One of my favorite, easy things to do with lots of fresh milk is make cottage cheese.
No cooking involved. It’s so simple, and it’s one of those foods (like nixtamalized corn) that just feels like something I should eat.
Start with fresh raw milk, preferably from a cow you know.
I leave mine in the jar, setting at room temperature until it solidifies. Tilt the jar and you’ll see it move as one piece. This usually takes about three days, depending on the weather.
I pour that out into a bowl, and cut the curds with a nice sharp knife.
Then I pour a quart or more of boiling water into the curds and stir them with a wooden spoon. The curds start to firm up some. I let them set for just a couple minutes in the heat.
Line a strainer with a cheesecloth and pour the curds and whey through. Drain as long as you like. Add salt and pepper and devour!
Sometimes if it gets too dry, I put a little whey back in, or add a little fresh milk. Kept fairly dry, this cheese keeps for a long while in the fridge.
The by-product, whey, can be fed to hogs, poured on a compost pile or used in various recipes. We can talk about those later.
A gallon of milk makes about a quart of cottage cheese, a half gallon makes a pint, and so on. I have no idea what would happen if you tried to do this with pasteurized milk – I just know it works with raw.