Category Archives: How-To

Real Women eat EMU Quiche!!!

Having a breeding pair of emu offers not only a bit of livestock guardianship… but also the blessing of six to ten eggs per year. Each egg is equal to approximately ten to twelve chicken eggs. Our emu laid an egg yesterday, so today we had a ONE EGG QUICHE!! Yes, in a 13 x 9 pan we used only ONE EGG! To say it was amazing, wonderful, delicious… well.. that’s an understatement!
Flaky pie crust was the foundation… then sauteed spinach, mushroom and half of a sweet onion… the addition of pork sausage crumbled, fried and drained… finally, some shredded cheese and the emu egg whipped with approximately one and a half cups of fresh milk… WOW!!!! We cut into it and not a bit of drainage in the pan… it cooked solid and the flavor was amazing… if you have access to emu eggs.. this is a must DO!!

Happy Homesteading!

The New Cheese Press by Homesteader’s Supply!

Pictures to be posted soon!!! Homesteader’s Supply is having a custom cheese press manufactured!!! For the past few months we’ve had issues getting cheese presses. We’d order them to fulfill orders from our customers and then we’d wait and wait and wait… in turn… our customers would wait and wait and wait… Finally, we decided to do something about it. We are working with a local woodworking wizard and he loved the project. We were given the prototype yesterday and will test the press this weekend. Once it meets our approval, we’ll go into production and have them available for sale!

I’ll post picture of the new press soon and then photos of the final product that will be manufactured here in Chino Valley, Arizona… USA MADE!!!!

Happy Homesteading!!!

Status on the Homesteader’s Supply Newsletter

I’ve had a few emails recently regarding the status of the Homesteader’s Supply Newsletter, so I thought perhaps I should just toss out a short note and explain why it stopped arriving in all of the subscribed inboxes…

Bottom line, it was expensive to keep the newsletter service up and running and please all of the readers!

I work full time… so Monday – Friday I am gone from the house for nine and a half hours a day… I also have a homestead of my own with Cookie to milk, livestock to feed, poop to rake up and water barrels to keep clean and filled. I am also a mom and have dinners to make and laundry to do, bills to pay… a household to keep up and running… and then there is Homesteader’s Supply. I work on the blog, keep the website safe from hackers as best I can, keep up with Google product changes (believe me – this is a HUGE task) and all the geeky stuff with regards to the store. The newsletter was that one thing too many and cost too much to just sit there untouched, so we decided to put that on hold for a while until we could dedicate time to it and figure out what people wanted in a newsletter.

I hope this explains what happened to the newsletter and hope you’ll continue to provide me ideas as to what topics you’d like to see on the blog or even covered in the newsletter once we get it back up and running…

Thank you to all of you who are a part of the Homesteader’s Supply community and…

Happy Homesteading!!!!!

Cheese Making 103

In the last blog, we made cheese! Often our dairy cows give us MUCH more cream than we need for “whole milk”. What to do with all that cream???? Well, I’m thinking butter and sour cream!

The culture we used to make Colby cheese is just as useful in making sour cream! Simply ladle off some of the excess cream into a clean glass jar and follow the instructions below!

Sour Cream:

Use Pint or quart of Cream in glass jar that has a lid.
Add 1/16 or 1/32 tsp of Meso II Culture and stir well throughout.
Place lid on the jar.
Leave on counter at room temperature over night. (Warmer temps work faster, colder temps need longer curing.)
Once the cream has become thick in the jar, place into refrigerator for about 8 hours. You now have the best tasting sour cream!
If you make a larger batch, remove the amount you want to use for sour cream, the rest you can make into butter!
Experiment later with other cultures, as it is the culture that gives the specific flavor to the sour cream and the butter (as well as the cheeses you make… it’s all a personal preference!)
*Remember, there are no preservatives added so it may last only 5-7 days, depending on the temp of your frig.

Butter making is a bit more labor intensive… Once you have the chilled sour cream, you put one cup of the cream into the blender and add a bit of cool water….. blend until the butter fat breaks from the cream. This is a distinct sound, but a difficult one to explain. You will see butter floating on the top of the blender when it breaks. I use a double mesh strainer and pour the contents of the blender through the strainer. I save the byproduct for the chickens. You can then run the strainer under COLD water in the sink for a bit to rinse it off. This blending of the cream is repeated until all of the cream is used.
Now, you have a bowl of milky butter. I put cold water in the blender and repeat the above blending steps until the water loses the milky coloring. The butter should rinse with clear water before you’re ready for the next step. This is done to keep the butter from spoiling in the milk that’s left behind.
Once you’ve rinsed the butter of the milky residue… it’s time to mash… I have the butter in a stainless steel or glass bowl and grab a fork… I mash the butter releasing the trapped water. Pour the water off as you go. If the butter becomes too soft, simply put it in the refrigerator for an hour and then continue. The goal here is to get the water released so your toast isn’t soggy! Once this step is complete, I use mini loaf pans lined with plastic wrap. I make one pound loaves as seen in the picture. The bricks of butter freeze well and depending on how well you were able to rinse out the milk, they will keep in the refrigerator for some time! Please feel free to ask any questions. We are happy to help out fellow homesteader’s!


Cheese Making 102

Today…. we will make cheese!

Now that we have found our healthy source of milk, whether you’re using goat’s milk or cow’s milk, we will begin the roughly five hour adventure of cheese making. I toss the five hour thing in there so you don’t start this project at ten o’clock in the evening an then curse me at three a.m.!!!

