hours.
  6. Crumble over tacos or enchiladas, or sprinkle into a salad. Slice as a side with your morning sausage and eggs.

Notes:

This cheese is not a melting cheese. It is best enjoyed as is, fried or baked — just as long as you don’t need it to become gooey.

Final Thoughts

That’s a wrap for today’s podcast. I hope your holiday season is going well and you find it in your heart to help those less fortunate than you in whatever way you can. We are blessed with food that others need and, though time is often short, I’m making it happen and getting it to them.

There is a lot more information on types of cheeses available for download in pdf form on our website. Link in the show notes. And give that queso fresco recipe a try. Less that a half hour and you can have your very own homemade cheese.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please hop over to Apple Podcasts, SUBSCRIBE and give me a 5-star rating and review. Also, please share it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content.

As always, I’m here to help you “taste the traditional touch.”

Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

 

References

Recipe Link

Queso Fresco

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Queso Fresco

Queso Fresco

Want to make queso fresco at home? Here is an easy recipe to make this homemade cheese that is a popular topping for tacos, nachos, enchiladas and tostadas. Many Latin foods use this ingredient and it is so easy.

Ingredients

  • ½- gallon fresh whole low-fat or skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 3 Tbsp white vinegar

Instructions

  • Assemble a cheese cloth lined colander.
  • Heat the milk and salt stirring constantly to prevent sticking.
  • Bring it to a boil, turn the heat to low, and add 3 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar.
  • Watch and stir. Almost immediately, the milk will separate into curds and whey. If not, add one more tablespoon of vinegar. Continue to stir gently to encourage whey extraction and curd formation.
  • Drain into the cheesecloth-lined colander in the sink. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is cool enough to handle. Form the curds into a ball or disc while squeezing excess whey through the cheesecloth. At this point the cheese is ready to eat, but if you prefer a drier, firmer cheese, you can set it on a plate or a sheet pan with a plate on top of it. Use some kind of weight — cans, pots and pans, or books — to press it down for 15 more minutes or up to a couple of hours.
  • Crumble over tacos or enchiladas, or sprinkle into a salad. Slice as a side with your morning sausage and eggs.

Notes

This cheese is not a melting cheese. It is best enjoyed as is, fried or baked — just as long as you don’t need it to become gooey.

This Week at Peaceful Heart Farm: 11/21/19

Hello beautiful people,

It seems as though we skipped from summer to winter with only a few days of fall in between. Oh well, perhaps it will be warmer in December. Sometimes it is.

Scott is nearly finished with the creamery walls. He will be putting the final touches on in the next couple of days. Then, it’s off to the pastures for fence repairs. That will keep the animals safely enclosed throughout their winter grazing. 

I’m so excited about the impending arrival of a newborn calf. Even though she wasn’t planned, life is precious to us and we will welcome this calf with open arms. We will figure out what to do with her. I’m sure it’s going to be a heifer. Ok, I’m not really sure. We don’t do ultrasounds to determine the sex of our calves, but it still feels great to say out loud what I want.  

Please go HERE to learn all about Herd Shares and get on our waiting list.

Many of you have been enjoying our Pinnacle cheese. This week I have our farmhouse cheddar ready for tasting. It’s called Clau d’ville Cheddar. We still have Peaceful Heart Gold and Ararat Legend as well as that very popular Pinnacle available for herd share owners. You can also get yogurt just one last time until spring.  

There is a special Independence Farmer’s market on November 29th. I will be there with lamb, beef, and goat. And as a reminder you can still place your orders for lamb, beef and goat via the online market. Here is a link to the online store. Register for an account, place your order online and pick it up on Wednesday afternoon at Grayson Landscaping (next to the old court house). Email me if you don’t see what you are looking for and place your order now for holiday “leg of lamb.” Now taking pre-orders via email. 


