A Cuppa Cosy Adventure: Raw Milk Pasteurization

Recently we got the chance to stop and get fresh milk. We live in the rural countryside of Germany and the farmlands are everywhere. There are a couple spots somewhat near to us that offer these milk vending machines where you can get fresh milk. Not only is seeing this happen up close, it’s such a fun experience to use the vending machine, and then look around at the other goodies offered. In our area a liter of fresh milk was 1 Euro, 10 fresh eggs (from that morning!) we’re 3.50 Euro, apple chips were 2.50 Euro, and a jar of honey was 5 Euro. You are able to either bring your own milk bottles or purchase from them (I think to purchase was about 2 Euro, plus the Euro to fill them up). We had a fun little time filling our jars (we recycled 3 from our store-bought milk), saying high to the cows, and just generally looking at the different offerings and set up.

Super cool, right?!

One catch, it is Raw Milk. And by saying Raw Milk, what I mean is Unpasteurized Milk.

There isn’t really anything inherently wrong with raw milk, you can certainly drink it if you would like to, and in some cases it may actually taste better than store bought milk. BUT it basically hasn’t been “purified” of any bacteria or diseases that the cow may have or may have consumed prior to being milked. Again, each person is able to make the decision as to what they wanted to do, but for us, with our children being the main milk consumers in our house, I definitely wanted to pasteurize it before it was consumed.

A chance for another adventure for us!

Luckily enough, pasteurizing milk is something that you can do at home and is easy enough to do. At its core, pasteurization is simply heating the milk to a certain temperature for a certain amount of time and stirring. A lot of stirring. Once I realized just how simple and straightforward this was, I became all for it.

Monday morning, I pulled out my pot, using one of the thicker bottomed ones that already has a pretty good nonstick bottom (and that holds heat very well), grabbed a thermometer, and got to work. I used the low temp pasteurization method, which involves heating the milk to 145 degrees Fahrenheit and keeping it at that heat for 30 continuous minutes. If it falls below the 145 then you will need to start the 30 minutes over again. I erred on the side of caution, both not trusting my thermometer entirely and wanting to be extra safe, and tended to let my milk drift a little on the upward end of 145-150.

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LOVED involving both boys in this process. It takes quite a bit of time at the stove, so fun to pick them up and have them watch or take a turn stirring 🙂

You will need to continue stirring the milk throughout the entire process as it will stick, scorch, and lump up if you do not. This means that if you choose to do this, you will need to have at minimum an uninterrupted hour of time. To do my 3 liters of milk (done 1 liter and then 2 liters), it took me about 2 ½ hours total time. Once the 30 minutes were up, the milk is then transferred from pot to a clean (sanitized) container for chilling and consumption. I think for the next round I will get a few larger pitchers or glass jars that are specifically for milk. You will definitely want to use a funnel as well to get from pot to container.

-6120453172414164475_IMG_5483Once all three were full I put them in the fridge to cool down so the boys could drink it. I ended up filling about 2.75 liters of milk (some splashed and such) and labeled each bottle with the batch info and date for my own knowledge. It took about 6 hours or so until it was cooled to drinking temps in our fridge.

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In terms of taste- neither myself nor my husband noticed any difference. We did a comparison between a store-bought jar and our home pasteurized and while they didn’t taste identical, there wasn’t a super noticeable difference either. Most store-bought milk goes through the high temp pasteurization which already gives it slightly cooked taste (not overly so and we’ve all adjusted to that taste/don’t even notice it) and ours tasted fine when compared to it.

So, would I do it again? Absolutely! It was one of those really fun adventures and things to do with the kids (they were involved ever so slightly), and you can’t get any better than fresh milk. I’m curious though, after reading about what all it entails…would YOU do it? Let me know down below!

A Cuppa Cosy Heads International – A Home of Our Own

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This picture pretty much summarizes my feelings today 🙂

Today is THE DAY. The day that we finally get the keys to our home. The day that our move to Germany becomes really real. The day that we can start to truly feel settled and home in our area.

If you haven’t been following along with our adventures, earlier this year we embarked on an international move from America to Germany. We’ve spent close to 4 ½ months in the hotel at this point, and have been without our “home comforts” (aka all of our stuff…) 5 ½ months. We’ve been incredibly lucky with our hotel situation, being in a hotel apartment (basically a 1 bedroom apartment) and being able to travel at every opportunity.

*You can read all those posts HERE, HERE, and HERE.*

Overall, our hotel time hasn’t not been that bad. We’ve had a couple rough spots here and there, but, as with anything else, it is all about your attitude. We’ve been able to stay positive and look at all the good things about our time in the hotel and that has helped us…not want to go crazy in such a small space with our things.

Even though it has been a positive experience, I’m very happy to be leaving. We got the opportunity about a month ago to walk through our house and get an idea of floor plans, location, and just a sense of what we were working with. Since that point it’s been very much a time of just wanting to be in our house for us and for the boys. Our older son, Colton, asks just about everyday if we are going to the house and they are ready to have the room to stretch their legs (not to mention finally get all of their toys).

