OPINION: I am trying to save money by budgeting only $1000 for groceries all year.
Of course this forces me to use all available resources and I have been really enjoying changing my habits from buying dairy products such as butter, yoghurt and cheese to making them myself. I am now kicking myself for all the years I have had milk available and I never drank vat milk, never mind use it to make other things.
Some of the town people who follow me on social media complain they cannot emulate my dairy product making because they do not have easy access to fresh raw milk.
However I continue to post pictures of my clabber, cheese and butter making exploits because I hope it might inspire the thousands of dairy farm owners and workers who like me in the past, do not realise how easy and satisfying making them yourself actually is.
No one has even heard of clabber. Who would have thought that leaving a jar of raw milk on the bench for one to two days at room temperature would result in a yoghurt extremely similar to Greek yoghurt but without the $6 price tag.
Some modern people might scream that it is rotten. No its not, it’s clabber, and you haven’t lived until you have made a clabber smoothie with frozen berries or a banana. If raw milk was legal I’d start a cafe selling the stuff.
There’s no need to buy inner health supplements from the pharmacy any more – these raw milk concoctions will mean my gut is teeming with the ‘good’ bacteria. No wonder I am so healthy.
Because of my cheese making, I am left with litres and litres of whey.
You quickly come to understand that when you are separating out the milk solids to make cheese, the liquid left over is not waste but a very nutritious product.
I use whey in casseroles, bread making and baking (as a milk or liquid substitute), soups, smoothies and even as a preservative to ferment vegetables in.
Who would have thought strictly limiting the grocery spend would have opened the door to so many opportunities.
The complainants who moan about the unfairness of me having a vat full of milk to pilfer daily – although I must add I do work pretty hard for the privilege – need to pipe down.
Sometimes these are the same people who loudly bemoan the exorbitant price of dairy products on the supermarket shelves. I went to Pak ‘N’ Save Kaitaia in search of fresh milk and bought three litres of branded milk for $6.59. I also bought three litres of value milk for $4.98.
After taking the milk home and comparing the labels, I read that the constituency of both milks were exactly the same. The only difference was the price.
I took the value milk and made feta cheese. The end result was about one kilogram of creamy, melt-in-your-mouth feta that would have cost about $15 if you bought it.
I also had two litres of whey left over. The moaners out there should appreciate what they have, not what you don’t have and maximise the opportunities whatever they may be.
And if you are in enviable position where you can get your hands on some raw milk, I suggest you have a go at making some dairy products yourself.
Currently there is a faction of people hell bent on discrediting milk and the more we know about our miraculous product the more pride we will have in it.
Lyn Webster is a Northland dairy farmer.
By: LYN WEBSTER