Gjetost Cheese :: Use Up That Whey!

I always see mainstream-friendly recipes on other people’s blogs; recipes like, “How to Make Mint Syrup” or “Paleo Friendly Biscuits”, maybe even a couple “Whole Wheat Version of…” this or that. That’s all well and good folks, but around here, we fully appreciate the weird ones.

Say hello to Gjetost, a Norwegian whey cheese. Other languages call it a variety if different names –mesost (Swedish), meesjuusto (Finnish), mysuostur (Icelandic), myseost (Danish) or Braunkäse (German)– but all in all, they are all based off of this caramelized brown Scandinavian whey cheese. The heat of cooking turning the milk sugars into caramel, which gives the cheese its characteristic brown color and sweet taste. Weird indeed, but also absolutely delicious!

Surprisingly, Gjetost is very simple to make. All it takes is a saucepan, some whey, a little cream, and a lot of time. How much time it takes and how much cheese you get in the end is all dependent on how much whey you use to begin with. One key, however, is to start with good whey. You just want to make sure not to use whey from processing cheese with vinegar.

The whey I used was goat whey from making cheese (using a culture, not vinegar) about two months ago. I was a little iffy in how long whey lasted, but Google set my mind at ease. Thanks Google. I sure am glad that I used my whey because this cheese has proved that whey is not a useless byproduct and you also don’t need “fresh whey” to make incredible cheese.

Gjetost tastes like a sweet, sharp cheddar. If simmered slowly, it turns out to be a nice creamy texture. This cheese has a little bite, much like sharp cheddar, and yet has sugary undertones. Pretty yummy treat for a morning’s work.

How To Make Gjetost makes 1 cup of cheese

Step 1: Separate the cream floating on top from the whey and pour 2 full quarts of whey in a large saucepan. Heat on medium-low.
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Step 2: Bring the whey to a light simmer and stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
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Step 3: Once the whey has boiled down to 1/4 of the original amount, start stirring it every 2-3 minutes. The liquid should begin to look more of a yellow-caramel color. Watch the cheese closely because it will thicken quickly at this point.
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Step 4: Now that most, if not all, of the whey has evaporated, what’s left should look more like cheese. Add in any cream you may have to make the cheese creamier (2-4 tablespoons is a great amount). Lower the stove heat to keep from burning the cheese and stir constantly until the cheese is a light brown or caramel color.
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Ta da! Gjetost!

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Now eat your delectable treat with some homemade bread or take it to a party and brag about how cool and worldly you are to have made such a delicacy of a cheese yourself. Move aside brie, there’s a new cheese in town!

When It Rains…

…it pours. It’s not actually raining, but metaphorically it may be. Speaking of which though, should you know any rain dances, please send some heavy clouds towards California. We kind of need it.

Today it seemed as if the people around us were offering puzzle pieces to adventures ahead. One of which is this awesome children’s saddle that one of Trevor’s day-job customers gave him today.

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Now, I don’t know anything about saddles, but the man told Trevor that this one would be great to use for a donkey or large pony. It looks to me like it is in fairly good shape, but other than that, I’ve got nothin’. I guess we will be learning all about saddles and how to set them up soon enough.

Come on guys, how cool is that?! Then on his way home, Trevor stopped by the local feed store for some saddle soap to clean up the new saddle and the feed store owner offered Trevor a box of random saddle knick-knacks. There were two bits, a spur, some long pieces of scrap leather, and even a bridle inside.

Then, FedEx delivered my mega-super-metal-heavy-duty solar electric fence charger in one piece. It’s always a nice surprise to see an undamaged box, I might add. I also spent a whole $8 (free shipping baby!) on an awesome aluminum stamped sign for the new house. The house has a main door in a weird spot so we will be using the other door instead. Good stuff.

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We also got news that we will be closing on Wednesday. Finally! So I will be whisking you all away on a video tour next week and will be taking lots of “before” pictures before we get started building up our dream farm.

To top it all off, GRIT magazine featured an article I wrote on raising meat animals in today’s email newsletter. It is called, “A City Girl Raising Meat”.

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There were some other little things, but all in all, it felt a little like Christmas around here today. Breakfast for dinner and truffles for dessert completed the evening.

