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Doing Dairy: Why Homemade Feta is Always Bettah!

When I began making cheese, one of the first types that I made happened to also be one of my absolute favorites…..Feta. It is usually made from either goat or cow milk (goat milk feta is my favorite although I do eat both), and if you have never experienced it has a wonderful salty tang to it. There are a number of recipes out there for making feta, however the one being presented here is a pretty easy one, using rennet tablets (which may be easier for many first time cheese makers to find). Be aware, however, as easy as this recipe is, it will still take a couple days to complete your feta and a few more days for brining.

Homemade Feta is Always Bettah!

Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon milk- whole is best but may use skim or 2%
  • 1T active, live, plain yogurt. Organic if possible but not necessary
  • ½ of a rennet tablet
  • 5T salt for the brine

Directions:

To begin the cheese, you will need a gallon of milk, either cow or goat. Fresh is best but store bought may be used as long as it is not ultra pasteurized. Heat to 86 degrees F then remove from heat. Do not let the milk stick and burn to the bottom of the pan.

Doing Dairy: Why Homemade Feta is Always Bettah!

At this point, add 1T live active, plain yogurt. This will act as a inoculate. To be sure that the yogurt thoroughly mixes into the warm milk, it may be combined in a cup with 1T of the warm milk, mixed thoroughly until the yogurt “disappears”, then add to the pot of milk and stir. Cover and let sit for 1 hour at room temperature.

Doing Dairy: Why Homemade Feta is Always Bettah!

Doing Dairy: Why Homemade Feta is Always Bettah!

After the warm, inoculated milk has sat for 1 hour, dissolve ½ of a rennet tablet in ¼ cup water, allowing the tablet to dissolve. (This part may also be done during the hour that the milk is sitting.) Add the rennet mixture to the milk, stir well, cover and allow to sit, undisturbed at room temperature, overnight.

Doing Dairy: Why Homemade Feta is Always Bettah!

Doing Dairy: Why Homemade Feta is Always Bettah!

The Next Morning:

The milk mixture should have gelled to where if a finger tip is poked in, you see a clean break. With a long knife, cut the curd into small, ½’ sized pieces. Next, gently lift and stir the curds, reaching to the bottom of the pot and cutting any down to size that are still too large. This stirring should be done, not with a spoon, but with your impeccably clean hand/arm. Stir gently for about 10 minutes.

Doing Dairy: Why Homemade Feta is Always Bettah!

Doing Dairy: Why Homemade Feta is Always Bettah!

Place a large strainer over a large bowl (so that the whey can be saves and repurposed!). Line the strainer with either clean and sterile muslin towels, hankies or a very tight weave cheesecloth. (The towel or hankies usually work best. I keep some just for cheese making.) Carefully and gently begin pouring the whey into the strainer. Pour off as much as possible before you begin to allow the curds to empty into the strainer. Allow the curd to sit in the strainer and drain, at least a few hours or until no more whey is draining.

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Doing Dairy: Why Homemade Feta is Always Bettah!

Doing Dairy: Why Homemade Feta is Always Bettah!

Once the curds have drained, transfer into a clean bowl break into smaller pieces and add salt. (Sea salt is my choice.) Place the curds into a lined cheese mold (towel, hankies or cheesecloth). Once the mold is full, cover with the ends of the fabric lining the mold and press. Leave overnight. Now, for this step, a real cheese press is helpful, however molds and a pressing method may be rigged up (as in photos). Remember to punch some holes into the bottom of the “mold” to allow the whey to escape as the cheese is being pressed. Adjust weight accordingly during the pressing process.

Day Three:

Remove the pressed cheese from the mold and unwrap. At this point, depending on how large of a chunk of feta that you end up with, you can leave it in a chunk, slice it or cut into pieces about 1 ½ “.

Now, to obtain the classic salty feta taste, a brine is necessary. In a wide mouth glass or plastic container, mix 5T of salt (I prefer sea salt) into 20oz of water. When the salt is totally dissolved, carefully place the feta into the brine. Let the cheese sit in the brine for at least a few days before removing it from the brine (brine may be discarded) and storing in airtight container. Keep unused portions refrigerated.

Doing Dairy: Why Homemade Feta is Always Bettah!

Doing Dairy: Why Homemade Feta is Always Bettah!

One thing that I love to do with the fresh feta, is to loosely place it in a jar with homemade sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil and black olives. Pour olive oil or an olive oil blend over the mix until covered. Replace lid and store in the refrigerator. A tasty snack and delicious in a salad or on a relish tray.

Up Next: Gravity Fed Water Systems: A Simple Overview

Will you give homemade feat a try? Let us know how it turned out in the comment section below!

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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?

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Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients



Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips



Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt



Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage



Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar



Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar



You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band



Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

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Self Sufficiency

9 SPRING VEGETABLES FOR YOUR GARDEN

Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!

Tomato

Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.

Eggplant

Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.

Beets

Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.

Spinach

Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.

Pea

Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.

Carrot

There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.

Radish

A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.

Asparagus

Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!

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