Raw Milk Limitations – Cherry Goody

When we switched from store-bought processed homogenized/pasteurized milk to raw milk a little over a year ago, I never gave using raw milk in recipes a second thought.  Whenever a recipe called for milk, I automatically just used the raw milk, not thinking that some ingredients might not interact well with it.

About a month ago I decided to make an old family favorite recipe that everyone loves — Cherry Goody.  I have been making this for probably 15 years, but hadn’t made it for more than a year. The troops decided it was time, so I pulled out the recipe and whipped up a 13 x 9 pan of it.

Original Cherry Goody Recipe

1 Box Graham Crackers

2 Boxes Instant Vanilla Pudding

3 Cups Milk – Homogenized

1 Tub Cool Whip

1 Quart plus 1 Pint Tart Cherry Pie Filling

  1. Combine pudding and milk in large bowl.  Whip until blended then let sit for five minutes.  Add Cool Whip and mix well.
  2. Line bottom of 13 x 9 baking pan with a layer of Graham Crackers. Cover this with a layer of the cream mixture. Top with another layer of Graham Crackers.
  3. Continue layering until you have three layers of Graham Crackers and three layers of cream mixture, ending with the cream mixture.
  4. To with pie filling.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The day after I prepared this, using raw milk, I served it for dessert after dinner.  I took one bite and spit it out.  It was awful.  It tasted rancid.

Hubby and the kids agreed it didn’t taste right.  I threw it out.

At the time I thought that the Cool Whip I had used might have been bad.  It had been in the freezer since Christmas and perhaps it wasn’t any good.  So, not giving up on enjoying this favorite dessert, I headed out to the store, bought all fresh ingredients (as fresh as processed ingredients can be) and whipped up another pan of it.  This time however I did not put the canned cherries on top because I couldn’t risk losing more jars of pie filling from the pantry if things didn’t work out.

Once again, the night after I made the cherry goody, I brought it to the dinner table and served it for dessert.  One bite into it and YUCK!  Same horrid taste.

Now I was really pissed.  What in the world was going on?  I’d made instant pudding without incident many times in the past couple of months, I’d used Cool Whip on top of waffles and it tasted fine.  What was the problem?

Well, I pondered this situation for a couple of weeks and finally decided it had to be the combination of the raw milk with the Cool Whip.  Cool Whip is not actually whipped cream, it has an oil base.  Combining the raw milk with oil must somehow be producing the rancid taste.

Knowing the reason behind the failure didn’t resolve the problem however.  What were my options? One I could buy milk from the store and make the dessert as I had previously. This option however would mean that Grace could not eat it because she cannot eat or drink anything made with homogenized/pasteurized milk without suffering stomach cramps.

The only other option I came up with was to make fresh whipped cream, combine that with the instant pudding and raw milk and see if the recipe turned out.  I opted for fresh whipped cream.

Cherry Goody (With Raw Milk)

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1 Box Graham Crackers

2 Boxes Instant Vanilla Pudding

3 Cups Raw Milk (possibly use only 2 1/2)

2 Cups Whipping Cream, whipped

1 Quart plus 1 Pint Tart Cherry Pie Filling

  1. Combine pudding and milk in large bowl.  Whip until blended then let sit for five minutes.  Add whipped cream and mix well.
  2. Line bottom of 13 x 9 baking pan with a layer of Graham Crackers. Cover this with a layer of the cream mixture. Top with another layer of Graham Crackers.
  3. Continue layering until you have three layers of Graham Crackers and three layers of cream mixture, ending with the cream mixture.
  4. To with pie filling.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

I actually cut this recipe in half because I didn’t want to risk wasting 3 cups of raw milk and 2 cups of whipping cream on a recipe if it again turned out to taste rancid.

When I pulled out the 9 x 9 pan of cherry goody for dessert the other night, the family groaned. They were as tired of getting their hopes up and then not having dessert to enjoy, as I was of making this dessert. Still, everyone sat there and waited as I dished it out.

The whipping cream left the dessert slightly less firm than the Cool Whip, but when we tasted it — SUCCESS!  It was perfect. So my conclusion about the Cool Whip not mixing well with the raw milk was right.

The only change I would make to this recipe when I make it again is to decrease the amount of amount of raw milk from 3 cups to maybe 2 1/2 so it will set firmer when combined with the whipped cream.

I am so glad I didn’t give up on this dessert.  After the second failed attempt I was tempted to just throw the recipe out and accept it just wasn’t meant to be.  Perseverance paid off and now we can once again enjoy this refreshing dessert whenever we want, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Making Cheese with Sour Milk

Things have been so hectic around here lately that we have not even had time to drink the milk in our fridge before it sours.  Being that we pay $9 a gallon for raw milk, throwing it out is not an option, I had to find something to do with it.

Besides using it in countless recipes which I just don’t have the time to experiment with at the moment, I found one suggestion to use it to make paneer cheese.  I had never tried making this type of cheese, but figured I had nothing to lose but a little sour milk, about $4.50, and according to the recipe — 30 minutes of my time.