Packing Up The Farm

Well folks, I think I can now say that we are moving. Our loan and the house have officially been approved by the VA (pending a stack of tedious paperwork) and the finish line is in sight. Phew! We can all sigh a big “phew!” at this point. Geez… we have only been in house-purgatory since Thanksgiving

So now comes the frustrating and exhausting part, packing. Not just packing up a house and a small child, but packing up an entire micro-farm. We’re talkin’: dozens of rabbits, rabbit cages, the beehives, the honey equipment, a flock of chickens, that giant chicken coop (somehow), rolls of wire from the garden, mushroom logs (why, oh why?), pallets, firewood, and possibly the 8×8′ shed –which we will need to take apart first.

That, my friends, is a lot of stuff.

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I am looking forward to the fresh start with the freedom and space to expand. I was just telling someone today that we are going from 1/4 acre to 4 1/2 acres. I have so many plans and so many ideas that this expansion is going to keep me busy for some years to come. Especially so if I continue to stack and cram and tuck things into every nook and cranny I’ve got. I love that we have made so much work in such a small space because now I have no doubt that we can accomplish phenomenal things in 18 times the space.

Besides packing and moving, all three of us are insanely excited about getting our first goats. Goats! Goats were part of my vision in one of the first posts I ever made on this website, so needless to say, we are more than enthusiastic about being able to meet that goal. It will be that next crucial step to becoming healthier and more self-reliant.

Also in ignoring my need to pack up the whole farm, my garden plans are starting to come to life. The space in which we will have to start a garden is unreal. Our future garden is as big as the entire lot we currently rent, house and all! My plan to create a permaculture oasis is coming to life and the prospect of hundreds of varieties of plants growing in my front yard is unbearably exciting. At first I thought that the concept of farming using permaculture would be limiting, but over the last six months or so I have come to realize that it is liberating. I don’t want to plant in “garden beds” anymore or line my carrots up in rows. I want to see the wild and free nature of Mother Nature!

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In the meantime, the three of us have a lot to do to prepare for this move. But with enough forethought and good packing, the actual moving part won’t last any longer than a weekend. Perhaps even by the end of the month! Just keep those digits of yours crossed that the keys make it into our hands by the end of the week and that no more obstacles interrupt our journey.

Full steam ahead!

Rabbits For Sale…

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Remember, I am no longer keeping a waiting list/ email list. So if you are waiting for a rabbit from my Rabbitry, the two newest litters go up for sale tomorrow morning.

CLICK HERE to see the rabbits currently for sale and a copy of our sales policy.

I hate having to get tough on my rabbit sales, but I’ve been used as rabbit boarding house lately and I don’t like it. Nothing in my sales policy has changed so don’t worry about that. I love my readers, I love my customers, and I have made some really great friendships through rabbits and I would like to continue to. Please enjoy the photos of the rabbits and I hope to hear from some of you rabbit shoppers tomorrow, bright and early!

A Little About Rabbit Sales:
• If you have any questions about how the deposits/reservations work, please ask! I am always happy to help and I am home all day to answer questions.

• My sales policy listed on the same page as the rabbits for sale.

• All rabbits are reserved and sold on a first come, first served basis. No exceptions.

• At 6-weeks old I start accepting deposits on specific rabbits. This helps to ensure that you get the rabbit you want and it helps me rest easier that you are more likely to come pick up said rabbit. Yes, there are people who pay a deposit and never pick up the rabbit…

• Once the rabbit is 8-weeks old, you have 14 days to pick him or her up from my Rabbitry. I have the pick up window of dates next to the new rabbits. After that 14 days is over, you have forfeited your deposit on the animal unless other arrangements have been made. I get it, life gets in the way sometimes. But I will no longer hold onto a rabbit for months on end on a hope and a prayer that one day, someone will show up for him or her.

• I accept deposits in the form of cash, PayPal, or money order. If you have any questions or need any help with that, please to not hesitate to ask. If you rather use a debit or credit card, I can email you an invoice via PayPal and you can pay using a card without even needing a PayPal account.

And the winning name is…

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Are you surprised? “Lucy” was the top voted name for just about the whole duration of the game. Thank you to everyone who voted and everyone who submitted names! There were some really great ones to choose from. And as a bonus, I figured out the whole voter poll thing so it was virtually no work for me to run. Now I am wondering why I never tried that in the first place. Oh well.

Welcome Lucy! May you give me many healthy, Red and Orange bunnies!