Tag Archives: Raw Milk

I can’t believe it’s not butter!

Me either Fabio!

Ah, hello.

Recently my wife and I picked up some raw cream from the farmer that sells us milk. I have to say, this stuff is amazing! By far the best tasting cream I’ve ever had- just look at it:

This is cream sticking to my spoon…

I just had to brag!

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Gluten free chicken pie

According to legendary chefs, making the perfect pot pie starts with Stromboli. Or at least that’s what I would say, though perhaps I am not yet a legend. There is a slightly epic story behind my assertion, however. And this is how it goes…

Once upon a time there was a Beautiful Maiden (my lovely wife), who pined for a Stromboli (that part is true, so she looked up a recipe online), and enlisted the service of her faithful companion (that’s me) to fullfill her destiny (or at least fill their stomachs).

The result of her quest revealed the Holy Grail– a gluten free Stromboli crust! (I’m actually not exaggerating here, it’s really good!) But if this fairy tale ended here, only part of the story would be told.

The happy couple looked upon the Stromboli they had made, and thought ‘This dough might perhaps be formed into the crust for a pie, being so manageable and soft. Perhaps a pie of chicken?’

With this very thought before them the whole week, they assembled the great assortment of needed items (um, that’s just basic chicken pie filling: carrots, onion, potato, peas, and of course, chicken). Then, following the ancient traditions, the formed their dough and began to bake (true enough, but we really based it on the recipe found here: Gluten-free pizza crust recipe, tarte style).

The product of their labor was, well, see for yourself:

I would offer you a slice, but it was all consumed. If you are sufficiently intrigued, you can make one for yourself:

Here’s the process (we used half of the original recipe for the pie crust, it made enough for a crust and a top. My version is below):

Chicken pot pie filling/gravy (you can use your favorite grandma’s recipe instead if you like)
Ingredients:
one bunch of carrots
½ an onion
6 oz of peas (we used ½ bag of frozen peas)
3 medium potoes
2 cups of chicken (free range organic slow cooked)
2-3 teaspoons of arrowroot powder (or your favorite thickener)
1 cup of chicken broth (enough to make a slurry of the veggies)
Sea salt (to taste)

Directions:
Chop all the veggies and cook in a saucepan with the broth. Add chicken and stir in arrowroot until thick. Pour filling into crust and bake as instructed below.

Gluten free pie crust, from: Torte Style Gluten-free Pizza Crust- by Sara
Ingredients:
½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup sorghum flour
¾ cups tapioca flour
½ cup yogurt (we used cow yogurt and sheep yogurt at different times, both worked well)
1 sticks of butter (¼ pound), completely melted
1 tsp salt
½ Tbsp xanthan gum
Arrowroot powder to roll dough

This recipe makes two, 10” pie crusts, or one crust with top

Directions:

Cream the yogurt and butter together. Add the flours, xanthan gum and salt and continue to mix until well combined. This part is probably best done with a pastry cutter if available. Cover with a towel and let sit at room temperature overnight or 12-24 hours.

Scrape dough out of the bowl and pat into a ball. Cut into two pieces. Flour a counter or large cutting board with arrowroot powder. Form each half into a ball and then roll into two 10” rounds. Transfer to an oiled pie pan and then finish the edges to make the crust. Prick crusts well with a fork.

Bake pie at 300 F for 15-30 minutes until golden brown.

Note: for some pies the crust can be prebaked. for the chicken pie, we filled the crust before bakeing in order to seal the top crust over the pie.

Results:

And now the pie has become a legend.


Artois the Goat

Artois

If you like your sarcasm paired with a tangy, sweet cheese, might I recommend the movie Artois the goat.

A 2009 indiepix film, Artois the goat follows the journey of a food chemist underling as he struggles to find the perfect cheese, and, um, the meaning of his existence too.

Though overly dramatic at times, the word that best describes Artois the goat is CHEESY! It’s a really funny and surprisingly cute romance that highlights the contrast between commercially mass produced foods and artisan foodcraft, with particular attention to the role of RAW milk in the creation of fine quality cheese. Definitely a WAP friendly script, this movie is of the artsy variety, and a well done sample of that type.

The FDA is introduced as the supervillian of the film, and the sidekick of our hero gives them a fair tongue lashing throughout. In that vein, the dialogue writers did a fantastic job, adding verbal humour to the already amusing setting. I think all raw milk enthusiast would have fun watching this film

My wife and I found the trailer some time back, but were excited to see the film show up on Hulu. While I did enjoy the Hulu version, you may prefer the advertisement free DVD if you can find it.

