Learning to make dairy products at home is a very rewarding and fun challenge to take on. Whether you have your own milk source on the farm, buy raw milk from a local farm, or buy milk from the store, you’ll have a good time making your own dairy products!
Several years ago Mr Chiots and I started getting raw milk from a local farm (we actually bought part of a cow and pay the farmer to care for “our” cow, this is how we do it legally). With an abundance of fresh local milk, we decided to start making most of our dairy products at home. We first learned to make butter and yogurt and then moved on to cheese. Not only are we saving money, our homemade products are super healthy and it greatly reduced our need to make trips to the grocery store.
Every week we make about a pound and a half of butter here at Chiot’s Run. We skim the cream from our milk and save it in a half gallon mason jar. When we have enough, we simply shake the jar until it become butter. (for a step-by-step process read this post on my blog). We have a constant supply of fresh raw butter which we enjoy on just about everything (not to mention all the buttermilk for quick breads).
From this butter we make ghee that we are able to use in place of oil. Since we’ve been trying to eat as locally as possible, making ghee allows us to purchase less oil. We still buy olive oil from California, but not as much as we used to. (for step-by-step process on how to make ghee read this post on my blog)
I also like to make cheese. I don’t make a ton of aged cheese yet, I’m still getting the hang of that, but quick cheeses are fun and easy. The cheese pictured above is pressed lemon cheese. I curdled the milk with some lemon juice, salted the curds and pressed them in my tin can cheese press. It was super delicious and a great way to use up milk that had soured a bit (which we don’t like to drink, but it makes a tasty cheese). Whenever we are making pizza, I make 30-min mozzarella and when I’m making lasagna I make some fresh ricotta. In the next couple years I’m hoping to try a few more aged cheese so I can quit buying my cheddar, Parmesan & Romano at the store.
Do you make any dairy products at home?