Honestly, for me I am just looking forward to getting our new home set up, arranging everything just so, and getting that “finally settled” feeling. I am looking forward to cooking full, healthy meals and on the cooler days baking. I’ve been missing being able to clean the way I want to clean, and having the space to have a good full morning routine. I’ve missed late evenings on our couch, with an evening cuppa, and a show on tv/book in my hand.

So, today is our big day. All of our household items start coming in tomorrow and the next day, and we will be spending the next week (or so) getting everything set up and settled. We are on a bit of a time crunch due to travel, but I’m also just one of those people who just does everything right then and there (can’t rest until it is all set up and done). I CAN’T WAIT.

There will be one final post in this series, once the dust has finally settled to wrap up all of our experiences/ give tips for folks who are looking at the same type of move.

All The Holiday Treats

Every year around this time we all go a little mad with sugar. It is part of that time of year, to consume cookies, chocolate, and candy in large amounts. Now this post is not going to be about being healthy, stick to serving or portion sizes, or any of that (although I do believe it). No, this post is going to break down all of the holiday goodness that we have cooked up or bought this year.

IMG_6536I am going to start with what we buy from stores. There are a couple of “staples” that we have to get for the Holiday season every year and those are: Cordial Cherries (dark chocolate) and a Terry’s Chocolate Orange (again in dark chocolate). This is a staple every November/December in our home and the holidays don’t seem the same without them.

We all know that every year the chocolate/candy companies come out with new ideas of what to pair with their candy. This year the craze was Hot Chocolate! Now, I’m not a huge Hot Cocoa drinker, but I do have it every once in a while. I was quite intrigued, so I tried to sample what was offered and keep an open mind. I picked up the Hot Chocolate Kisses, Hot Chocolate M&M’s, Hot Cocoa Pillsbury Rolls (Like Cinnamon Rolls, but Hot Cocoa), and we also picked up the Mint M&M’s.

Overall, of the new candies I think my favorite was the Hot Chocolate Kisses. They were really nice. I felt the Hot Cocoa M&M’s didn’t really taste any different, I disliked the Mint M&M’s and Hot Cocoa.

As far as baking goes, we stick with our standard chocolate cookies around this time of year. I usually will make a chocolate chip (this year being dark chocolate chip), a chocolate mint cookie, and I always make Oreo Bon Bons (these are a favorite and staple year round in our home). I also will make one non chocolate option when we want something a little different and this year that was Snickerdoodles.

IMG_8391This may seem like a lot (and it actually is), but I make them at the start of the month for the entire month! We will offer these to friends, family, and any coworkers at times as well as visitors to our home. When you are storing them, you place a small piece of bread in with the cookies to keep them moist and chewy. If we run out of any cookies, I’ll top us off with another batch.

The 5 W’s of A Cuppa Cosy

I wanted to take a quick moment today and touch base with myself, with you, and just lay out who I am (which most of you probably already know), what A Cuppa Cosy is/what I want to do, where, when, and most importantly WHY.

So…

Speier Family in Alexandria, VA

Who: If you’ve been around for al little while you know who I am. If you’re new, hi! I’m Mia, a wife, mom, homemaker, business owner, and employee. I am a lover of all things cosy, an avid reader, a serious tea drinker and a semi adventurer. There are a few things I am passionate about (aside from my family) and those things are: mental and physical health, travel and being 100% in every aspect of your life. I don’t mince words, I wont BS you, and will always be 100% authentic.

What: This is a place for me to share my life, my stories, my everyday to help you not feel so alone. A feeling of meeting up with a good friend a chatting over a cup of tea/coffee. Someone that you feel like you are right in the trenches of life with in a place where not everything is perfectly curated with all the sunshine and daisies. A place that is true to every aspect of life, the good and the bad. I want to create a community of women and moms who are just experiencing life together.

Where: Well, I’ve got this blog which will feature 2 posts a week, along with a Facebook Page (HERE) and Instagram Page (HERE) for everyday day glimpses. I will also have a Facebook Group for the community and all of us to share day to day, but that is currently in development. Like & Follow the blog and social media and check back for updates on the Facebook Group!

When: Blog Posts will be posted on Mondays and Wednesdays- Mondays being more of a recap/spontaneous style, Wednesdays being more of a tip or learning post.

Why: I see a lot of either end of the spectrum- the perfectly coiffed, always perfect, ready to go mom and family OR the over the top hot mess, don’t care mom. I have not seen a place where there is a middle ground. Where there is a place that is both good and bad and in a way that is completely real and authentic. I didn’t see a view of just a real woman who is going through real life- with all of it’s ups and downs.

I want to help women and moms by sharing my story/life and giving them a real community to share, learn, and uplift so they can be their best selves in their own lives (all while being as cosy as possible 🙂 ).