News This Week


Products Available to Herd Share Owners

Choose 1 per week 1/2 Share Whole Share
Full Fat Yogurt 1 quart 2 quarts
Butter 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Ararat Legend 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Peaceful Heart Gold 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Pinnacle 1/4 pound 1/2 pound
Clau d’ville Cheddar 1/4 pound 1/2 pound

Products Available to the General Public

Beef Price / Pound
1/4 Beef (approx 100 lbs) $7.00
1/2 Beef (approx 200 lbs) $6.50
Whole Beef (approx 400 lbs) $6.00
Ground (approx 1 lb) $7.00
Marrow Bones (approx 2 lbs) $2.00
Lamb Price / Pound
1/2 Lamb (approx 20 lbs) $10
Whole Lamb (approx 40 lbs) $9.50
Ground Lamb (approx 1 lb) $10
Lamb Soup Bones (approx 1 lb) $3
Chev (Goat) Price / Pound
Ground Chev (approx 1 lb) $12
Meaty Goat Bones (approx 1 lb) $3
Meaty Goat Bones (approx 10 lb) Ask about discount

Let’s Get Together

As always, we’d love to meet you in person.  This week is the first Christmas market at Wytheville. As mentioned above, market hours are extended to 2 pm this week. There is also an additional market in December 7th and then the second Christmas market on December 14th. In December we continue twice monthly through the winter.  The Winter Market hours are 10 am to noon (with a few exceptions as noted) on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month – November through April. 

As always, you may visit us at our dairy farm in Claudville, Virginia Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 noon and Saturday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm. Find out how we raise our animals and why you will love the taste of tradition that is inherent in all of our products. Herd share holders will be able to see up close how their cows are cared for and where the cheese is made and stored. 


Peaceful Heart FarmCast

This week’s podcast, From Raw Milk to Ultra-pasteurized Milk – and everything in between, provides some great information about all kinds of milk. Topics include: Milk, milk processing, milk products, cream products, other milks, and cultured milk.

Listen to “From Raw Milk to Ultra-Pasteurized Milk” here.


Free Downloads

I want to follow up on a previous FarmCast, The Taste of Cheese where I talked about developing your expertise with using descriptive words. The FREE downloads of Classifying Cheese by Type and Category and Expand Your Cheese Vocabulary are still available at our website. Please stop by and get your FREE resources. 

You can LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HEREOr, if you have an Alexa device, just say:Alexa, play podcast Peaceful Heart FarmCast.

And don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the Peaceful Heart Farm podcast on Apple PodcastsAndroidTuneIn, Stitcher or Spotify


Recent Recipes

Click the links and check them out. All of my recipes are printable.

crème fraîcheCrème Fraîche: Crème fraîche is similar to sour cream. While sour cream and crème fraîche are both used to add richness and tangy flavor, they are not the same thing. And is it worth taking the extra time to make your own crème fraîche? I’m going to say absolutely, yes, depending on the use.

vanilla cream cheesecake fat bombVanilla Cream Cheesecake Fat Bombs: A word of caution to anyone not living the keto lifestyle. If you are primarily burning carbohydrates and just add a lot fat such as in these luscious fat bombs, you will not induce ketosis and you will likely put on weight. There is a science to it. Ketosis first, then fat bombs for fun.

These delicious vanilla cheesecake fat bombs are high on taste and will give you a long-lasting boost of energy. They are deliciously creamy and taste just like cheesecake.

lamb chops with reduction sauceLamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction Sauce: This recipe for lamb chops is a favorite on our homestead. The title sound fancy but it is an easy and quick recipe for two people (we eat two chops each). Rosemary, basil and thyme give it great flavor.

chocolate peanut butter protein shakeChocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake: There are tons of protein shake recipes out there, but if you love that chocolate and peanut butter combo, a chocolate peanut butter protein shake is a great way to curb the craving without reaching for the cookies or peanut butter cups. This chocolate peanut butter protein shake can be whipped up in your blender or smoothie maker in no time. It is packed with protein to keep you full, satisfied, and healthy.

