Several weeks ago, in more optimistic times, I had prepared for an order of raw goat’s milk from our neighbor up the hill to prepare for making formula. With the adoption scam, needless to say this plan was a bust. So with a gallon of goat’s milk still on its way, I decided to try several different projects with the help of some of the many things I’d saved on my Pinterest boards.
The biggest win? Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. I know, not shocking for those who know about my completely unadulterated love of dairy. One thing I love most about this recipe? It does not require cream! Just use a higher proportion of goat’s milk. Cool. Along with that, I did some googling to find out that you DON’T need ice cream maker to do this – woo hoo! With ice cream also being my downfall, the last thing I need in my kitchen is a fast way to make gallons and gallons of the stuff! So what you do is, after you’ve made the basic vanilla, set it in the freezer to cool for an hour or so, then pull it out, stir in the chocolate chips, and every half an hour, pull it out and whisk/stir it like crazy, for a total of two hours. That’s it. It was some serious custardy goodness, y’all, and using our homemade vanilla, neighbor’s goat’s milk and duck egg yolks from our ladies out back? The brown sugar was the only thing storebought!
My husband’s new favorite creamer/sweetener combo for his coffee is cajeta, which is sweetened/caramelized goat’s milk. We’d first bought a tiny jar of the apple bourbon version from the local and totally awesome folks at Skamokawa Creamery on the other side of the Columbia, but this was way more economical and crazy easy to make. I wasn’t able to get it as thick as they say, but considering it just goes in coffee it really didn’t matter. I left the cinnamon stick in the jar because, hey why not?! Mmm, cinnamon.
And of course the first thing we think of with goat milk is usually cheese and don’t worry, that was not forgotten! I made a super fast fresh goat cheese using just the milk, lemon juice and cheesecloth – while rennet is usually recommended, they did give their blessing to sub lemon juice or vinegar to create the curds, and then just stirred in a bit of salt at the end and it was just fine! Now, here’s the irony – I looked up the recipe for ‘goat’s milk ricotta’? And at least two websites listed the exact same recipe I used for the supposedly simple fresh goat cheese. Not being a cheesemonger or expert of any kind, I’m not sure how this was called ricotta, but the taste was neutral enough to be used as ricotta in the insanely tasty uber-local lasagna we made last night (homemade sausage, homemade pasta, homemade cheese, veggies & herbs from our garden).
Finally – whey! Some say to feed it to your backyard flock but our ducks decided long ago they are not whey lovers so instead I am hanging onto it to use in place of milk in the pancakes and waffles we have at least once a week. Just give it a good shake and…yum 🙂
Next up is definitely the foray into hard cheeses with my next order of milk – I’ve ordered a few molds and some various substances required from a cheese website as it’s not easy to find farmsteader stuff like that in these parts, and will report back. Big goal? Making my own cabra al vino – i.e., drunken goat (the purple rind gives it away if you’ve never had it, it’s sooooo lovely!) – and gouda. Again, yum.
Why did I ever go dairy free back in the day? Happily my body has (mostly) recovered from those years away from it – except for cow’s milk in any normal quantity. Can never have a glass of that without the old tummy reacting. But a cheese plate here and there? And goat milk ice cream that is way easier on the digestion? Yes. Yes please.