"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Dairy Chronicle: Cream Separator

Cream Separator
 This post marks the start of my newfound interest in my rural American kitchen: DAIRY.

That includes milk, heavy cream, skimmed milk, butter, yogurt, and cheeses. The best part: I am getting the raw ingredient for FREE.

What is a cream separator?

This is a machine that separates whole milk into (1) heavy cream, and (2) skimmed milk.
Milking Machine and Cream Separator
(Click on any of the above photos to see them larger.)

You see, my brother-in-law and his wife inherited the cattle from my mother- and father-in-law. They love farming (my husband hates farming). Because they have cows, that means that for every calf born, we have access to fresh raw milk.

I have long been trying to convince my husband to try going back to raw milk. I do have reservations with the pasteurized and homogenized whole milk in the grocery stores. And I would never consider drinking non-fat milk either. I also will not have my kids drink non-fat. (I have long been advocating for healthy fats in the diet, and I am not a believer in the cholesterol crap the health industry is preaching. In other words, I am one of the cholesterol skeptics. No matter what the "scientific studies" show.)

Well, recently, my husband purchased from ebay a cream separator out of his love for his mom who would prefer to decrease her cholesterol consumption by consuming skimmed milk. We got lucky that we got what was obviously well-maintained one. It now stays in my MIL's kitchen.

Once we had the cream separator going, I watched it operating (as seen in the video below) and I have been getting free heavy cream (which I am now using in my coffee instead of the half-and-half, which is a combination of 1 part heavy cream and 1 part whole milk). My brother-in-law offered to teach me how to make butter from heavy cream, and how to make a quick type of cottage cheese using either skimmed milk or whole milk. Those will be in my future posts which I am categorizing as "The Dairy Chronicle" in my journey as I adapt in this rural American kitchen.

I'm loving it!


I have been here in the USA for almost 9 years now, and I made one previous attempt at getting our family into drinking raw milk. I bought some from a nearby family farm, but my husband's sensitive taste buds did not like the hint of cleansing agent they used, which he could taste in the milk. So I went back to buying the grocery store whole milk.

But when I saw the cream separator at work, and got to churn homemade butter, I finally was able to convince my husband to give it a try again...this time, raw milk from our very own cows (that are taken care of by his brother). He succumbed, and now we are happy users of the freshest raw milk. It felt weird in my hands when I first held t his plastic pitcher with milk minutes after milking the cow.

When you let raw milk sit in the fridge overnight, the cream floats on top, as you can see in the photo below:

The cream line in our present raw milk is so faint because the cream is not yellowish. This is due to the fact that our cows currently eat hay instead of green grass since spring has just begun here. White cream = winter. Come summer when the cows will be back to grazing on the pasture munching on grass, the cream is (I was told) going to be yellowish.

When we do need to separate the milk to give us heavy cream and skimmed milk, we use milk that's freshly obtained and still warm. The cream separator takes advantage of the difference in density between cream (floats) and skimmed milk (sinks) using centrifugal force to separate them.

This video shows the cream separator at work.

After seeing the machine at work, and after my brother-in-law showed me how to easily make butter and quick cottage cheese at home, my interest was piqued...the possibilities seem endless again for this kusinera in me. Imagine the freedom it gives me to experiment with all sorts of egg and milk and cream concoctions! With free supply of such raw ingredients, I am in another roll! And it got me getting two books on making butter, yogurt, and cheeses at home.


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  4. That is wonderful Manang! How I wish we have one like that and we live at our farm and just be farm people. hehehe.. I love how it looks easy with the machine's doing all the job. How wonderful!

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