From Raw Milk to Ultra-Pasteurized Milk

Raw Milk to Ultra-Pasteurized Milk and everything in between is the topic of today’s podcast. I’m going to talk all about all sorts of milk and milk products. I’ll give a brief definition of each one along with various commentary about development and uses of these nutrient-dense sources of food.

But first, I want to welcome each and every new listener. I hope you enjoy this content and share it with your friends and family. And as always, a heart-felt welcome back to the veteran homestead-loving regulars who stop by the FarmCast every week. I appreciate you all so much. There is no show without you and your input.

Exciting news is happening at the homestead. Are you ready? Let’s get to it.

Today’s Show

  • Homestead Life Updates
  • From Raw Milk to Ultra-Pasteurized Milk, and everything in between
  • Recipe – Crème Fraîche

Homestead Life Updates

It seems as though we skipped from summer to winter with only a few days of fall in between. Oh well, perhaps it will be warmer in December. Sometimes it is. When I first moved to Virginia, we experienced winters that had about 5 days of weather that would get down into the 20’s at night. Occasionally, we would have a night where it slipped into the teens. The past couple of years we have had some really cold winters with many days in the low-teens and even single digits at night with highs in the 20’s. This year, this fall, we have already had nights in the 20’s if you can believe it. Who knows what the winter will hold? Perhaps it will actually be warmer.

The Cows

Any day now we will have a new calf. Cloud is showing signs of the last stages. She moves very slowly and with difficulty as the calf has dropped down quite a bit. She waddles. Her udder is larger than Violet’s at this late point in her lactation cycle. Violet’s udder was larger at the onset of her lactation. She is at the end of her lactation cycle and producing much less milk at this point.

The Quail

The quail are doing well with the cold. Unfortunately, we lost 4 of the 6 to a predator. It happens. There were signs of an animal laying underneath the top cage. There are two sets of cages one on top of the other. Under the top cage is a slanted board with plastic so we can scrape off the manure. It looks like that plan will have to be modified in some way if predators are going to reach up from underneath and snag the birds. Anyway, the remaining two were put in with the main flocks on the lower level and all are doing well. Their waste goes straight through the bottom of the cage to the ground. There is extra board below them so no way to get up underneath that bottom set of cages. They are well off of the ground.

The Sheep, Goats, and Donkeys

All are doing well. I don’t remember if I mentioned that we lost a couple of lambs to predators. The rest are doing fine. The donkeys have been really good at keeping the predators away from the sheep and lambs. I’m not sure what happened there.

The Creamery

The inner walls are complete. Scott is going to take a break from all that block work and start back on fencing. The work is never done. While fixing fence he will also be creating firewood. We have been using standard heating during the unseasonably cold fall weather. But soon we will have wood to use in the wood stove for heating. It will be so warm and toasty in here. For the past week or so I’ve been closing myself into the office and running the small heater that we have in there to keep warm while the rest of the house is about 68 degrees. That’s really cold for me. It probably wouldn’t be so bad if I just surrendered and put some socks on to keep my feet warm. I don’t know about you, but when my feet and hands get cold the rest of me feels like it is freezing and will never be warm again.

Enough about that. Let’s get on to today’s topic.

From Raw Milk to Ultra-Pasteurized Milk

And everything in between

Dairy products have long been favored for their contributions to the human diet. Cave paintings made in the Libyan Sahara in 5000 BC show people milking animals and making cheese. Some research indicates that goats and sheep provided the first dairy products for humans. Later, cows supplied dairy products for much of the world.

Before refrigeration was invented milk spoiled rapidly. However, we humans quickly learned to preserve milk by making butter, ghee, cheese and other fermented products. By the first century A.D., the Romans were master cheesemakers, even using cheese presses to aid in separating the whey from the curd. Over the years, people have experimented with many variations in milk—and cheesemaking processes. (See my podcast on The History of Cheese. Link in the show notes.) As a result, a great diversity of fermented milk and cheese products are available today. I gave the basics of cheese styles in a previous podcast. In a future podcast, I’ll go over more details of some common cheeses you might find in your local supermarket and what distinguishes them one from another. I’ll include information on our lovely cheeses as well.

