To get started, Annette suggested finding a good local dairy. Apart from getting my own goat (which I am want to do), I purchased milk from a farm a mile away. Cooks Farm Dairy is the only working, licensed, dairy in my county (sad). We get ice cream there in the summer months- because you get to pet cows while you enjoy your ice cream. How great is that? I am now buying our milk there, too.
I started with ricotta cheese. So easy, I'm embarrassed I've never made it before! Seriously. I needed ricotta for lasagna, and just whipped up some. I think it's really liberating to suddenly realize that all that stuff at the grocery store, yeah, I can pretty much make it myself. For cheap. It made it taste all the better!
I had been wanting to make mozzarella for some time now. I took a cheese making class (in which I milked a goat. So amazing!) and we learned to make feta and a soft farm style cheese. I feel pretty good about those, but it's mozzarella we use a lot of. So, with the links provided at the Urban Farm Handbook, I followed the 30 minute mozzarella recipe. Sort of a cheat I suspect. But, it was so fun, really good, and made a ton of cheese. I am hooked!
This month I also made homemade nutella with my extra milk, for my daughter who is thoroughly addicted to it. I hate the palm oil and junk in the store bought version. You can find the recipe here. Again, super easy.
In all honesty, we drink nut milks around this house, and while it's not exactly dairy, I did whip up a few pints of almond milk. Hey, it's milk. And it's a beverage! I still plan on making more yogurt, and trying a few other things, like pudding, and cajeta. I am loving these challenges, learning so much, and feeling more independent.