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Articles , Videos , and Helpful Homestead Hints

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Chopping Wood the Easy Way^^^

Cutting Kindling the Safe way ^^^

Pressure Canners ^^^

Canning Tools ^^^

Pressure Canner 2 How to use your pressure canner ^^^

Canning Tomatoes ^^^

Principles and Tips of Canning^^^

Pressuring Down the Pressure Canner and Checking...^^^

Canning Pears in a water bath video ^^^

 Pressure Canning Meat ^^^

How to milk a goat ^^^

Making vinegar cheese with goat's milk^^

Making Butter instructional video^^^

 Making Ghee or Clarified Butter at Home ^^^ 

How to use a cream separator to extract cream from your milk^^^

How to Spin Wool^^^

Carding Wool ^^^

Trimming a goat's hooves instructional video ^^^^

How do I tell if my goat is in season? goat courtship display^^^

How do I tell if my goat is in season ? part 2 Flirting at the fence ^^^

Early Spring Wild Edibles in the Pacific Northwest^^^

wild edibles in august in the pacific northwest ^^^

Winter time Wild edibles in the pacific northwest , slim pickins' ^^^

Raising Rabbits , Tips and Tidbits ^^^

All About Clabber , Clabbering with raw milk ^^^

Canning Jar and Lids ^^^

Starting a fire in a woodstove ^^^

Part 2 Principles of Canning and Tips ^^^

Canning Raspberry Jam ^^^

Making Canning Carrots^^^

Making Southern Pastry and Biscuits #1 of 2

Making Southern Pastry #2 of 2

Get the most out of your goats milk

by Sumer Starling​

Goat's milk gets a bad wrap for off flavors , but many don't realize , that properly handled,goat's milk should taste little different than cow's milk . Proper handling includes keeping the milking doe away from the smelly bucks , what she smells , and eats, comes out in the milk . As well as quick cooling after milking , being careful not to agitate it too much , and not letting the milk become too old before using . ​

Around our house , we use our milk to the utmost , letting nothing go to waste . Weekly, we use half to one gallon of heirloom yogurt , one of the two yogurts we have chosen to propigate is a bulgarian culture . Said to be the most like commercial yogurt , and needing to incubate at 110-115 degrees for 8-12 hours , using milk pasteurized and cooled in order to keep the starter pure . Commercial live cultures degrade over time if you reuse your own starter , where heirloom starters can be kept going for years if properly cared for. Proper care includes incubating a new batch every seven days to keep it fresh , and also keeping separate varieties of yogurt in their own tightly covered containers , to avoid contamination with one another . Our second heirloom starter is vili , a countertop yogurt starter , which incubates at room temperature . I find it handy to keep two different kinds of yogurt going , in order to have variety for digestive health . But while adding homemade jam or fresh fruit can be a great dessert and good for your health , on the practical side of things , we use yogurt in place of milk in our biscuit or cake recipes , with a higher rise , fluffier and tastier biscuits or cake, with a zing like buttermilk to boot . Drained yogurt also makes a great sour cream substitute.

In addition to a gallon of yogurt per week, when in full milk , our small herd of miniature goats provides us with four to eight gallons of milk , which we use the old hand crank cream separator to get two to four quarts of rich cream from . Goat's milk being naturally homogenized is easiest to remove the cream with a cream separator (the cream does not effectively rise to the top like cow's milk in large amounts ) to get the most cream out , you need a cream separator . Ours is an old antique montgomery ward , purchased completely intact with all parts for a very reasonable price of$50. We heat our milk just barely , only to the natural temperature of the animal is needed , We do not pasteurize , as explained in a moment. Out of one spout of the cream separator comes the cream ,in an adjustable fat content using your cream screw , and out of the other spout comes the skim milk . We use the cream to make into goat butter , nothing tastes so fresh as goat butter ! we've found that aging the cream leaving it undisturbed in sterile quart jars in the refrigerator for seven to sixteen days from the oldest date of the milk , keeping careful track of the age of the milk , making cream at least one a week , leaving room to age the cream at least a few days before use , lest you let it go too long and it is wasted , as cream keeps longer than milk does . Check the quality of the cream before it is used , and if necessary , remove the stronger , goatier skin from the top of the undisturbed cream , before placing it in the old kitchen aide mixer if you are fortunate enough to have one . We get a cup and a half ,( three quarters of pound )of butter per two quarts of cream . Mix on medium speed so the milk doesn't fly out of the bowl , and mixing at too high a speed can give the butter a whipped consistency . If the butter doesn't come within twenty to thirty minutes , at least to the whipped cream stage , you may have to put the cream if it is only barely thickened ,or frothy , into the refrigerator over night. Oftentimes the next day , you can pour the milk from the bottom of the bowl by tipping it , leaving the fluffy whipped cream floating on top , whip this again , for the twenty minutes , and more often than not , the butter will then come no problem . We then rinse ,salt , and freeze the butter and keep it frozen until it's time for use to avoid goaty flavors and rancidity , as it can be difficult to remove all milk traces that cause rancidity. Historically butter making has not always been easy , the butter does not in fact have to come , My personal opinion , is that temperature , humidity , barometric pressure , and stage in lactation cycle , all have a lot to do with it . And when you were hand churning , I would imagine it would be extremely disconcerting to have your batch of butter fail , they often sang " butter "songs to make the butter come, while I find a good old fashioned prayer to God works just fine.