Milk

Milk is a dairy product that is valued as a nutritious beverage, and ingredient in cooking, and the foundation of other dairy products, including butter, cheese, and yogurt.

The composition of milk varies, depending on the type of animal, the breed, the animal’s diet, the season, and even the time of day the animal is milked. Unless I mention it as otherwise, milk in this podcast is about cow’s milk. Cow’s milk from a grocery in the US is composed primarily of water (88%). It contains about 3.5% milk fat and about 8.5% milk solids in the form of proteins (primarily casein), lactose (milk sugar), minerals, and vitamins. Milk provides a rich source of calcium, as well as vitamins A, D, E, K, C, and B. Commercial milk is fortified with additional vitamin D. To replace the vitamin A drawn off with the removal of milk fat, low fat and skim milk products are fortified with vitamin A.

Casein is the primary protein in milk. It causes milk to clump and curdle in the presence of acid, too much salt, or too-high heat. When milk is heated, a skin can form on top. The skin is actually coagulated protein and fat. Milk also can coagulate and then burn on the bottom of a pan if you are not careful when heating it. Continuous stirring, heavy cookware, moderate heat, and minimal cook times help limit coagulation.

Milk Processing Methods

Milk, like all food products, provides a favorable host for the growth of bacteria, some of which can cause serious illness. Because of this, almost all milk is treated with some kind of pasteurization to kill bacteria and increase its shelf life.

Pasteurization

In the 1860s, French chemist Louis Pasteur discovered a way to use heat to prevent spoilage of beer and wine without destroying their flavor. Pasteurization applies the same theory to the treatment of milk. Personally, I think pasteurization does destroy the flavor of milk. See my previous podcast, Benefits of Raw Milk, for more on that. The law requires all Grade A milk to be pasteurized. In fact, nearly all milk sold commercially in Western countries is pasteurized. The most common pasteurization technique heats milk to 161°F for 15 seconds and then rapidly cools the milk to 45°F. Pasteurization is used to kill bacteria and extends the keeping qualities of milk by killing naturally occurring enzymes that cause milk to sour and ferment. Unlike raw milk, pasteurized milk does not become sour and naturally ferment into other products. Pasteurized milk, properly refrigerated, keeps for about a week before it rots and becomes completely unusable even for cooking.

Ultra-pasteurization

Ultra-pasteurization is often used to extend the shelf life of cream. Ultra-pasteurization subjects dairy products to much higher temperatures for shorter periods, destroying nearly all bacteria. Unopened, refrigerated ultra-pasteurized milk and cream stays fresh for 2 to 3 months. Once opened, the product will stay fresh about as long as conventionally pasteurized milk products.

Ultra High Temperature Processing

Ultra high temperature (UHT) processing combines the process of ultra-pasteurization with specialized packaging. Holding the milk for 2 to 6 seconds at 280°F to 300°F sterilizes it. Hermetically sealed sterile containers block out bacteria, gases, and light. Unopened UHT milk can safely be stored without refrigeration for up to three months. After it is opened, you handle UHT milk in the same way as conventionally pasteurized milk products. If you are making your own cheese at home, never use UHT milk. It has been damaged too badly to be useful in making cheese, yogurt and so on. 

Homogenization

In raw milk, the milk fat particles float to the top, creating a layer of cream sometimes called the “cream line.” This happens because the fat globules, which are lighter than the surrounding water, are too large to stay suspended in the emulsion. To prevent the separation of milk fat, most commercially sold milk is homogenized. Homogenization breaks down fat globules by forcing the warm milk through a very fine nozzle. This process reduces the fat particles to 1/10 their original size, thus allowing the milk fat to stay suspended in liquid.