Paneer Cheese

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  • 1/2 Gallon Milk (sour or otherwise)
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice or Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp salt
  1. Bring milk to a near boil, just below 200 degrees F.
  2. Remove milk from heat and stir in lemon juice or vinegar.  The milk should begin to curdle immediately.
  3. Cover milk and let sit for 10 minutes for curds to separate from whey.
  4. Strain the curds through a jelly bag or cheese cloth.
  5. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth or jelly bag and gently squeeze to remove excess whey.
  6. Open cheesecloth and sprinkle salt over curds.  Stir.
  7. Wrap curds back in cheesecloth and put on large dinner plate.  Shape cheesecloth into a square, pulling cheesecloth tightly around the curds to form.  Set a second plate on top of the curds and weigh it down.  Let sit for at least 15 minutes or up to an hour.
  8. Once pressed you can either eat it right away or refrigerate.  If you eat it warm, the cheese will be crumbly.  If you let it cool completely in the refrigerator, the paneer will be much firmer.

Although this recipe claimed it should take only 30 minutes, being my first time, it took somewhat longer.  I let it sit in the refrigerator for about 8 hours before Hubby got to taste it.

To be honest, I am not a big cheese eater.  Hubby, however, loves all sorts of exotic-type cheese and could not wait to get his hands on this one.  He loved it.  The only thing he said he would change would be to add more salt, which is exactly what he did.  With salt shaker in hand, he took the block of cheese to the kitchen table and ate the entire thing.  I guess that’s indicative of a successful recipe.

I hate throwing money away, especially when it comes to food.  With this new recipe I have a backup plan in place that will ensure not a bit of raw milk will go to waste in our house, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Raw Milk Testimonial

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Happy Day!  Every other week for the past eight weeks I have picked up 4 gallons of raw milk from High Hill Dairy through a local co-op.  This has been one of the best decisions we have ever made.

I am not sure what the law is in other states, but in Michigan it is illegal, yes illegal, to buy/sell raw milk.  Fortunately, by joining a co-op which basically means we are leasing a cow, we are able to get raw milk without breaking any laws.  For me this has been a godsend.

Ever since my daughter was born over 17 years ago, I have suffered from migraines.  A combination of stress, hormones, and TMJ has meant seven to ten migraines a month.  I have tried every home remedy I could find on the internet or heard about from friends, to no avail.  The only remedy that had any affect was caffeine but this was sporadic at best.  In order to even take the edge off these headaches, I was forced to take 1000 mg of Tylenol.  This didn’t take the migraine away, it only made it tolerable enough to not have to close myself up in my room with my head buried under a pillow for 10 or so hours.

After learning about the medicinal benefits of raw milk from several websites on the internet, we decided to give it a try.  We joined a local co-op and a week later were driving to a parking lot to pick up four gallons of raw milk.

It was a little strange picking up milk in a parking lot off the back of a truck.  To be honest, thoughts of cops closing in and arresting us with their guns drawn did cross my mind.  After all, what type of activity typically takes place in a parking lot, off the back of a truck?  Silly I know.  Guess I’ve been watching far too many cop shows on television.

Anyway, my husband couldn’t drive fast enough to get us home so I could try the raw milk.  I had no idea if the taste was going to be different or what the texture was going to be like.  I was pleasantly surprised when I poured myself that first glass, after shaking the jug, and sipped the smooth, creamy liquid.  It was sweeter than store-bought “milk” and thicker.  The obvious differences were the film it left on the glass and the cream line in the jug before I shook it.  It was wonderful and filling.  Did you know that you could live off of raw milk?  That’s what I’ve heard and based on how filling just a small glass is, I tend to believe it.

For two weeks I religiously drank 8 oz. in the morning and 8 oz. in the evening.  No migraines.  This was encouraging but I still was not sure that the milk was doing anything.  I don’t get migraines every day or keep track of exactly when they happen, so I couldn’t tell if the milk was working or not.  The one true test would be when I felt a migraine coming on and see if drinking the milk would do anything.  Finally, after picking up our second order of milk, another four gallons, two weeks later, I had my first opportunity to test the claims.

One afternoon after finishing a long list of errands, the vision in my right eye became completely obscured and I started getting light-headed.  These are the first tell-tale signs for me that a migraine is imminent.  The minute I got home, before bringing in any groceries, I poured myself a glass of milk and drank it.  Within twenty minutes the vision in my eye was almost completely restored and I wasn’t light-headed anymore.  This could either mean that the milk was working or the migraine was evolving.

The progression of a migraine for me goes from blurred vision and dizziness to feeling completely normal.  Then, anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour later the migraine hits.  My eyes throb, my head aches, I get nauseous, and I can barely stand from the pain.

So, I waited.  Ten minutes passed.  Nothing.  A half hour passed.  Nothing.  At an hour, I felt great and had forgotten completely about my symptoms.  In fact, not until two hours later did my husband ask me how I felt.  I felt great.  No migraine.

For two months I have been drinking the raw milk and whenever I’ve felt the beginnings of a migraine, which has only been a couple of times (that too is an improvement), I’d drink an extra glass of milk and within twenty minutes all symptoms were gone.  Knock on wood!  I’m not really superstitious, but at the same time I’m not willing to risk it.

Additionally, my daughter, who was told she was “lactose intolerant” based on the stomach aches she suffered whenever drinking milk or eating dairy products, has been able to drink the raw milk with absolutely no side effects. In my opinion it isn’t the lactose that she is intolerant of, it is the homogenization/pasteurization.  The white water that they sell as milk in the stores isn’t really milk at all.

What a shame the government feels compelled to restrict the sale of something that has real health benefits and subsidize the production and sale of something that in my opinion is causing great harm.  We pay $9.00 a gallon for the raw milk.  Witnessing the benefits first hand that this milk has been responsible for makes this amount inconsequential.  To coin a phrase, “Priceless!”

How can I be anything but — Simply Grateful.