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Extract from Home Farm Magazine

No100 June/July 1992            Copyright   Pam Shaw

 

Dairy Products from ewe's milk by Pam Shaw

 

Our dairy sheep, mostly Oldenburgs x Frieslands, are milked until they go to the tup. After that they usually dry off naturally. A worm and fluke dose just before tupping helps them to benefit from the extra feeding. I get roughly two months from weaning to tupping which is time to make yoghurt for daily use and to freeze some of the curd cheese for use throughout the winter. I also freeze milk for the very weakest lambs next lambing time.

 

Ice cream
Last year we also tried ice-cream, which was a big success with visitors and family; in spite of being made in the usual short-cut, no-time-to-lose way of doing things here. I used roughly 1.5 litres of sheeps' milk into which I beat two eggs and sugar to taste. I cooked this very gently on the Rayburn until it thickened, whisking all the time. Children or visitors are useful for the whisking bit. Cook it too hard and you get scrambled eggs. The mixture is poured into a container and frozen. We either used soft fruit (raspberries mostly) and vanilla as flavouring or coffee and cocoa dissolved together and added at the cooking stage. My favourite is grated chocolate (and vanilla essence) added when it cools. All well worth the effort!

 

Vegetarian dish

Here is another dish using sheeps' milk which proved very popular and would feed unexpected visitors. It is best if vegetables straight from the garden are used. Into a long, flat casserole, slice lightly cooked potatoes and onions fried (preferably) in cold pressed oil or butter. Sprinkle on a cupful of freshly podded peas or broad beans. Into a litre of sheeps' milk beat two eggs, salt, pepper mustard and a little sage. Pour the mixture over the vegetables. Sprinkle with nutmeg and cook slowly, browning gently toward the end of the cooking time (about 40 minutes). Serve with a green salad.

 

Tempura batter

Sheeps' milk makes a very good tempura batter. Using wholemeal flour, one egg, seasoning and the milk I make a thick batter in which to fry thin slices of carrot, parsnip, celery or cauliflower florets. The high fat content of sheeps' milk makes the food golden brown and crispy. In a similar way sheeps' milk makes brilliant bread and butter pudding.

The curd cheese can be made into small balls to add to curries. Sometimes I fry these first in seasoned flour or just add them as they are.

Throughout the Summer and Autumn we have WWOOFERS (Working Weekends on Organic Farms). Without the many people who have stayed with us we could not run the farm the way we do. They help in the garden,  look after the goats and of course help with the dairy sheep. The novelty of milking a sheep and eating sheeps'  milk cooking adds an extra dimension. As vegetarians we welcome the yoghurt, milk and cheese as an addition to the many fruits and vegetables of Autumn.

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