I began the process of making cream cheese or rather "Neufchatel" the evening of last Thursday. I followed the process listed on this great Cheesemaking site-(Fankhauser's)- many of you may already know of. It was so easy and simple which produced a large enough amount to make 1 cheesecake. After the milk/buttermilk/rennet sat all night at room temperature, I drained the curd( in 1st picture). Then had to hang in a sterile handkerchief (pic 2) for draining the excess liquid. I had to use the empty "Kegarator" The Captain has in the rec room. Since the fridge upstairs has the tempered glass shelves. -This would be where all adult beverages are stored- where children do not wander. After hanging all night, It is ready to unwrap and add the salt (pic 3). Smells so creamy!
The Sugar pie pumpkins are starting to change colors from green to yellow orange. Yippeee! I hope to make more cream cheese when the pumpkins are ready to whip up a pumpkin cheesecake. The accomplishment I feel from producing our own dairy products can not be easily described. It is so uplifting and a boost is just what I needed right now.
Future plan outlook:
We are leaning towards Dairy cows in the future. 3-4 would be enough and male calves would be processed/sold to supply meat for winter and buy enough hay for the dairy girls. Any females MAY be kept or will be traded/sold for other needs. A few dairy goats but not more the 2 or 3 at a time- would like to have & train a few wethers to be pack goats/ pull a wagon. Raising chickens-really liking the Delawares- for meat and eggs, plus growing a 3/4 to1 whole acre garden would be enough for freezing/canning and sell extra off or trade for what we need. (Can you tell I really enjoy bartering?) We plan to put in 8 blueberry bushes, 4 peach, 8 apple, 4 pear, and a very big amount of berry canes and table fruit variety grapevines. It will take about 5 years to be established, but Rome was not built in one day my friends. The grape startings I received from a freecycler recently, will be established & produce in just 2 years. Those will be going with us to any new land.
I would like to point everyone over to Pile O'Melays blog.Click here to Check out the root cellar they are building- with a glass bottle wall! Very cool. Gotta write "root cellar with glass bottle wall & outdoor bath tub" on list of things to build in the future homestead. Lots of great stuff over there to drool over and be inspired- gardens, projects, recipes and adventures. Be sure to check it out if you are not already a current visitor to his place.