Making Clotted Cream From Raw Milk
Raw milk is a bit of a sore subject with me. I was raised on it, so were my children, and even some of the older grandchildren had it a little ones. None of us ever got sick from it, but now its all cooked to death and regulated. Here’s the thing though, one of my nieces boys is a pathology doctor, he does post-mortems, I couldn’t do that, awful, but he’s a nice boy.
Anyway, he says that most of us wrinklies (old people) that end up having an autopsy have signs of TB scarring on the lungs. Not enough to have made us have TB, or give others TB, but enough to say that some TB got into us. He said there’s a good case for saying that the raw milk we drank almost vaccinated us against TB, stopped us getting it if you know what I mean. I don’t really understand all that too much, I just know that we rarely got ill and we drank the stuff daily.
You can still get it here at farmers markets and anyone in the family who goes always brings some back, they won’t let their little ‘uns have it, bloody fools, it would do them the world of good.
Anyway, raw milk makes the best cream and that’s that. The rich Jersey milk we can buy in the shops is the next best, far better than regular milk but nowhere near as good as ‘real’ milk.
Okay, clotted cream. It’s the thickest of all the creams with a lovely deep colour and its simple to make, even more simple on a gas or electric hob than it was on a range.
- Fill a large pan with milk to within an inch of the top and set it on the stove.
- Bring it up to heat slowly, really slowly. This bit is where the range was easier because it took a long time.
- Just as the surface of the milk begins to ‘pop’ as it’s heading towards boiling but not quite there, take it off the heat. This is where the range loses to modern stoves, you couldn’t turn it off.
- Leave the milk in the pan to go cold.
- Skim the cream of the top of the cold milk and set aside. Start to reheat the pan of milk exactly as before.
- You repeat this process until no more cream rises to the top of the pan.
What you are left with is skimmed milk, the cream and fat has been skimmed off the top. This milk makes wonderful scones and biscuits and it very good for glazing the top of bread to give it a deep golden coloured crispy crust.
You could just drink it, but I don’t much like drinking skimmed milk but Skinny Ginny, the dieting granddaughter is more than happy to guzzle it down.
My afternoon at the school went very well. The children were really polite and very interested in crochet. We ended up talking more about the old days than doing wool craft, and the boys were really interested about the things Ernie did with his own hands before all the machines were around. I hope they invite me back, I really enjoyed myself.
I’m not doing too much today, getting on a bit for all the gadding about, but tomorrow I am going up on Dartmoor, I love the moors, so wild and natural. Somebody in the family tries to take me up there a couple of times a year in the summer.
There’s a bridge there that was build by people way back, nigh on a thousand years ago. There are lots of these bridges, called Clapper bridges on the moors, but the one in the village of Post Bridge is the oldest.
Oh, the Summer pudding went down very well, it’s been a long while since we had one, but it was just as good as I remembered.
A Clapper bridge, Dartmoor, Devon
Granny Spear was born in a small cottage in Devon, Southern England in 1925. Married to farm labourer Ernest, she raised her family in the heart of the countryside without any of the amenities we rely on today. Using skills passed down from her mother, who had learned those same skills from her mother, she not only survived but positively thrived living a self-sufficient, off grid lifestyle. Outliving her husband, one of her children and two of her grandchildren she stayed in the cottage until 2003 when a serious fall saw her hospitalized. She now lives with her daughter just four miles from her old home. For her 89th birthday her grandchildren and great grandchildren brought her an iPad, which she instantly rejected until they showed her Angry Birds…After much persuasion she has agreed to share some of her knowledge with us about what she calls the ‘old days’
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