Removal of Milk Fat

Removing milk fat fills the demand for additional variety in milk and cream products. To remove milk fat, milk is processed in a separator, a type of centrifuge. The milk spins at high speeds, causing the lighter milk to collect at the outer wall of the separator, while the denser cream collects in the center, where it is piped off. Modern separators can produce a range of milk products from whole milk to low-fat or reduced fat to skim.

Description of Milk Products

Liquid Whole Milk

Whole milk contains not less than 3.25% milk fat and 8.25% milk solids. Vitamins A and D are optional additions, as our flavoring ingredients, such as chocolate.

Liquid Low-Fat Or Reduced-Fat Milk

Milk with some fat removed will contain between 0.5% and 2% milk fat and not less than 8.25% milk solids. Common low-fat milk includes 1% milk; reduced fat milk includes 2% milk. Low-fat and reduced-fat milks must contain added vitamin A and vitamin D is optional.

Liquid Skim Milk

Skim milk is also called fat-free or nonfat milk. All or most of the fat has been removed. Skim milk is less than 0.5% milk fat and not less than 8.25% milk solids. Vitamin A must be added. Vitamin D is optional.

Evaporated Milk

Canned concentrated milk, called evaporated milk, is formed by evaporating about 60% of the water from whole or skim milk. It has a cooked flavor and darker color than regular milk. Evaporated or condensed whole milk contains at least twice the milk fat and solids of whole milk – 6.5% milk fat and 16.5% milk solids.

Sweetened Condensed Milk

Sweetened condensed milk is whole milk with 60% of its water removed and a large quantity of sugar added. It’s pasteurized and usually sold in cans. Sweetened condensed milk is not an acceptable substitute for whole or evaporated milk because of the added sugar.

Dry Milk Powder

Milk with nearly all moisture removed is called powered milk or dry milk. It is usually made from skim milk, although whole milk powder is also available. Dry milk can be used to enrich baked goods or it can be reconstituted in water.

Varieties of Cream

Half-And-Half

A mixture of milk and cream is labeled half-and-half. It contains at least 10.5% but no more than 18% milk fat. We use it in coffee. Some use it in cereal. It is often used in baking and as an enrichment to other foods.

Light Cream

The next step up in thickness of cream is light cream. Also called coffee cream or table cream. It contains between 18% and 30% milk fat. It is also used in baking and as an enrichment for other foods. The higher you go in cream content the higher you go in calories. So, keep that in mind when deciding whether to use it in coffee or cereal.

Light Whipping Cream

Light whipping cream, also just called whipping cream, contains between 30% and 36% milk fat. It can be whipped or used to make sauces, ice cream, and other desserts.

Heavy Whipping Cream

Heavy whipping cream (HWC for the keto/carnivore crowds) is also called heavy cream. It contains at least 36% milk fat. As you would expect, it whips well and is used as a topping for desserts. It is also used for thickening, and as enrichment for sauces and various desserts.

Other Milks

All female mammals produce milk to feed their young, so it is not surprising that humans over the years have taken and continue to take milk from a variety of species. People in parts of Africa and the Middle East prize camel milk. Some groups in northern Scandinavia and Russia milk reindeer. It is said that Genghis Khan and the Mongolians conquered vast lands living on meat, blood and mare’s milk. Although cow’s milk is the most common today, people in many parts of the world use milk from sheep, water buffalo, and goats.

Sheep’s Milk

Sheep’s milk is higher in fat (6.5%) and protein (5.8%) content than cow’s milk. People drink sheep’s milk and make yogurt and cheese from it. True Roquefort cheese is made from sheep’s milk. Feta is traditionally made with sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk.

Water Buffalo’s Milk

Water buffalo’s milk has a high percentage of fat (7.2%) and a protein count comparable to that of cow’s milk (3.8%). Provolone cheese was first made with water buffalo’s milk. Today Italy prides itself on making the highest quality mozzarella cheese from water buffalo milk.

