Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Flowers and milk...

I planted Morning Glory seeds early in the spring. They have taken their own sweet time growing, but finally there are some blooms to enjoy. When I lived in Memphis, the Morning Glories grew like wild fire and bloomed in huge riots. Here they are more miserly in their efforts. Next year I will try to start them earlier in the spring in the green house to give them a head start. This vine is rife with happy childhood memories for me, and I want to enjoy them for more time in the summer season.

I planted several Zinnia seedlings in the spring, and they have bloomed brightly and reliably. They seem like such honest, friendly flowers.

I also planted rafts of petunias. I don't normally love them, they are sticky and smell funny to me, but for some reason they spoke to me during the planting season. This variety is stunning and makes me happy. Probably because they look like Morning Glories!

This morning I had most of two gallons of goat milk taking up a lot of room in my refrigerator. I made a batch of yogurt. To do this I heated up a two quarts of milk to the boiling point. Then I chilled it until it was around 98 degrees. Next I stirred in a little more than 1/4 cup of yogurt. After stirring well I poured the mix into my wonderful yogurt maker. There it sat, incubating, all day. The yogurt maker keeps it warm, so the bacteria can multiply and eat and turn milk into something else entirely.

Next I turned one gallon of milk into cheese. I heated it to around 100 degrees,(close to goat body temperature,) then stirred in 1 cup of sour cream from the grocery store. I let the mix sit for an hour, then added one drop of rennet. I let this sit all day. The milk began to solidify, leaving a yellow-ish liquid, (whey) floating on the top. Tomorrow I will pour all this into a bag made of butter muslin, (very tightly woven cloth, similar to cheese cloth.) The whey will drip out through the fabric, leaving the milk solids to make a simple Chevre, a mild goat cheese. I will salt it and freeze it. This winter it will make flavorful things like lasagna. It also makes a wonderful dip, served with crackers. I mix in garlic, basil and a bit of olive oil. Delicious!

This afternoon I checked on the yogurt. Dipping a finger into the white mass, I found it to be more firm than liquid, and it had a very tangy taste. My taste buds stood at attention, and I said "WOW!"

Next I checked on the cheese that was sitting, at room temperature, doing its thing.

I dipped a questioning finger in and tasted the thick, creamy product. Sweet and mellow. Entirely different from the yogurt.

Milk, from my good goats. Treated only slightly differently, I was left with two entirely unique products. It is little mysteries like these that add flavor to my days. And the flowers? They add color. I am rich.


Becca Larrabee said...

Good Morning.

Reading the process of making the yogurt and cheese was very interesting.
I look forward to my goats being bred so I can try my hand at cooking up these home made treats.

Flowers tend to lose me, I have no idea what one is from the other, but the ones you pictured are very nice and full.

solarity said...

Ha! I'm not the only one who thinks petunias smell funny!

Mary Anne in Kentucky

El Dauncey said...

"Flavor to my days". I got it. Did you mean it?

Just Frank said...

You are a kitchen chemist.