Cottage cheese – the easy way

There are two ways of making cottage cheese.

One is using soured milk (simply let fresh milk to ferment and sour by keeping it in a warm place for a day) that is heated to about 60-65 Celsius degrees until it curds. Than you strain the curds and get the cottage cheese.

The second method is quicker, as you don’t need to wait for the milk to sour for a day. Just heat the milk to about 60 Celsius degrees then remove from the heat and add some vinegar. I used 4 large tablespoon for 2 liters of milk. Stir slowly for a couple of minutes until the curd will separate from the whey.

Than strain the curds and you get the cottage cheese.

You can store the cottage cheese into a sealable container and place in the refrigerator.

You can also use the whey as you would use milk in making pancakes or to make bread. Or just use it in your morning smoothies.

Storing Water Kefir and Ginger Beer Plant

After consuming for a while water kefir and ginger beer, I decided to take a short break. So I put them in glass jars in their regular sugary water (500 ml water and one tablespoon of sugar (15 g) per 20 g of Water Kefir Grains / 500 ml water, 50 g of sugar and half a teaspoon of acidifier – I use lemon juice – for GBP) and place them in the fridge. They stood there for 25 days without any disturbance.

I decided to start to consume them again and I took them out of the fridge. They both look really good. I was worried that they did not make it, but they did.

Water Kefir Grains

Ginger Beer Plant (GBP)

To revive them a bit I made a more concentrated sugary water (250 ml water and one tablespoon of sugar (15 g) per 20 g of Water Kefir Grains / 250 ml water, two tablespoons of sugar (30 g) and half a teaspoon acidifier for GBP) and let them sit in it for 48 hours. After 48 hours I discarded the water and start the regular feeding.

From now on I know not to worry when I need to take a break form consuming them πŸ™‚

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

Using the same foam (fat) from the milk

I made some chocolate ice cream.

Beat the foam until it looks like cream, it will not be that fluffy but still got a lot of air into it

Melt some dark chocolate

until fully melt, if needed add a bit of milk

And for extra darkness add some cocoa

Stir well and add the foam one spoon at a time, mixing well every time

When all the foam is mixed with the melted chocolate

Put it into ice cream molds and freeze it for few hours

Flavored coffee spread

After boiling the milk I put it in glass bottles in the fridge, but before putting it in the bottles I collect all the foam (fat) that has formed on top of the milk while cooling.

I use this to either make butter or different types of sweet spreads.

This time I made flavored coffee spread. I put the collected foam in a pan, added some sugar, not much, and few teaspoons of Irish Cream flavored instant coffee.

Give them all a short boil, it will quickly thicken. Put it while hot in a clean jar, let it cool and than store the spread in the fridge.

Use to flavor your coffee instead the usual coffee creamer, spread on pancakes or biscuits near your morning coffee, or just eat it with a spoon straight from the jar πŸ™‚

We do not give up

Our first experiment of hatching chicks has failed. Most certainly the eggs were not kept in proper conditions before we got them. They were not stored for becoming hatching eggs.

But we don’t give up. We search this time to find what kind of chicken is the most friendly of all and we found out that silkies are the ones for us. So we went to see some and to get some eggs.

They truly are the most friendly, docile and calm chickens I have ever seen, so they make a perfect pet – especially for children. They like human interaction, unlike other chickens. They love to sit in your lap, snuggling up close and piping quietly like trying to tell you a story.

They come in all colors, hope we got eggs from each of them πŸ™‚

One stood in my lap for more than half an hour, just napping and piping, loving to to be pet. When I put her down she went straight to the coop, laid an egg and then came back for more love πŸ™‚

They are so fluffy πŸ™‚

Hopefully this time we will be more lucky.

Electrolytes for Chickens

A good chicken health is what we want. To keep them healthy, some time our chickens need a bit of help. In special cases, like: weak chicks, dehydration, diarrhea, heat exhaustion, shipping or traveling stress or stress caused by a predator attack or injury, they need a special drink called electrolyte drink. Electrolytes are used to replace the lost of sodium, potassium and minerals in the body. They are also used to re-hydrate and re-balance the body’s pH levels.

It is easy to make it at home using ingredients from your kitchen, this way is always available when you need it. For the dry mixture you will need:

8 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon potassium chloride (salt without sodium)

Mix all the ingredients and store in an airtight container.

When it comes to use it, just dissolve 1,5 teaspoon to a liter of water and offer the drink to your chicks or adult chickens instead of water for few hours and then give them plain water again for few hours. Repeat the process until symptoms disappear.

In extreme cases you can dissolve 2 teaspoons of the electrolyte dry mixture into a cup of water and give to the affected chick or adult chicken by eyedropper a few drops at a time.Β Only use in cases of emergency and discard any unused drink solution. Always make a new drink every time you need it.

Additions to chicks feed

I was searching for a quality, natural, non-medicated crumbs food for my future baby chicks. Unfortunately I could not find any so I ordered some online from an UK Company. This is just to offer them a good start in life. After that I am going to create my own crumbs to feed them using wheat, corn and sunflower seed (those I found to buy organic).

While I decided to grow my chicks medicated-free, this will mean to search for natural alternative to keep their immunity on the highest level by adding different ingredients to their food.

After reading lots of chicken growers pages on the internet I made myself a list with what would be beneficial additions to their feed:

1. Raw rolled oats – antioxidant, helps prevent and alleviate pasty butt in chicks, provides protein, fiber and nutrients, supports immune system health

2. Garlic powder – boosts immune system, aids in respiratory health

3. Brewer’s yeast – important for strong bone growth

4. Sea Kelp – reduce the incidence of coccidiosis in baby chicks, is a prebiotic which improves probiotic activity in their digestive system, contains calcium, iron, niacin, and Omega-3 and vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K,Β  (recent studies found that Sea Kelp has the ability to act as a natural antibiotic for poultry)

5. Alfalfa – rich in chlorophyll, carotene, protein, calcium and other minerals, vitamins B, C, D, E and K

6. Calcium carbonate (washed, dried and crushed eggshells) – important for strong bone growth

Any of these can be added to their daily feed at a ratio of 1/2 teaspoon per cup of feed.

Growing happy & healthy chicks πŸ™‚

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