Sunday, November 18, 2012

sour cream

Last week I volunteered on Sawyer Farm for an afternoon.  My pay was a crate of cabbages (for kraut) and a half gallon of raw milk.  Massachusetts law does not permit the sale of raw milk, but Sawyer Farm does not sell direct to the public.  Its shareholders technically own the produce that the farm creates.  This produce includes vegetables, meat, and dairy.  Thus it is possible for Sawyer Farm to produce raw milk for its private shareholders.  A lot of farms in western Massachusetts are producing raw milk.  

I got my milk home and found that it had separated into milk and cream overnight, which is to say that this milk is not homogenized.  I thought that I should make sour cream.  My hunch was that I merely need to skim off the cream and set it out at room temperature until the bacterial cultures already present in the cream soured it.  The interent confirmed my hunch.  As the cultures proliferate, the cream will thicken and become sour.  

If you look closely at the picture above, you'll see that there is a thin layer of milk beneath the cream.  That thin white band beneath the cream is milk.  Raw milk that turns sour is known as clabbered milk, and it's good for making biscuits.  I want to write more about raw milk and the funny laws that govern the milk industry, but Seth will be here any moment, which is to say that I have an appointment with a greasy breakfast at Look restaurant now.  

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