Archive for the ‘raw milk’ Category

After all the lovely suggestions, I decided making more yogurt was probably my best bet in terms of using up this raw milk. Then, I got a call from Lauren (the friend to whom I was planning on giving the other 1/2 gallon) who was not just down the street from me, but in Baltimore. All week. So I had a full gallon of milk after all. I was about to try my hand at rice pudding, when John made a request: mac and cheese. Fortunately, I’ve got him off that boxed crap, Annie’s or otherwise, so that meant good old fashioned gooey with a crispy layer on top macaroni and white sauce with cheese extravaganza. I forgot to take pictures, but trust me, it was good.

This morning, though, I realized the best possible use of this overabundance of dairy (can there be such a thing?). Chai!

Now, I have to go off on a rant for a moment about chai, namely the prepackaged, concentrated “chai tea,” sold by Tazo and Oregon and various others. Why would people buy this? Because they think it’s exotic. They see a mile long list of spices on the package and think, “I’ll leave it to the experts,” buy a carton of tea extract and just add milk. Actually, I think this is reflective of our attitudes on food as a whole these days, but I’ve talked about that before.

As a disclaimer, I’ve only had genuine Indian chai, and despite the fact that it is a miraculous beverage, India does not have a monopoly on chai. There are many, many countries who call their tea chai, and each region does it differently, but I have a sneaking suspicion that none of them is quite so elaborate as these cartons and boxes would have you believe. And to those who have the gall to put pictures of Ganesh on these packages, I’m through with you.

I love my Indian chai, and right now, I’m going to tell you how to make it. Do it right now – it’s perfectfor a lazy sunday morning, and nothing could be easier. Measure out your water so that it fills whatever cup(s) you’re using to about 3/4 full. Boil that in a saucepan. When it’s boiling, dump in about a tablespoon of tea leaves per 8 oz serving. It seems like a lot, but this stuff is strong. Don’t even try to drink this without milk. Add sugar to taste. Most of the chai I had in India was tooth-achingly sweet. The drink is practically a vehicle for the sugar. Bu let your taste buds decide. Finally, add a pinch (just a pinch!) of one of two things: cardamom or ginger. I seemed to notice a pattern that in the cold months, people use ginger (fresh grated, don’t use powder) for a spicy tea that somehow manages to keep you warm longer,  and in the hot months, they use cardamom. I like cardamom better, so I’m ignoring the snow on the ground outside my window and using that. Using a whole pod is best: crush it up a bit (in your teeth even: it’s easier) and dump the whole thing in, or you can be lazy like me and use ground cardamom. Let it boil for a few minutes until it’s very very dark, then pour in your milk. I’m not sure how much I use, but add a big glug that will turn the drink a beautiful color roughly approximated by khaki pants: it’s better to add too much than too little. Bring it back to a boil and immediately take it off the stove and pour it through a strainer into your cup of choice. While I was over there, I only ever had chai in two kinds of cups: 6 oz stainless steel cups that burn your hands, or teeny tiny glorified shot glasses, which also burn your hands, and can’t hold more than 4 oz. This is a travesty. I need more, so I use my scandalously large coffee mug. Do whatever feels right to you. Drink as soon as it’s not so hot it will scald your tongue, and feel good about the fact that you haven’t paid an exorbitant price for what is really a beautiful and simple thing.

One more use for milk I’m excited about: my mom keeps talking about this not-quite-yogurt thing her grandparents made called fee-lee-uh (it’s Finnish, I’m not going to bother trying to spell it because I know I’ll get it wrong). I remember that she made it once when I was a kid, and I loved it. It was like nothing I’d ever tasted; thinner and more elastic than yogurt, and I think there was cinnamon in it. I’ll be seeing her tonight, and I’ll ask how she did it. Hopefully, sometime in the next week I’ll be making some of my very own. Has anyone else heard of this? I don’t have any Finnish friends around here, so I’m at a loss.


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Advice, Please

My boss, Barb, is out of town for a week. Being the generous and wonderful woman that she is, she offered me her raw milk share for the week. She’s a member of the Our Farm and Dairy cow share program, and gets her gallon of raw milk delivered directly to our office every Friday. Well, “delivered” is a bit of an overstatement, one that sounds pretty illegal in Michigan. To be more accurate, every week a different share owner picks the milk up from St. Johns and drops it off in a central location – that central location happens to be our office (a lot of the share owners work in my department, no surprise there).

I don’t use a ton of milk during the week, and I was afraid it would go sour before I went through a full gallon, so I’m giving half of it to my friend Lauren. I’d like to do something sort of special with the other half, however, seeing as it’s my first raw milk ever. Some of it will probably go into this week’s batch of yogurt, but can anyone give me a good recipe to showcase this tasty, superfresh milk that I probably won’t get a chance to use again until I have lots more money?

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