Goat’s Milk

Goat’s milk contains a similar amount of fat and protein as cow’s milk, but the smaller fat globules in goat’s milk stay suspended, making homogenization unnecessary. Cheese made from goat’s milk is referred to as chèvre (the French word for “goat”) and is noted for its sharp, tangy flavor.

Cultured Products

Fermented dairy products, also called cultured dairy products, are the result of adding a starter bacterial culture to fluid dairy products. Under the right temperature conditions, these lactic acid producing bacteria reproduce rapidly, causing milk or cream to ferment. The fermentation process gives dairy products a tangy flavor and thicker consistency.

Buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, and crème fraîche are the most common cultured dairy products.

Buttermilk

Traditionally, buttermilk was a byproduct of the butter-making process. Today people make buttermilk by introducing starter cultures from bacterial strains into skim or low-fat milk and then holding the milk at a controlled temperature for 12 to 14 hours. Buttermilk adds a distinctive, tart taste to baked goods and other dishes. Some people enjoy buttermilk as a beverage.

Yogurt

Yogurt adds a tangy flavor to sauces and other dishes and provides a low-fat substitute for sour cream. Yogurt is made by the same process as that for buttermilk but with different bacterial strains. This causes the milk to ferment and coagulate into a custard like consistency. Some yogurt contains live active bacteria. Medical research shows that yogurt with live active cultures helps the body produce lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose. This aids digestion, especially in those who have difficulty digesting milk products because of lactose intolerance. Research also suggests that eating yogurt with live active culture speeds recovery from some forms of intestinal illness.

Sour Cream

Sour cream is made using the same process and bacteria as those for buttermilk, but it typically uses cream with 18% milk fat as its base. Sour cream is smooth, thick, and tangy.

Crème Fraîche

Commercial crème fraîche is cultured, heavy cream that resembles a thinner, richer version of sour cream. Widely available in Europe, crème fraîche is expensive in the United States. Better to make it yourself with this easy recipe.

Crème Fraîche Recipe

Use it anywhere you would use sour cream. Because sour cream has less fat but more protein, simmering or boiling it will result in curdling. Crème fraîche is a better choice for sauces or soups.

In France, crème fraîche was traditionally made from unpasteurized cream that naturally contained the right bacteria to thicken it. Since our cream is pasteurized here in the US, this crème fraîche is made by adding a fermenting agent with bacteria to heavy cream.

What You Need

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons cultured buttermilk

What To Do

  1. In a glass jar, combine the buttermilk with the heavy cream.
  2. Cover the jar tightly with cheesecloth or other breathable material. Let sit at room temperature (70 to 75 degrees) for 24 hours.
  3. Remove cloth, stir. It will be thick but will get thicker. Screw on a lid, and refrigerate for another 24 hours before using.

Final Thoughts

Whew that was a lot of information about milk and milk products packed into one podcast. You might want to listen to that again and take notes. Or hop over to peacefulheartfarm.com and click or tap “Podcast” on the menu to read and bookmark the show notes.

The homestead is perking along well. I’m so excited about the impending arrival of a newborn calf. Even though she wasn’t planned, life is precious to us and we will welcome this calf with open arms. We will figure out what to do with her. I’m sure it’s going to be a heifer. Ok, I’m not really sure. We don’t do ultrasounds to determine the sex of our calves, but it’s great to say out loud what I want.

I hope you’ll experiment with brewing up some homemade crème fraîche. Remember, don’t use ultra-high temperature pasteurized cream. It simply will not produce the product you are looking to create.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please go to Apple Podcasts, SUBSCRIBE and give me a 5-star rating and review. And the best way to help out this show is to share it with any friends or family who might be interested in this type of content.

As always, I’m here to help you “taste the traditional touch.”

Thank you so much for stopping by the homestead and until next time, may God fill your life with grace and peace.

References

Recipe Link

Crème Fraîche

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