I give this film a 5 out of 5 for creativity, originality and humour, and a 4.5 out of 5 for overall experience. The middle part seemed a tad drawn out, but I enjoyed the whole thing. I think this is a great date movie, particularly for any raw food enthusiast.


Sans Gluten

Gluten is a protein, and protein is healthy stuff, so that means Gluten should be good for you. And for me. Which it probably is. Gluten is not, however, good for my wife. Nope, this little protein, crafted in the endosperm of certain grains, can knock her down for a good day, with migraines, joint and muscle pain, and similar debilitating effects.

Why Gluten? The reason this otherwise indistinguishable portion of a grain has such a response is not well known (at least to me), but it shows up in a remarkable variety of foods. The reason it shows up in food has something to do with the versatility of the host grain, and the clever application of food engineering. The primary source of Gluten is Wheat, which is often used in bread and bread-like products. Aside from direct uses, Wheat can be included in food as thickener, or to enhance some aspect of the food like it’s energy content. Wheat is particularly useful for making Beer, and the starch from Wheat was used to stiffen cloth during weaving (I think they use a different process now). Gluten is also generated by grains other than Wheat, such as Barley, Rye, and depending on who you ask, maybe Oats. Other names for Wheat are usually historical in nature, since what we call Wheat today is the descendant of some super-evil grain quite some time back. So, you may encounter the locally derived names for Wheat, such as Kamut, Spelt, Bulgar, or Durum. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but at least the biggest offenders. The most interesting hiding place for a Wheat derivative I have seen is Soy Sauce. In particular, the traditionally brewed variety. If you avoid Soy for any of the numerous good reasons to do so, keeping away from the Gluten in Soy Sauce should be pretty easy.

So, in this journey through a life of eating food, we have learned to craft our food without the easy engineering techniques that include Wheat. Several Gluten-free grains are available, but require some practice to use (if you are used to Wheat flour).

While this step is a rather daunting task to most, my wife and I were already pursuing the non-processed food route before we had to leave Gluten behind. My wife has been off Gluten for several years, and we have found that most foods can be made without Wheat. All the recipes I have discussed here we made without Gluten, for the recipes that have flour we use a mix of Gluten free flours.

One interesting note: We have found that soaking Gluten free grains overnight in Raw Milk works wonderfully. A fairly consistent issue with Gluten free flours is the stuff you make with them tends to crumble or fall apart. A good night with the friendly milk bacteria seems to convince this flour to settle down and play nice. However it works, I’m glad that it does. The general approach to ‘fixing’ Gluten free flour mixes is to add Xanthan or Guar gum, or a similar bonding additive. Instead of these shortcuts, we are grateful we can make use of the soaking process to keep our food together.


Raw Milk

When learning to cook at a young age, I was mostly interested in making dessert. The problem with desserts is that they are typically the hardest recipes to follow. Very near the top of my favourite dessert list was Tapioca Pudding. The delicious substance derived in it’s entirety from South American substances, the traditional Manioc root, Vanilla bean, eggs and milk, and the modern sugar. Since I am a baker by personality, I religiously followed the directions on the box. These instructions were, I think, intended to keep kids from making Tapioca Pudding. The first step was to boil milk, and then add the sugar. Any kid who can get past this daunting step with out scorching his mother’s pans reaps the reward of sugar headaches all day long. For almost 2 decades, this is the only context in which it ever occurred to me that one might boil milk. Oh sure, I had heard of Pasteurisation in middle school science class, but I never really thought about what it meant for milk. I just accepted Pasteurised milk as a fact of life.

I vaguely remember that Pasteurisation had saved the world from certain death, and that good ‘ole Louis had stopped the Bubonic plague or something. Maybe it was that he discovered France. Wait, that would have been History class… OK, never mind. I have no idea what he did. Except boil milk. Since then, the process of making milk drinkable is called Pasteurisation. If you want to make it really drinkable, you can Ultra-Pasteurise it. Just don’t tell Sally Fallon (or her army of young mothers) what you are up to, or they will flog you with organic bamboo reeds.

To be completely honest, I am sceptical about a few of the miracles claimed by raw milk. I have been consuming raw dairy almost daily for about 2 years now. It tastes identical the the store bought stuff, and I have approximately the same number of colds/flues as before. I will say that my teeth have fared a lot better, but even those are pretty shot this late in the game. No, I have not been cured of anything by eating raw milk in my cereal. But I have also, strangely, not died. My limbs haven’t fallen off, I have not been struck with blindness, and Listeria has yet to make a comfortable home in my intestine. Raw milk may or may not help you, but in my experience, it is safe.