Thursday, December 8, 2016

To Ghee Once Again

It has been a few years since I made ghee. Time is so constrained with so much to do. I am trying to figure out ways to save on our grocery bill and I do have lots of cream. I have made ghee each week from freshly made butter but now I can see the next batch will come from the freezer. I was wise and froze quite a bit. The goats are quickly drying up as the low temperatures drain their bodies. Calories are being spent on keeping warm, not producing milk especially since they are pregnant.

The plan is to have enough separated milk to keep buttermilk, and yogurt going. I usually use whole milk but not during this time of year. I will use separated milk and hopefully have enough to drink also since we don't drink much milk. I  put away some canned milk for cooking earlier this fall and hopefully that will help ease the need for frozen milk. The cream I froze will become sour cream of which I have not started culturing. It will probably have to wait until Christmas gifts are done. I also will make ghee and cook with cream. It will be interesting to see if I have frozen enough. What would have been better is if I had already made my ghee and canned it as I wish to eliminate one of the three chest freezers we have. I also want to play with making cultured butter. The butter I make now is not as flavorful as I like so I buy less expensive butter to cook with and Amish cultured butter to eat.

Someday I hope to be making all my own butter and ice cream but energy, time and enough cream is a problem.  Problem is winter is when I have the time to do the most things with our milk and it is at its lowest supply. I could make lots of butter and pack it away in the freezer. I could make lots of ghee and can it for the rest of the year in the winter IF there was more milk. 

 It is impossible to do everything all year long. Winter I could also try my hand at cheese and freeze some. Maybe dear little Ellie can fill that winter void. I hope to calve her in September of 2018 allowing her to raise her calf for five months. She would produce more milk than the calf needs so the extra would supply us with milk during the winter along with the plethora of things that it can be made into. I know how to make Feta and mozzarella, and want to start making Monterey Jack. The last being a cow's milk cheese. I would continue to milk the goats fall and into December and hopefully this would help create that freezer surplus along with milk from Ellie.

One of winters tasks this year will be trying to figure out when different tasks can be done and how to push others into a season when the tasks can more easily be done  because things are just a hair bit slower.We need a cellar I can see to help with the vegetable side of this.

Ghee lately has been substituted for most of the olive oil we once used. That is definitely saving us some money. Ghee is now what we fry with since it has a higher smoke point. It is what I use in bread making too. It is not the best in pie crusts and cookies - rather greasy. It would be good if it was except I would never be able to keep up making the stuff because unfortunately we love our sweets. We want to use ghee because it is even more nutritious than olive oil. We don't use it because it is cheap. It is only less expensive for us because the base (whole as in cream and all milk) is something we already have.
The children who dislike the smell of it cooking don't dislike the taste. Some of the children think it smells like buttered popcorn, others think it stinks.

What I learned is that ghee comes at a price. These two half pint jars that I figure is equal to a wide mouth pint jar is what is left after cream is separated from over two gallons of milk. I get about three quarts of heavy cream from 2 gallons of milk this time of year. This cream is then made into butter. The butter is then cooked down removing the dairy part. The dairy forms a clump on the top of the oil and sticks to the bottom of the saucepan.What remains is this pint of ghee. I saw one person feeds the butter cast off to her dog. I think I will start feeding it to our barn cats. An area I am working on saving money too is buying less cat food.

If you wonder why ghee is so expensive at the store. Over two gallons of milk down to just one pint is the reason. The health benefits make it worth the effort but I don't recommend that you go to the store and buy organic butter to make ghee from except as an experiment to learn how. I have been going through about a pint and a half a week - pricey indeed. But this is all a part of self-sufficiency. What I have not done yet is use this oil for light. Yes, that is possible. Ghee is indeed nutritious and versatile.

No comments:

Post a Comment