Chai Ice Cream!


I usually steal all my ideas from other chefs, but I have now finally come up with a good idea of my own.

I made Chai Ice Cream tonight and I wanted to share the recipe with you all, since it tasted incredible while it was still in the churn.

2 cups milk

1 cup cream

1/4 cup of honey (or to taste)

2 teaspons vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean

2 teabags of your choice (I used chai)

4 eggs

Mix the cream and the milk in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Add the honey and then the teabags.  Allow the tea to steap as long as you like.  Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds.  Add them to the chai mixture when the heat has been turned off. Put the mixture in the fridge to cool.  You will want it cold when you go to churn it or it will not set up well.

When the mixture is cool, beat the eggs until they lighten in color, about 2 minutes.  Add the vanilla extract.

Pour the egg mixture into the cream mixture and mix.

Pour the base into the ice cream maker and turn until it has a soft set.  Put in the freezer for 2 hours to set up.

Notes: I always have a lot of vanilla beans on hand, so I tend to use vanilla extract AND a vanilla bean.  I love the taste of the vanilla bean, and it is also nice to get the alcohol soluable flavours out of the ice cream.

You could use any kind of tea you like.  I am an Oregonian, so the Chi was fantastic, but it would also be good with Good Earth or even peppermint!

Most Philadelphia ice cream bases call for 2 cups of cream and 1 cup of milk.  I turned this around to reduce the fat content of the ice cream, and to use up more goat milk.  It seems to work fine that way, and I am now changing over to using that ratio for my Philadelphia ice creams.


Quality of Milk


I have heard here and there that raw milk is good for you, but I never really understood on a scientific level until today.

Every time I went to the chiropractor, he asked if I was drinking raw milk because it has the best absorb able calcium in it.  As soon as it is heated, it becomes hard for your body to recognize.  I also have a cookbook called “Nourishing Traditions” that I use, which really touts the benefits of raw milk (they are connected to the Weston Price Foundation).

Julie came over today to make some milk.  She doesn’t have a raw milk source, so she just brought the Lucerne brand of milk from Safeway.  We followed all the directions to make the cheese, but at vital stages of the cheese making process, it became clear that the milk was inferior, and that the pasteurization of the milk had actually damaged it.

She was making mozzarella.  Everything was fine until it was time to stretch the curds.  Despite the fact that they heated up to the temperature necessary for stretching, they remained in tight little sand gradual balls.  Nothing would make them stretch, not even with a lot of coaxing.

We then moved on to making Parmesan, and when the rennet was put in, it simply curdled.  It didn’t turn into curds and whey like it is supposed to, it too turned into sand curds and whey.  It was completely unable for cheese.

The good news is that she was able to get her money back from Safeway because the milk did not work, but it came abundantly clear to me that the milk I am working so hard for IS superior to what I can get at the store.

Milking Quantities


After the goat harvest last Monday, my milking quantities shot through the roof.  The boys had been weaned a few weeks before the harvest, but they still must have been sneaking milk because I was only getting about one quart every 24 hours.  The quantities were really inconsistent too, which was frustrating.

Things have really started to turn around now.  Milky Way is giving me about a half gallon every 24 hours.  I actually get a little bit more than that some days.  I have also been milking Scott’s other goat, Raven, as well, and she gives about a half gallon as well.  It feels good to bring home a gallon of milk every day.  I’ve been making cheese and yogurt up a storm.  I’ve also just got plans to freeze the milk so that I have some milk during the 3 months that my goat is dry (while she is pregnant).  With my new freezer, project milk freezing should go off without a hitch (as long as I can find containers to freeze in)!  I plan to freeze about 2 gallons per week, which is only about 24 gallons.  That should be enough to make a soft cheese every week as well as have a gallon to drink and cook with.  A high goal, for sure.  If I saved all the milk every other day for a month, I would be there!

Today, I proudly came home with more than a gallon of milk, which is sitting on my counter turning into Chevre.  I didn’t even need to reheat it.  It was still warm from the goat when I put the culture in.  It’s the easiest cheese ever.

It’s Provolone not Mozzarella


I have been stocking up on milk so that I could make some fresh Mozzarella.  I have an entire meal plan surrounding the idea of having some fresh Mozzarella around.  I was going to make Capri Salad and I was going to make fresh from-scratch pizza.

The recipe that I have calls for 4 gallons of milk, so I have been stocking up on milk to be able to make it.  The recipe also is the same recipe for Provolone, only you are supposed to omit a step or two.

I was going along making my cheese while doing 100 other things as usual.  I got to the step where you stretch the curds, and it turns out that I did not omit the step I needed to.  I have Provolone, not Mozzarella.

Oh well, I can age Provolone over a long period of time and make it really last.  Guess I need to stock up on some more milk over the next couple of days and try it again.

Whey For Sale!


I have been cheesemaking up a storm.  I made a 2 pound block of smoked cheddar followed by a 2 pound block of traditional goat cheddar.  Both have been waxed, and now reside in the fridge until I figure out a better place to age them.

In the press now is a nice Parmesan.  I am a little worried about it because I followed the directions, but the curds did not look like rice like the instructions said they would.  It is my first batch, and the first batch is always an experiment.  I also have four more gallons of milk in the fridge that are ready for a nice batch of cheddar tomorrow (and a batch of feta as well).  I digress though.  More on cheese later.

With all of this cheesemaking, I have whey coming out my ears.  I feel like it is a crime to throw it all out, but I cannot find enough things to do with it.  I have been giving it to the chickens because they need the extra protein, and it is not bad for them to get the good minerals in the whey as well.  I’m not up to drinking it myself yet, though I may get to trying it sometime soon.

I am also giving some of the whey to the dog.  The cat I am currently cat-sitting is also getting whey to drink.

It is good for making ricotta, but I find that after a full day of cheesemaking for a hard cheese that I just can’t get to using the whey to make another cheese.  Besides, the yield on the whey ricotta is just not as high as I would like to see (I have only been getting a couple of tablespoons of cheese per gallon of whey).

One excellent use for it is to put it in bread.  Substitute it for water.  It helps the dough take on a tangy flavor, which is desirable for the kinds of bread that I make.  It just seems to make it more flavorful on a lot of fronts.

I use whey anywhere in the kitchen where water could be used.  I use it to steam veggies, I use it as the base of a chicken stock, literally, anywhere water can be used.

It is also useful for fermenting when making sourkraut or pickles.

I have almost 8 gallons of the stuff sitting around, and I am only using a gallon or so a day, but with the cheesemaking, I am adding at least two gallons per day to my stash.  A girl can only make so much bread and chicken stock.

Come and get it.  The whey is for sale for $1 per quart.