Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Raw Milk: Taste, Health, and Rice Pudding

Heidi Jugovic of Localvores Colorado was kind enough to share this experience about her foray into the raw milk scene:

Thought I would share my Larga Vista Ranch experience. I contacted Larga Vista about getting on their waiting list for raw milk, and I was pleased to hear that they expected to have some more shares open up in February. They said I needed to come down to the farm for a tour in order to get put on the list and there was a time available this Saturday. So this weekend I visited the cows (fuzzy! huge eyes!) and lucked out a bit. There were a few unclaimed shares for this week and the next, so I bought my share and got milk this week and will again the next. After that I may have to wait until February when they get some additional cows into the milking rotation. I decided to pay an additional $8 a month to be able to pick up my milk in Colorado Springs, since Boone is over an hour from me.

So this weekend I had my first ever raw milk experience. The milk comes in two big Ball canning jars (a total of a gallon). They milk a cow into a sterilized container, pour it through a filter, and then pour it again into the jars. They use the ring-and-lid cap that I'm used to seeing used in canning, so when they use a freezer to quick chill it, the lid actually seals to the jar. That means that until you pop the lid, the milk will keep for a month in the refrigerator. Once you open the lid, you have about a week before it starts to sour. There is no processing of any kind, and you get the whole milk, cream and all.

I skimmed the cream off one of my jars and made the most amazing grits and a rice pudding for my friends' Sunday dinner. I also made yogurt with my Christmas-present yogurt maker. I'm going to try making butter with the cream off the other jar. The milk tastes amazing!

I also bought a bunch of their grass-finished beef and a dozen eggs. Larga Vista was a great experience. If you get a chance to visit the Ranch or buy their products, I recommend it. Doug and Kim Wiley explained their farming methods, and I don't think anyone in Colorado is doing this better than they are.

My recipe for the yummy rice pudding comes from a cooking class at Charleston Cooks! in South Carolina. It is very tasty:

2 cups cream
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup Carolina Gold Rice (or other starchy rice)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 orange, zested and juiced.

1. Place cream, milk, and rice in a large sauce pan (you want the liquid level fairly shallow to heat evenly).
2. Stir well to combine.
3. Bring mixture to a gentle simmer, and cover and let cook until rice is tender and creamy and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
4. Remove pan from heat, adn stir in vanill extract, sugar, orange zest, and orange juice.
5. Place rice pudding in the refrigerator and chill well before serving.

I actually like to serve it warm.

1 comment:

JenPB said...

I wish we could get raw milk around here. When I was a girl, my great grandparents used to argue about whether or not to shake the cream into their raw milk. OH! It was delicious, shaken OR scraped!

We've enjoyed raw goat milk from a nearby friend, but their family drinks most of their daily production. Fortunately, we had the pleasure of farm sitting for a few days and our pay? The milk we collected! :)