Curds and whey

Ever have one thing you need to buy, and you just can’t get it anywhere in town? Thank goodness for online shopping.

I have several weird needs. One of them is goat milk. A few years ago, I realized lactose intolerance was more than an occasional late night stomach ache, it was what had caused really annoying eczema rashes all over my body at various times in my life. Especially my hands, since they are exposed to so many irritating things.  They got so raw at times I couldn’t use them – I had to put ointment on them and cover them with clean socks. But it’s migrated around my body – last outbreak was all over my neck and the backs of my arms. Once I got it all down one side of my face and neck.  

If you haven’t had eczema, it’s these little raised red bumps that burn and itch like Hell and turn into puss blisters. My husband and my mom both reported finding me  scratching all over in my sleep.  I’ve had it since I was about 6 years old, when it made my feet so infected I had to use crutches. Those shingles commercials don’t even faze me. 

Every time I’ve had an outbreak I’ve found out what ticks it off – perfume smells, rubbing alcohol, latex elastic – like the kind they use in underwear – latex paint fumes, strong detergents, the list started to get enormous. When dentists started wearing latex gloves I got rashes on my face and neck in the shape of finger prints, my lips would swell up for a couple of days afterward. When my midwife wore them during my first child’s delivery, I had raised red hand and finger  prints all over my stomach, back, neck – anywhere she had touched me –  for the better part of a week. 

Sometimes I couldn’t figure out what set off an outbreak, and sometimes the usual remedies didn’t give me relief. I noticed, the rash would run wild for a couple of weeks, and then it seemed to play itself out and go away, salves be damned.

Thank goodness for the internet – I just kept looking and looking, and finding more information over the years. I’d heard eczema might be caused by foods, but which ones? They were all over the place on that one – like, you want to stop itching, just quit eating, okay? 

Finally I started to find more articles that agreed – it’s cow’s milk.  Poor old Bossy.

I had known cow’s milk didn’t agree with my stomach, so I’d stopped drinking it. But I still  poured it all over my cereal, and I love yogurt and ice cream. We have an ice cream maker we use a couple of times a year, I would literally eat myself sick. And I got a yogurt maker from a friend who didn’t want it anymore, so I started eating more and more yogurt. I wasn’t having bad stomach aches too often, so I didn’t think anything of eating cheese and other cow milk products every day.

I was really bummed when I read again and again that eczema is linked to lactose intolerance. It was depressing – all the good things in life seemed to be bad!  Then I started reading that goat milk is different, and more easily digested than cow’s  milk.  I found Meyenberg in the dairy case at Safeway – wow, pricey, almost $5 a quart. At that price I had to do half and half with cow’s milk, I wasn’t about to pay $5 for a quart of yogurt. 

But it worked. The rashes I’d been getting a couple of times a month on my hands and arms came less often, less severe, went away faster. Then one day at Walmart I found Meyenberg has evaporated goat milk in the can.  The recipe book in my yogurt maker said evaporated milk was the best for nice, thick rich yogurt. It is a lot cheaper than the fresh stuff, and I could  manipulate the thickness by not adding as much water. I still supplement it with a little cow’s milk, but it’s better. And I haven’t had the rashes for months. I get dry hands, but not the blisters. 

Then one day I went in to Walmart and they didn’t have it. I went back a couple of weeks running, just gone. Meanwhile I’m buying fresh goat milk at Safeway for about twice the price. I get frustrated, I sit down at the computer and punch in “Amazon.com”. 

Yes, I can get a case of 12 cans for the same price per can as Walmart, and if I order two cases at a time I get it shipped for free. God Bless the internet. 

I can even make my own cheese.

That's why they call it "cheese cloth"!

That’s why they call it “cheese cloth”!

When I make a fresh batch of yogurt, I like to make some creamy cheese with it. I boil a section of cheesecloth in hot water to both sanitize it and shrink it up, then I double it and put it in my wire colander. I set it over a pot and cover it with the pot lid, leave it on the counter for six or so hours. 

This is whey.

This is whey.  Whey-hey-hey – Fat Albert!

The whey left over in the pan is very nutritious, I save it for my smoothie the next morning. The cheese is firm enough to drop off the cheesecloth into a bowl,  from which you can  eat it straight on crackers or bread or sliced apples (OMG!), or you can  add whatever flavors. Try honey and garlic  powder. Or mash up a pineapple ring and add that with a little juice. The pineapple stuff goes good on raisin bread. 

You notice how expensive goat cheese is at the store? It’s good! 

