Farmer’s cheese pancakes

If you are lucky and have excess to raw milk, you are able to, not only, have the ultimate cream of the top, pun intended, but also the main ingredient to many delicious foods. Farmer’s cheese being one of them. This awesome cheese is a fluffy, crumbly texture, which can be used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes. My favorite is cheese strudel and no one makes a better strudel of any kind that my awesome Mom!

I come pretty darn close, but I digress!

Basically, farmer’s cheese is made from soured milk. Leave a gallon of milk out, covered lightly with a breathable cover, like a coffee filter or cheese cloth. Let us sit at room temperature for 2 days. When nice and thick, slowly bring up temperature to 180 degrees F. Once the whey is clearly separating from the solids, strain through a cheese cloth, tie it off and hang to drip. The longer it drips the drier the cheese. I drip only for 30 minutes. Transfer to a container and cover right. place in fridge until ready to use. Will last about 5 days in fridge. Before getting our cow, I bought the Friendship farmer’s cheese at our local super market, and it tastes great!
My kids love farmer’s cheese pancakes! It’s almost like a cheesecake pancake. Yum! Hold, I have to flip them.

Unlike regular pancakes, you want to use oil or ghee (clarified butter).

I use the latter. A heavy cast iron skillet is the way to cook these babies!


1 cup farmer’s cheese

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup vanilla sugar (vanilla bean pods placed in a large jar of granulated sugar makes vanilla sugar)

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4  cup milk

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

powdered sugar for sprinkling on top.


Place everything in a bowl and Mix until all is well incorporated. Let it rest for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, heat your cast iron skillet and melt butter, pour oil or ghee in to heat up.


Proceed as with making pancakes.

Don’t mind the funky shape, trying to do two things at once haha.

Tada! The finished and delicious farmer’s cheese pancakes.

Simca

Chicken talk…

We love our ladies and our small rooster. Our mixed flock of 30 includes, black australorp, silver laced wyondottes, buff orphignons, polish hen, New hapshire and red stars. We also have 3 pulets and 7 chicks. It is a beautiful sight, especially in the afternoon, when they dot the middle pasture. They chase, yes chase, bugs and scratch the ground. The chickens do a great job of spredding Elsie’s cow pies and practically climb in the wallow with  Bacon-bit when she is eating.

Just the other day, I asked Mike if he could imagine his life without all of these animals, and he simply stated, “Not anymore”. I second that. 

Our chickens have free range over the entire property, but mostly they keep to the back 2 acres of our property. Their yolks are a lovely deep orange and everyone who eats them, raves about their delicious taste. 

They say chickens are the gateway drug, err animal and that’s is absolutely true. I am thinking I need more red stars, because I have more customers now, and well I can’t disappoint them!!!

We will also be ordering broilers in the next week, because there is nothing better than home grown chicken!

Look for a post on our Victory Garden Farm Facebook page, we will be taking deposits for your birds soon!

Simca

Whey, oh so many uses

So, now that we have a dairy cow, Elsie, we make a lot of yoghurt and cheese. With that, we also have its by-product called whey. Whey is the left over liquid which, in itself, is full of incredible flavor, protein, vitamins and minerals like calcium.

This wonderful liquid has numerous uses. I ,personally, put it in soup, baked goods, use it as fertilizer, feed my farm animals like pigs, dogs, cats and chickens. I have never thrown a batch of left over whey away. Lol, that rhymes.

Now, there are two types of whey.

A sweet whey, which comes from cheeses made with rennet, and acid or soured whey which comes from yoghurt, cottage and farmer’s cheese.

I utilize both. The difference is that acid whey used in creamy soups, will have a natural sour tang to them. I made a mistake of using the wrong whey for my soup and well, if you like that, then great. Otherwise, I would use the whey from your cheese making, like mozzarella, cheddar and such to make a creamy soup, sauce, dip…

What I find amazing, though, is what an incredible effect whey has on vegetables. I pour it to the root of the plants for an instant calcium supplement. I am sure there are more benefits, I just love how all the leaves are dark green afterwards.


My dogs love anything related to raw milk. If I am working with milk in the kitchen, my dogs are waiting to get their share. 

We also add it to our pig’s feed and the chickens too! Calcium, it does a body good, man!

What are your favorite uses of whey?

Cream of green bean and potato soup. 

4 cups of sweet whey

4 cups green beans, snapped and cut

2 cups potatoes, peaked and diced

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup flour, or corn starch for gluten free

2 cups cream

1 quart milk

Oil or butter for roux

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Place the whey, beans, potatoes and bay leaf in a heavy potom pan. Turn on med high and cook until tender. Make a roux, add milk whisk smooth and add it to the soup, add the cream. Slowly bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper to your desire.

Done!

If you like, you can also puree the soup for a smooth and delicious soup.

If using corn starch, just skip the roux step, mix corn starch in a cup of cold milk and add to the soup.

Serve with fresh crusty farmhouse rye or white. I use whey in that too.

Simca

Milking Elsie…

We had a late night. I woke up and took our son to work. Mike was ready with his boots on when I got back at 7:15am. We gathered our tools and went to the barn. Our milk machine is not set up yet, so it’s milk by hand. Cool! We can do this! 

One thing though, Elsie has never been milked by hand! Oh and one more, we collectively, have not milked a cow much! 

Mike built her a stantion with a platform and tried to coax her to walk into it, but no luck. So I washed her udders, grabbed a bucket and started to milk her right there. I saw movies, videos and did this before but, this ain’t the movies and I ain’t no milk maid, yet! Elsie went through her feed bucket in a few minutes and I was just beginning to see some volume in the bucket. She kept moving, Mike got more feed. Repeat and such and then my hand started to cramp. By this time, Elsie moved all the way across the barn. So Mike tied her off to a post added more feed and we tag teamed her from each side. She only picked up her legs a couple of times, nothing major. I rested my head on her stomach, kept milking and Mike did the same. 

Before Elsie came to us yesterday, she had a couple of calves on her and so, I believe she is holding back her milk. I am sure she misses them! We did out best, and will continue as we get to know each other more. In the mean time, Mike will finish the milk machine so we can properly empty her udders. That’s the most important thing. I don’t want her to have any discomfort!

As you can imagine, I wasn’t able to take any pictures. The phone would have ended up on the floor and then I wouldn’t be able to write this post. Here is a picture of Elsie walking with me towards the house.

I love this cow! She follows us everywhere and right now, she is calling out for her calf. It hurts my heart but as time passes, she will be ok. 

Everything will be ok. 
Simca

Elsie, our new dairy cow

We finally bought a dairy cow. Elsie, is a cross Holstein and Jersey. She is 31 months old and had her first calf in June. She will be our family dairy cow and we look forward to having her with us for many years. I love that she is comfortable around people and enjoys being rubbed down. 

Tomorrow morning, we will milk her for the first time! I will update you right after with pictures!
Simca