Yesterday my daughter and I had fun doing old timey projects using unpasteurized, not homogenized whole milk. The first thing we had to do was to separate the yellow cream at the top of the milk from the lighter, paler yellow milk beneath. We then put the cream into a quart jar along with a clean marble and my daughter began to shake it while I put the milk on the stove to scald it so that I could put it into jars along with some commercially made yogurt. I then put the jars into a cooler filled with water and left them to culture through the rest of the day. After more time than my daughter really wanted to work on it, the butter finally separated from the buttermilk and I took the butter and washed it. The buttermilk I set aside to sour so that I could make pancakes in the morning.
This morning after doing my daily chores of hoeing the garden, applying mulch and compost, I started making the pancakes. As I mixed up the batter, I realized that much of what went into the pancakes were locally grown. The eggs were from locally grown chickens that were free ranged. The milk came from cows that had been raised outdoors and lived, as Joel Salatan puts it "the life of a cow".We made both the buttermilk in the pancakes and the butter on the pancakes. Here is the recipe for the pancakes I made: http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
The other thing I noticed about the pancakes was the color. Because the eggs were a bright yellow (high in beta-carotene) and the milk and cream were also a bright yellow (also high in beta-carotene), the pancakes were the brightest golden color that I've ever seen.
The bright yellow of the pancakes and the bright yellow of the butter used on the pancakes got me to thinking about the fact that many of us in this country don't get enough vitamin D in our diet. Could it be that a big part of the reason is that the animals from which we get our meat, milk, and eggs are kept inside out of the sunlight and unable to synthesize their own vitamin D and therefore are not able to pass it on to us?
I like the fact that my ten year old daughter and I are exploring local foods and learning to cook from scratch using these locally acquired foods. I like the fact that I am growing healthier, working with nature instead of against nature and doing it all without it breaking my budget.