All the Whey

If you are into making your own mozzarella cheese or Greek style yogurt, you may already be acquainted with the delicious drink made of whey. It’s a shame my family had been missing out on this so long. No, we weren’t letting the protein-rich liquid go to waste. I would save it for use in bread making, soak dried beans in it before cooking, or acid up the soil around acid loving plants. Even the worm farm and compost bins appreciated a drink when there was more than enough to go around.
Well, it’s not likely there will be any leftovers this summer. The whey liquid can be sweetened up with agave nectar or sugar and it tastes just like lemonade! Chilled, over ice it is just divine–and so healthy.
The picture at left shows how much whey liquid is recaptured from a single gallon of milk after making American Mozzarella Cheese using rennet. Nothing wasted! If you are looking for a really easy recipe, check out the Junket website or the rennet tablet packet insert.

Preserves in the Homestead Kitchen

Stop looking at these jars of gooey goodness as a sweet treat and add them to the list of homestead pantry staples. Not only do preserves have a long shelf life, they are wildly versatile.

The Many Roles of Preserves in the Homestead Kitchen

Jams, jellies, conserve, marmalade, spread, preserves, or confiture—whatever you call that sweet, fruity goodness, it has a prime place in your homestead pantry.

  1. Spread it on warm toast for a filling, anytime treat.
  2. A dollop on yogurt adds some flavor variety.
  3. Use as a sweetener in muffins and cakes.
  4. Mixed with mustard as a dipping sauce for chicken fingers.
  5. Use thicker jams as a center for thumbprint cookies.
  6. Dissolved in lemonade for a tangy burst of flavor.
  7. As a marinade for meats.
  8. To add sweetness and flavor to smoothies.
  9. In mixed fruit cocktails.
  10. As a glaze for cakes and pastries.
  11. Add variety to rice congee.
  12. Make a fruit galette
  13. To top ice cream. Tomato Jam on chocolate ice cream is a family favorite.
  14. Mixed 1:1 with BBQ sauce in the Crock Pot, for an easy sweet and sour meatball sauce.
  15. As a Polynesian chicken glaze.
  16. Instead of syrup over pancakes.
  17. Make secret sauce for roast beef sammies by mixing with horseradish.
  18. Add flavor to plain cream cheese frosting.
  19. Make Eton Mess with leftover cookies, nuts, fruits, jams, and whipped cream—think “hot mess” parfait. Never the same twice and uses up the ends of everything.
  20. Mixed into rice and chunks of chicken as sweet sauce.
  21. Heated as fondue for dipping meats.
  22. As a filling for homemade doughnuts.
  23. Dehydrated, to make fruit leather.
  24. Mixed with cider vinegar to pour over salads.
  25. Mixed with hot water and fruit and frozen into popsicles.
  26. Mixed into cottage cheese to add zing to lunch.
  27. Use to sweeten and flavor homebrewed sodas.
  28. Spooned into tea instead of sweetener.
  29. Poured over a block of cream cheese as an appetizer. Savory and spicy versions are especially good.
  30. Dehydrate into delicious fruit leathers.
  31. Spicy or hot jellies make a nice additional layer in 7-layer Mexican dip recipes.
  32. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
  33. Use to glaze a ham.
  34. Mixed in your morning oatmeal.
  35. Over plain cheesecake.
  36. Spread between the layers of a layer cake.
  37. Add to tired baked bean recipes, for sweet and sour twang.