While the cream has an endless variety of uses , good goat butter is just the tip of the iceberg , goat ice cream , sugar cream pie , cream yogurt drained through a coffee filter makes a good substitute for cream cheese , or mixed with homemade jam and placed in ice cube trays makes a great summertime treat , cream cheese pie , and cheesecake is great choice use of drained cream yogurt . But don't let all of these wonderful uses of the goat cream make you forget about the skim milk you have saved out of the other side of the ream separator . While you could merely drink it , some people prefer it to whole milk , I do not. We use our skim milk to feed our animals , we place the still warm , but not pasteurized skim milk back into the glass jars , put the lids on and place them on a counter top , cover them with a towel to hold in the heat , leave it undisturbed at room temperature for twenty four to forty eight hours , when it thickens , you have "clabber" or "clotted cream" . With raw milk , the natural bacteria in the milk goes to work , to create the clabber while pasteurized milk would merely spoil. It will first have the consistency of yogurt , if you let it warm longer , it will oftentimes take on a fluffy airy consistency , the mass of it floating to the top of the bright yellow whey at the bottom . One 95 year old lady we knew used to call this cottage cheese , this was what her family used like cottage cheese rather than a cultured cottage cheese we are used to in modern times .Clabber is a great feed for chickens (who love it )and give a distinctive great taste to the eggs , (which we love) , by clabbering the milk , it changes the lactose to lactic aid , and makes it lactose free for the lactose intolerant chickens , so that digestive issues won't follow . It is also a great product for giving to the pigs , not half so messy as giving runny milk. But while animal uses are great , the old fashioned and original use for clabber was as leavening in baked goods . When coupled with baking soda , it makes a pretty good biscuit , if a little bland in my opinion. In the old days , the poor could not afford to toss out the skim milk , and so they had to make a use for it themselves , and kept a "clabber jar" on the counter at all times , using it to raise quick breads like biscuits . It was such a well known technique , when the first baking powder came out , the manufacturers were aware that housewives wouldn't know what the product would be used for , so in order to sell their wares , they named the baking powder clabber girl.

Not to be overlooked in using goat's milk , is a soft cheese called vinegar cheese , a simple recipe of heating aged milk at least seven days old (fresh milk lacks flavor) to 185 degrees , and then adding 1/4 up of apple cider vinegar per two quarts of milk . I heat my milk with a metal colander already submerged , and then lift it free when the curds come , the bulk of them will be contained in the colander , otherwise you have to dip the curds off into a colander or muslin , drain for a few minutes , the longer it is drained , the stiffer it becomes . Add salt ,place in a glass or stainless steel container to avoid off flavors , milk should always be handled with one of the two. Now you have an easy soft cheese , We have also successfully ground this up fine and used in place of cream cheese for baked cheesecake . Now don't throw out the whey from making the cheese ! (while whey disagrees with the digestive system of every animal ) Whey used in place of milk in a bread recipe makes the bread lighter , softer , and it rises better , for this reason , I often make cheese and bread in the same day . ​

The final use for goats milk around our homestead , is not an edible one , but just as much fun . A nice goat's milk soap , is great for skin problems like eczema , and psoriasis , and it is credited by senior citizens i have spoken with with giving a great complexion , but I've found it's a great body soap , and hand soap , as well as a laundry soap if it is made with animal oil instead of vegetable fat , vegetable fat builds up on clothing . Home made soap is superior to store bought because most store bought soaps are actually detergents that remove oils from the skin , while handmade soaps add oils to your skin. ​

We hope our ideas give you some ideas , of how to use your goat's milk , and get the most out of it.​

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