Now I’m getting two cases of goat milk, I’ll try not to go too crazy. But you know I’m going to have to try making ice cream with it, I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Curds and whey

  1. The next time you are at the Dr., it might be wise to have them test your thyroid too. It is cheap and easy, especially with Obamacare.
    It is linked to eczema, lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance and other rashes as well as a bunch of other things (blood pressure, blood sugar, heart palpitations, vertigo, anxiety, etc.).
    If your test comes back positive, start google searching for “Autoimmune Protocol” and learn about how food is medicine.

    • Thanks for the heads up. My grandmother’s sister and my mother were both hyper-thyroid, so I have been aware. But I didn’t want to go with medication because my mom was never happy with it, so over the years I’ve learned more and more about diet. I used to drink milk straight out of the carton, I used to make a snack of ricotta mixed with cocoa powder, I used to eat cottage cheese almost every day. The information wasn’t out there when I was young, no internet – I had no idea the stuff that I though was healthy was making my stomach hurt so bad and my skin break out in rashes all the time.

      It was also other stuff – perfumes, bleach, the latex soles on my sneakers – Oh My God! Do they still make Aqua-Net hair spray? But even these things don’t bother me nearly as much since I cut most dairy out of my diet.

      It’s taken me a long time, but I’ve learned, a lot of health problems are directly related to diet.

      Um, I hate to mention it, but last time we spoke, I said something you didn’t like, you got insulting and said you would never speak to me again. How’s that working out for you?

  2. Actually, I had no intentions of communicating, though I was curious what ever happened to you. I have not heard a word on the dais from you in a long time. Chapmantown is getting beat up a bit lately and I recall that you showed some endearment towards that part of town in the past, so I went trolling for the Juanita spin. Maybe I have been out of touch with local issues and just didn’t notice.
    I still have issues with you, but that will probably never change and that is OK. I still support your initial observations (and intuitive opinions), but I expect to continue to mostly reject your conclusions. But, I do give you credit when I agree.
    Then, I stumbled across your post about eczema. I have been studying Autoimmune disorders and the endocrine system for the last year. Eczema is often mentioned in the medical posts that I am reading, but it has not been an issue for me, so I mostly notice it and that is all.
    If you have family history of Thyroid issues, I would definitely get 3 separate tests for the Thyroid panel; TSH test, TPOab (thyroid peroxidase antibody) test and the TGab (thyroglobulin antibody) test. You can google up Hashimoto’s disease for more information. Most Dr.’s only want to do the TSH test, but that is only the beginning of the story. The other two are more important. Before testing, I recommend you read the symptoms of Hashi’s and see if they correlate with anything else you might have going on that you probably don’t realize the thyroid controls, especially metabolism issues and digestive or bowel problems.
    Hashi’s is what I was diagnosed with 2 years ago and it probably saved my life.
    Diet changed everything for me. The first 3 mos. I lost 35 lbs. and I wasn’t really that fat. The next 3 I lowered my cholesterol from 200 to 150, my blood pressure from 160/105 to 110/75, reduced my blood sugar from pre-diabetic to normal, and got rid of my acid reflux and digestive issues that I have had for over 40 years. All with no drugs and no exercise, no sugar, lots of vegetables and lots of fat (but, for the first 4 mos I did quit drinking). Eating like people did in the 1800’s, (except with refrigeration), back when food didn’t need labels to tell you what is hidden in it. It is not an easy diet, but it convinced me that food can be medicine and the typical American diet and the FDA guidelines are upside down when it comes to telling us what is healthy or what is an ideal diet.
    In my opinion, conventional medicine is neglecting patients about they should treat thyroid disorders (and most endocrine issues), and they think they are treating it well enough with one pill. When in reality, there is a buttload of other problems related to it. Then, they try to treat each of the other symptoms individually with more prescriptions rather than looking at the thyroid as part of a more complex endocrine (and brain) system disorder.
    Anyway, If I have something that can help someone else, I can’t just walk away and ignore them, even you.
    I am more than happy to crawl back into the woodwork, but seriously, the next chance you get, ask your Dr. about the thyroid.
    One more thing, this website is invaluable for verifying medical information, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed

    • We sold our house in Chapmantown and I had to turn my back on that part of town. We had bought an old crapper in a crapped-out neighborhood, we breathed new life into it as neighbors all around us did the same thing. For about 10 years that particular block enjoyed kind of a renaissance. The city did some dumb things, and we all suffered for it. The essence of neighborhood was destroyed, and my husband and I were just the first rats to jump. Now the little renaissance is over, we’ll see how long Sleeping Beauty lies asleep.

      I’m sure glad to hear you’re doing well. I’m doing a lot better myself. I don’t see a conventional doctor, I get most of my information online. I sure solved my eczema problem, sheesh, thanks to the internet. Yes, doctors led me on a merry path for years, I finally started to think for myself.

      Slán go fóill!

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