I like odd numbers particularly

This morning, as I started milking goat number two, Biscotte, I thought I’d count how many times I needed to press the udders until I had emptied them. I am milking one udder at a time because one hand has to hold the awkward vessel I am currently using which makes the counting exercise easier. (I can milk with both hands, I am proud to add, which means that the loss of one arm would not stop me.) This morning I needed to press 373 times for almost 1.5 litres of milk, I could press harder and thus reduce the number but I like to go at it gently, I empathize greatly with my goats, especially in the instance of production and extraction of milk as I too have produced milk for my children. I am not necessarily a neurotic counter but I often like counting—sometimes as relic of a childish comforting thing but also, as this morning, in the name of science. I now know roughly how many times I have to press udders every morning for my milk and I feel cleverer for it. Milkers must have interesting muscle development in their hands, I wonder what other use they can be put to. I also brushed the donkey, Alaska, to try and get his dreadlocks away but I was not counting the strokes.
Today I am experimenting with a Hungarian farm cheese recipe Lazslo (thank you) gave me last saturday. Leave raw milk to sour at room temperature. Remove sour cream and heat to near boiling point until good curds form. Drain and salt lightly. So the souring is happening as I write. How many hours, days, curds, salt grains ? The drained whey is great for cleaning linoleum and slate floors, and also the hens love it.


  1. Proud to be listed No. 3 after the Goat and the Donkey, I report:
    fresh cow’s milk should go sour 24-48 hours in room temperature. Easy to notice, the cream (sour cream, tejfel, smetana, smotana) goes sort of solid on the top, and the milk underneath becomes jelly-ish. Scoop off the tejfel (‘top of the milk’ in Hungarian, by the way)and gently heat the ‘aludt tej’ = the milk which has slept, until curd forms. Don’t remove it from the heat until the whey is clear-ish, waste of good protein. The whey is pretty much useless if you ask me, although I can visualise a hen party downing pints of the stuff. (Roosters and muscovite ducks welcome.) Drain the curd, called ‘túró’, it keeps for a week in the fridge. Salt? NO!
    The feared short bows of the IX-XI. century Hungarians were made using a layered compound material of wood, antler and horn – and a glue made from this curd! Hungarians were looting the West for many decades, until being tricked into a battle by the Germans and beaten to pulp, opted for decency and Christianity. (Late X. century.) Before becoming decent folks, every summer they went for holidays travelling as far as the recent France, each warrior with an extra horse for the souvenirs. They attacked towns and monasteries, carefully avoiding castles, and if the heavily armoured – therefore superior – knights got too close, they fired arrows at them (backwards, while riding), and gained some distance. The ones left home defended their territories from other tourists from the East: every man was a warrior until western civilisation came in and the majority became peasants.
    Uses (of túró): many. here is two, one sweet and one from the other side.
    Make 10 crepes. Mix 1/4 kg túró with 4 egg yolks (no battery!), sugar and grated lemon peel to taste, and raisins if you like. Roll up the crepes’ with this mixture in them, lay them in a baking tray or what, put a thin layer of sour cream on the top, sprinkle with sugar and bake it for about 20 minutes.
    Mix 1/4 kg curd with 1/4 l sour cream, add finely chopped onions (scallions, chives; to taste), salt and caraway, whole or crushed. Give it half an hour to think about life, then spread it on toast.
    Anyone knows where could I get fresh cow’s milk around Bolye, please let me know. This pasteurised stuff doesn’t go sour. (I guess some live yoghurt could be used to introduce Lactobacilli, but…)

  2. By the way, the ‘Polish Shops’, you can buy really correct curd, under the name ‘twarog’. Proper sour cream, sour cucumber in brine, un-pasteurised sauerkraut… A freak show for the turnip-lovers, a window to Europe for me.

  3. Bugger it, I left out PAPRIKA from the spread. Sorry.
    I was a paprika chauvinist until a few weeks ago, Hungarian or nothing. I report (with mixed emotions, still) that the Spanish stuff is up to scratch. L.

  4. A bog-basic recipe involving the curd.
    Boil pasta, fry cubes of bacon, mix them together with curd and sour cream, eat it.
    (Some leave out the bacon and opt for sugar instead.)

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