Monday, May 30, 2011

The Milk Man

As a midwife and breastfeeding mom, it is slightly annoying to be married to a man who thinks he knows more about lactation than I.  For example, when Pearl was a few weeks old, I tried to hand express some milk into a bottle for her.  I was filling the bottle drop by drop when Glenn walked over and saw my technique.  He rolled his eyes and said, "Can I just do that for you?"  I turned my back to him but still had to listen to his comments.  "No, start closer to the top, then move down.  You have to squeeze the nipple now."  For those of you who don't know Glenn, he really isn't a pervert.  He has just been milking sheep at a local dairy for the past four years.

Now that we have two lactating goats, everyone here on the farm has had a chance to learn how to express milk.  Oliver and I learned together, each taking on one teat.  We managed to add a little milk to the bucket before Serio ran out of grain and became restless.
Glenn had us step aside to finish the job.  He moved so quickly and gently; the bucket was half-full before Serio even had a chance to complain.  All I could think was, "Wow, I truly am the luckiest woman alive.  My husband can milk a goat like a champion."  Even Serio was impressed.  Just look at her expression.  Glenn is so good, we have all decided he should get up each morning to milk the girls.  You don't want to waste a gift like that.
We have been enjoying the fresh milk and keep finding new ways to consume it.  Below you can see Pearl eating some delicious goat cheese that Grammy and Glenn made over the weekend.  Oliver loves to have his daily glass of goat milk.  It tastes so much better than milk from the store.
This morning we decided to make yogurt.  First, Glenn collected a couple of quarts from Leche.  We measured out the proper amount.
Next we put the milk on the stove to heat it to 185 degrees.  This ensures that the milk is more sterile when we add the cultures to it.
After the milk cooled to 112 degrees, we added the yogurt culture (a mix of two bacteria).
We then placed the milk in an ice chest with a heating pad.  It will stay there for the next six hours.  We hope we will have some yogurt to try tomorrow morning!
My next goal is to try to make soap for The Beneficial Bee skin care line.  We have several jars of frozen milk waiting for the moment when we decide to take on that challenge.  Thank you to Serio and Leche for providing us with all of this beautiful milk!


  1. That's the first thing I noticed: Serio's expression like she can't quite believe it herself LOL

    I never liked goats milks, though, and I have tried it. When I was growing up in Germany (it was West Germany at the time) we never were big milk drinkers anyway, except for cooking cream of wheat, pour on cereal or make the occasional milk shake (with milk, not ice cream) or cocoa, but we did eat a lot of yogurt and buttermilk. Anyway, once a year my mom and I took the train to visit her parents (and brother) in East Germany (at the time) and there they had goats milk. They tried everything with me, put chocolate in it and all sorts of stuff, but I could never get used to the strange after taste. It's kind of like eating Lamb - you either like it or you don't and I don't!

    I'm glad you are putting your goats milk to good use. I do enjoy Feta cheese though, so I would probably like the yogurt too ... you are living such a healthy life and giving your children a great start!

    Happy milking and yogurt making :-) Go, Glenn!!!

    Did you ever replace your bees?

  2. Thanks for your great comment Doris. Love your Germany story! The bees are doing okay! I guess he didn't get the queen. :)