Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sheep Dairy Impossible!

I never thought I would have sheep... let alone DAIRY sheep! But here I am... with 3 East Friesian ewes and 1 Ram... Its a long story how I got here with them and I won't go into that.
I mean there was a couple of times when I thought I might get some hair sheep ram lambs to raise for meat.. but I wanted nothing to do with the woolie breeds, even though I love yarn. I am a crocheter and my mother is a weaver & spinner, so it would make sense to have wool.... I just really thought having wool sheep would be a pain in my behind! 
But thats for another post... this is about Sheep Milk & Cheese !!!
Bo Peep, East Friesian Ewe
I admit... I am obsessed with cheese and making cheese. And I admit, I am getting obsessed with sheep cheese and sheep milk . The yields are just unbelievable! And the taste... oh! the taste!!!
And if that wasn't good enough reasons to want dairy sheep... The amount of Ricotta you can make from the left over sheep whey!! Its amazing.
I have never had real Ricotta, until last month... Sheeps Milk Ricotta taste NOTHING like cow or goat milk ricotta...Its so good I don't even know how to describe it!
 I get a pound of sheeps milk Ricotta after making a wheel of cheese... thats just from the whey, adding no extra milk!
Just check out all the sheep cheese and blended cheese we've been eating and that are aging in my cheese cave in the below pictures!! We really eat very well on our little modest homestead here... theres no way I could afford to eat all this fancy sheep cheese if I had to buy it.. if I could even find it to buy!

Now my dairy ewes are babies (even though they are huge!) and haven't been bred. 
I am lucky enough to live close enough to the dairy they came from to buy sheeps milk in bulk so I can go ahead experiment and enjoy this incredible dairy product from sheep.
If you live close to New Market , TN or anywhere near a sheep dairy... treat yourself... go get some sheep milk! But I'm warning you, you will like it and want more!

Sheeps Milk Ricotta from the whey

A beautiful sheep milk cheese wheel.. over 3 lbs!

Sheep & Goat milk Monterrey Jack

Houloumi Cheese. A non melting sheep milk Greek cheese. Being fried...and then set on fire!

Houloumi Cheese all brown and crispy on the outside... melty on the inside! Just like the cheese I used to get in ATL at the Greek restaurants.

Fresh Garden Tomatoes with Sheep & Goat Milk cheese

More garden fresh tomatoes with Sheep Milk ricotta, herbs and some oil.. perfect summer dinner!
Adding a dairy animal to your homestead adds so much variety to your menu!

I also make yogurts... and have to say... sheep milk yogurt is the best I've made. Extra thick, more like Greek yogurt without having to strain it!
Sheep milk is so creamy, its really more like half and half only better! Because its also high in protein... tastes so sweet!!! Perfect in coffee... I think to rich to drink on its own though. My husband doesn't feel this way and would turn it up if I let him!

There are pros and cons to both dairy sheep and dairy goats . 
Both are a huge challange compared to other livestock though.

The ever changing new homestead... 

Blessings to all... Have a lovely day :-)

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