Friday, February 02, 2007

Ground Hog Junk(et)

Milk traditionally celebrates this holiday. You might not have known that. Even if you missed it this year, it is never too early to practice for next year.

First, get a milk cow. Or goat. Or sheep. Whatever.

Or get some milk.

Get some rennet.

Get some containers, cups or something that hold about ½ to 1 cup of liquid.

Depending on how many containers you have, use that much milk. I make this in two quart batches generally. Half a gallon.

Heat milk gently on stove, not very hot, just warm. Sweeten just a touch and to taste. Really though, it is better without too much sweetening. I like it with a little vanilla added too. Dilute and add rennet according to package directions. Ladle into cups, top with some ground nutmeg, let sit still until set (did I get those i’s and e’s in the right places?) then chill in fridge.

Use to celebrate. It is called junket. It is like egg custard without the egg or the custard. Solid delicious milk.


arcolaura said...

Junket? I always thought that was something like a walkabout. This is such a rich world for the curious.

Does it matter if the milk is not raw?

the Contrary Goddess said...

Junket is a brand of dilute rennet. I think. Usually the only type widely available in grocery-type stores. It is not suitable to the making of cheese. But I use my real rennet for junket the dessert, which I'm sure got its name from the brand of rennet. I don't think it should matter if the milk is raw or pasteurized, except some on the taste -- but it shouldn't matter on the coagulation.

This is not a dessert I grew up with, but one our buddy Al, originally from the Shenandoah, brought to us. He's also a big fan of fresh curds when he catches me making a batch of cheese. It is wonderful stuff.

Which is another curious thing -- all my ancestors had milk cows, but I have no reference to any of them making cheese. I always wonder why not.

laura said...

i just looove recipes that start out with:
"first, get a milk cow"

LOL, okay, i'm gonna run right out and get one. i'll keep her in my bedroom and i'll milk her in the tub. i'm not being facetious. it was just a funny image that popped into my head. i do this a lot when i try to imagine what it would look like to homestead in an apartment. i see lines for clothes all across the living room and big pots over by the great window that acts as a greenhouse in summer of all things.

did i tell you that after eating the last of your cheese, the kids wanted more and asked where we could get some...i said, well you get on I-26 and follow that for about 6 hours...

funny, they don't care too much for the taste of other cheeses now. even when we buy the fresh just isn't the same.

the Contrary Goddess said...

I know about the "get a cow" thing -- you know how I like bug refrigerator magnets just because I think they are funny, well, saying, first, get a cow (or kill a pig, or some such) just is funny to me.

I could send you a bottle of rennet (I have extra) and you could try making the cheese (and junket for that matter). My basic instructions are somewhere on the blog. But you don't need anything special. The books will tell you not to make mozzarella from raw milk anyway although we know that is what I do. They say feta will only keep a few weeks and I have some, still good, more than a year and a half old. So there.

I've got the neighbor I clean for hooked on my bread now. His health improves when I remember to take him a loaf so I try to have an extra the days I'm going to clean. It is a funny thing that given some good food and not really pushed, at least some people will end up choosing it.

Jenn said...

The rennet (Junket) you are talking about is not the traditional stuff, right? Sounds like a store product: 'a bottle of rennet' - the definition of rennet that I'm familiar with is the bit of lamb's stomach that acts as starter for cheeses.

(Not, please note, that I've ever kept livestock or butchered lambs... I just read a lot.)

Junket is a marvelous word. Now I am stuck trying to figure out why I thought it was also a type of boat in the orient. Must be a word that resembles junket. Hmmmmm...

the Contrary Goddess said...

The junket is a brand name of a very weak rennet. My "bottle of rennet" is a vegetable rennet made from mushrooms, and is what is generally commercially available. Rennet that you could make for yourself is a calf's (and likely a lambs, but I've always heard calf) stomach lining -- you slaughter before they get a cud when they've only had milk to eat -- veal in other words.

Junket might well be a type of boat. It is a trip. Seriously. Have fun!