First thing you want to do is create a double boiler. I use a stock pot with a few wide mouth rings in the bottom. I fill it with water until the stainless steel bucket will fit inside and not overflow water all over the stove. The photo shows two thirteen quart stainless steel pails but you can make your cheese in a single one gallon batch as well. That’s the nice thing about making your own cheese, you can make how ever much you want! Here’s the recipe for a one gallon batch…

Colby Cheese

1 gal whole milk

¼ tsp MESOPHILIC II Culture

½ rennet tablet dissolved in ¼ cup cool water

½ Tbsp sea salt (or more if desired)

Warm milk to 86 degrees F. Add culture and mix thoroughly. Please understand that whisking ‘bruises’ the milk… gently stir the culture in once’s it has dissolved on top of the milk. Let it ripen at 86 degrees for one hour without disturbing. Covered holds the temperature more steady but isn’t required. While you’re waiting, dissolve the rennet into a 1/4 cup of cool water.

Once the hour is up… add dissolved rennet tablet and gently stir into milk throughout. Let milk set for 30-45 minutes undisturbed or until curd shows a “clean break” (when pressing your sterile tool into the cheese, it should be like breaking into texture like jello).

With long knife, slice through the curds to the bottom in 1 inch sections. Then do the same in the other direction. Once cubed, cut on an angle to not have long one inch strips… but instead cubes to your best ability. Let curd rest for 15 minutes to firm up.

Raise temperature of the curd 2 degrees every 5 minutes until temperature reaches 102 degrees. Stir very gently so curd particles do not mat together and yet aren’t bruised. Hold at 102 degrees for 30 minutes. Gently stir curd. Then let curd set undisturbed for 5 minutes to settle at bottom of pot.

Drain off the whey to level of the curd. Save the whey for baking, fermenting, etc. Add cool tap water until temperature of curd and water reaches 80 degrees. Stir gently while adding the water. Hold curd at 80 degrees for 15 minutes. Stir to keep from matting. (Moisture content of the cheese is controlled by the temperature of the water added… dryer cheese, keep at a few degrees higher than 80 degrees, if moister cheese is desired, keep at few degrees below 80 degrees.)

Pour curds into cheesecloth lined colander. Allow curds to drain 20 minutes.

Place curds into large bowl, add salt, and seasonings/herbs as desired. Mix thoroughly yet gently, breaking curds into thumbnail size pieces.

Place cheese into cheese cloth lined mold. Cover cheese completely with the cloth, placing follower on top. Press with 10-20 lbs pressure for several hours, or until no more whey is being released. (You will have to be creative to find ways to press the cheese with weight, sometimes a small place on top of the follower with hand weights works.)

Flip cheese and press with 8-15 lbs for another 8 hours.

Remove cheese from mold. Remove cheesecloth and place on drying rack to air dry for a day or two, flipping as needed, until a light/dry skin covers cheese. Your cheese is now ready to eat. Store covered in refrigerator. If mold appears on skin of cheese, gently wash it off with salt water soaked cheesecloth.

*If using store bought milk, and you have a hard time forming curds, you can try using a little more rennet, waiting another 15 minutes for curds to form, or obtain some calcium chloride from your local store, to be added when the culture is added.

*If aging is desired, wax and store at 50 degrees for 2-3 months. Turn the cheese daily for first couple days, then at least once a week until eaten.

*Remember, cheese making is an art, not an exact science. Many people change their recipe as they learn, trying different cultures, types of milk, different herbs, etc.

We have many styles of cheese making kits on the web-store…

Please feel free to post any questions you have about cheese making or items used for cheese making!!! Look for future blogs on making butter, sour cream and yogurt!!!!!

I hope you enjoy the process of home made cheese as much as I do!!!


Amazing Homemade Bread

Simple No Knead Homemade Bread Recipe

Simple No Knead Homemade Bread Recipe


A few years ago I found this recipe in an issue of Mother Earth News and have been hooked ever since. I’m not a big fan of sour breads, so I make it the day I want to bake it, but if you like sour bread, you can let it ripen in the refrigerator for a few days and you’ll have that nice sour bite. The recipe is so simple…

Homemade No Knead Bread

A simple recipe for homemade no knead bread

3 cups luke warm water
1 1/2 tablespoon yeast
1 1/2 tablespoon salt
6 1/2 cup flour

Put away the ol’ Kitchen Aid because this is a NO KNEAD bread!!!! Mix all ingredients thoroughly and let rise for 2 hours. Once risen, punch down and refrigerate until one half hour before your ready to bake. At baking time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Pull out the dough onto your lightly floured counter, form into two loaves. Sprinkle corn meal onto a large baking sheet and then place your loaves onto the sheet. With a sharp knife, make some slits into the top of your loaves and let rise for 20 minutes.

Before placing your loaves in the oven, place another pan beneath the rack that your bread will bake on. I use a 9×9 pan and fill it about half way with water. Slide your cookie sheet onto the rack above and set the timer for 30 minutes. Your loaves should be a nice golden brown and firm to the touch when ready. I brush the loaves with butter just after I pull them from the oven to soften up the crust a bit.

Here’s the link to the entire article if you’d like to see all the fun they have with this dough!

I wanted to share this with you because I’m baking it today myself… it goes great with a ham and lentil soup!