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.
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.
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.