Introducing the newest addition to our homestead! Our New milk cow, Abigail, is a small jersey. She is still young( even though she has had one calf), and we are in the process of really getting her gentled down and trained to come in when she is called for milking. Dustin built her a milking stantion under the side shed on our old barn and she also has a nice, roomy stall to call her own :-) .
View from above.
Milking away. A nice, stainless steel bucket is a must. You can use plastic, but it is much harder to keep really clean, and aluminum and other metals can actually give the milk a bad taste. www.lehmans.com Is one place that carries them (Search "stainless steel milk pail").
Here is Abigail's bell. She wears it when she is out to pasture. It is really handy because she is not fully trained to come when she's called yet, and if she is up in the woods, it's nice to be able to hear her when you go to find her.
And, anyway, if you own a cow, and you own a cowbell, who could resist?
It feels so good to have loft full to the rafters with hay from our own land. Bring on the cold weather - there's plenty for the stock to eat!
So, one of the benefits of having our own cow has been making our own butter. Butter, especially organic or natural options, is so expensive these days. And with the studies that have been done now show how bad margarine is for you, it's been nice to have a steady supply from an animal who's food source we know.
The girls have gotten a kick out of helping shake cream!
Daddy shows her how.
Ember, you little ham!
You can tell the butter has nearly "come" from the way the cream looks sort of clumpy on the sides of the jar. Once it looks like this it just needs another minute or so before it's butter.
Oh, now, here's the butter! Look at that big lump floating in the buttermilk. Sometimes it is yellow like from the store, and sometimes its very pale like the batch above. The color doesn't affect the flavor. And speaking of flavor, it has been amazing! I have eaten homemade butter that had a strong flavor, but I think that must be from something with a strong flavor that the cow is finding to forage on. Anyway, this has been really tasty.
The butter needs all the buttermilk rinsed out. This seems easiest if you stick the whole jar in the fridge for a little while and let the butter harden a bit. Then when you rinse its not so easy to loose some of the soft butter down the sink.
Last, you salt the butter to taste. A little goes a long way!
*The wooden spatula is one that Dustin carved. Go to http://homemadehomeshoppe.etsy.com to see our current selection of hand carved kitchen utensils.
Well, that's it for this post, but we look forward to making cheese as well ! - HMH.