Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Raw Goat Yogurt

That's right. Raw. Made from milk fresh from the udder.
I did some research and am soooo happy with the results! This is the best yogurt I have ever made, probably the best yogurt I have ever tasted! Just as good as the yogurt in Europe, which I thought was divine...

Here's my method:
1. Milk goat
2. Strain milk
3. Put about a quart of still-warm milk into a jar low enough to fit in the Yogotherm
4. Stir in 3-4 spoonfuls (the kind we eat cereal with) of Straus Family Creamery Organic Whole Milk Plain Yogurt (I buy it at Sprouts or Trader Joe's) then close the jar.
5. Put jar in Yogotherm bucket and add HOT water to surround it.
6. Put the lids on the Yogotherm.
7. Move it to a corner of the counter where it won't be disturbed.
8. Leave it alone for 10 hours

After 10 hours it is so thick and creamy with just that perfect tangy flavor. I don't have to add any thickeners at all. This may be because Princess and Gidget have been lactating for several months so the butterfat content is high enough.


Pumping by hand?

When I first started milking Princess, it was a disaster! She did not want me under there, and would just lay right down on my arms and the milk bucket. NOTHING would convince her to stand up and let me milk! And believe me, I tried everything! We even tried hoisting her up in a sling, but no good. Why bother? Well, my Lucy can only digest the raw goat milk, so if she wants milk, I have to milk...and my only goats in milk right now are Princess and Gidget. That's right, my two wildest goats, lol! Now, Gidget is really, really shy. So shy that after two months of milking, she still runs away from me. But once she's on the stand she is one of the most well-behaved goats I have ever milked! Her udder is nice and smooth and easy to milk. But Princess...what was I going to do? I needed her milk! Suddenly I was hit with a stroke of inspiration. I still have a breast pump (non-electric) which I barely used....would it work with goats? Yes!! It took some fiddling to get it in just the right spot, and definitely needed the extra-suction valve, but once I got going it worked like a charm. Princess stood quietly while I pumped away, she even stopped squatting. It was really slow, only one teat at a time, so it took almost 10 minutes to milk her out, but well worth it. And after about two weeks, we were able to transition to hand milking in to the pail again. She still thinks about laying down on me every now and then, but a few gentle bumps up and she's standing straight again. Yay!