It’s a week before the next retreat, and that means it’s serious milking time. I need 15-20 gallons of milk for a retreat, depending on what all we’re making, and I try to store the milk up fresh in one week. That means milking Glory Bee twice a day. She’s giving me about three gallons of milk a day.
Moon Pie is upset with mommy’s long hours, but she’ll get over it. She’ll get her visitation when I’ve got enough milk.
I think mommy misses her, too. Sometimes they both cry.
But they Skype, so everything’s fine.
And me, I’ve been making ice cream, cream cheeses, butter, sour cream, and more with all my Glory Bee riches.
Heavy cream coming off the top:
Wow, that’s the good stuff, let me tell ya.
This is some neufchatel that I packed into 8-ounce containers to go in the freezer.
After it freezes, I pop it out of the container.
Then I place each 8-ounce frozen block of cream cheese in a plastic sandwich-size baggie.
I place the baggies all into a gallon-size freezer baggie and can store for months in the freezer, though this cream cheese won’t last that long. Cream cheeses freeze well and it’s a handy way to make it ahead.
Yesterday, I decided to try clotted cream. Clotted cream is made by heating heavy cream to a very high temperature, 190 degrees, and maintaining it at that temperature for about an hour. Then refrigerate and let the heavy clumps of cream rise to the top.
It’s the richest cream in the world, something of a cross between butter and whipped cream in consistency. Technically, you should skim the heavy clots off the top and use the remaining cream underneath for something else, but since you can whip both butter and whipped cream, after letting it set overnight, I whipped it briefly–which resulted in clotting the rest of the cream. I didn’t whip it long enough to turn it into whipped cream, or whip it warm enough to turn it into butter. (And it doesn’t cast off any whey.) It just all thickened up into sweet, rich clotted cream, the consistency that I remember from when I took a trip to England and had some real Devonshire clotted cream in a little tea house in a tiny town with a castle. (Sigh. England!)
I’ll be serving this up along with other goodies at the retreat, and we’ll be making even more goodies during the cheesemaking workshops.
Meanwhile, I’m in full-on mode every morning and evening here with my little milking cart, the barn, and my pretty Glory Bee. I took a neighbor milking with me last night. I told him to stand back from the path Glory Bee would take to the milking parlor when I opened the back barn door. Sometimes people are amazed at how well-trained a milk cow is. You open the back barn door and she makes a beeline for her headlock. She knows her big feed is waiting for her there and she needs no instructions.
My cow, she makes me proud!