On Friday after work I went to pick up my first batch of raw milk. It was pouring with rain, and the goat who lives at the farm was tied up in the cowshed awaiting the birth of her kid(s). Hopefully they'll be hanging around next week so I can take a photo - partly for here, but mostly to show my granddaughter. I just wish she lived here so I could take her to see them.
I got eight litres of milk this time, four of these plastic bottles. See how much cream there is:
You should be able to see the line if you look hard, it's a lot lower than I expected. I poured the cream off two of the bottles, used a litre of the semi-skimmed milk to make yoghurt, stashed a litre in the fridge for using during the week, and used all the cream and the rest of the milk (six litres total) to make a stilton-type cheese.
The amount of curds was comparable to what I'd usually get from eight litres of milk; I think this might end up being economical despite the traveling involved. The cheese is currently in its hoop setting.
Last week's smoked ricotta salata was delicious. I had it crumbled on my lunchtime salads and it added a lovely smoky saltiness.
Smoked rocotta salata is therefore going to be a permanent fixture in the fridge. Yesterday I smoked last week's and the week before's - I'll do a bit of a test to see what difference that extra week's aging makes.
I also smoked the pork belly that had been sitting in the fridge curing for the past week:
This is the skin side with the skin removed:
I made myself a couple of bacon butties with this weekend's bread. Scrummy.