Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer came to the Rogue Valley on June 21st. That was the first nice day that we have had all year. Last week we still had the risk of frost so my garden starts have been sitting in their pots waiting for the ground to dry up and warm up. I finally got them all in and hope they get to growing.

Our Kinder kids have really started growing too. The boys are all banded and I put two sets of twin bucklings into the weaning pen. Finally I get that great Kinder milk for myself. I have two large freezers that I put the one quart plastic bags of milk in for my soapmakaing. The rest is for cheese.

I love to make a soft spreadable cheese for toast. Heat one gallon of milk to 170 degrees and add 3/4 cup of lemon juice let sit for a few minutes until a fine curd forms. Pour the curds into a cheesecloth lined colander to drain. Tie the four corners of the cheesecloth into a knot and hang the bag to drain for a couple of hours. The cheese can then be salted a little or have herbs added. My favorite is to leave the salt out and use one of the Ms. Dash seasonings like the chipotle, herb and garlic, or spicy hot.

As you increase the temperature up from 170 toward 180 the curd will become a bit tougher and larger and you can actually press it into a log shape and slice it. If you heat it to 180 and use 1/4 cup of vinegar in place of the lemon juice you will get queso blanco . This cheese can be cut and used in salads, soups and stir-fries.

There are a lot of great cheese and meat recipes in the book "Goats Produce too! The Udder Real Thing Volume 2 by Mary Jane Toth. It is well worth the $13 price tag.

One of my favorite recipes is for Cajeta which is Mexican caramel candy.
3 qts goat milk
3 C sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp baking soda.

dissolve the corn starch and baking soda in 1 cup of the milk to get out all the lumps then add it to the milk and sugar in the pot. I use a very heavy large pot for this as it will foam up and boil over in a small pot. Cook the mixture until it is thick and creamy like caramel sauce. It can be poured into jars and refrigerated. It is great on ice cream. If cooked to a soft caramel stage it is delicious on graham crackers.

Jean Jajan
Gray J Ranch

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