Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yogurt, Kefir and first cheese

The girls really are big fans of yogurt but as I had been advised the goat milk does make really good yogurt I didn't really try to make yogurt, and may someday, but not at thist point. I did read up on goat yogurt and that is why in the end I didn't really try. During my studies I did keep reading about something called kefir. Kefir is sort of little bit like buttermilk and a little bit like yogurt. It is also kept a lot like sourdough stater so it was something that seemed to be right up my alley. My friend the goat lady, and since that is not how I see her at this point I will call her Belle, her southern gentleman husband has such a nice southern drawl that that seems somehow approperiate. Belle showed me how to keep Kefir and gave me my first kefir grains, kefir grains are like the sourdough starter you would get from someone, to start your sourdough, without having to age it to useablity. They are white and sort of look like a little mass of soft gooey grains. I took them home and pour my goat milk in it and let it set over night to age.

The next morning Yogie, Booboo and I couldn't wait to see what our grains had produced. We had a nice buttermilk thickness jar of Kefir. We strained out our grains and faithfully put new milk in them and we feed our sourdough. Might as well they both like to be tended daily, if possible, if not they don't like to not be feed very long or they get angry and turn on you, if you can't care for them regularly they can both hibernate a little in the frig and a little longer in the freezer.  The little chore done we blended our kefir with some fresh strawberries and a little honey, it was a wonderful smoothie. We also froze some of the smoothie in the freezer and had kefir ice cream as a snack before bed. I don't have to be sneaky with the girls they actually enjoy healthy eating and as I am a little obsessive about it they tend to be too. Poppies rules is "I don't care if you put the healthy stuff in mine just don't tell me about it and I like it to taste good." We do try to make it taste good and he is a trooper. When my older kids were little the rules was "if you say yuck you get a second helping", so they would say to people, when we were quests, "I really like that, Grandma, but I would rather not have any more", they always got kudos for being polite.  We were the only ones that knew the higher motivation was no second helping.

The girls love kefir, however everyday long tern was not something they could do, I do like to use kefir several times a year but in the end I am not as good at keeping Kefir as I am sourdough. I did experiment with straining the kefir over night in cheese cloth and making quick, goat cheese, the kind that is cream cheese thickness. It is wonderful with herbs and garlic on veggies. I also saved it up and made blue and cheddar kefir cheese, that were good as well, these are all cheeses that are possible with out rennet, all good choices for vegerarians. Kefir cheeses are all softer than rennet cheese, but all good steps, for me toward making rennet cheese. I did try making lemon juice, goat cheese and was to heavy handed on the straining of the cheese and ended up with a great fake parmesan cheese, was very good sprinkled on speghitt. I didn't even have to grate it. I was setting myself up for a pattern, too much pressing but at this time didn't know it, hind sight is so revealing. Cheese making is very addictive the more I made the more I wanted to make. I purchased, rennet, some cultures and got Poppie to make me a press I was ready to make "real" cheese.... next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment, I value your comments and appreciate your time to read my blog....