I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.

So, we drink raw milk. Yes, that's right. I've even given it to my children and we all agree the taste is fantastic. My mother worried when my sister and I drank raw milk as children when we were with my father. It's true - there are risks to consuming raw, whole milk. The cleanliness standards of the farmer have to be super high and followed religiously. I am comfortable with the source of our milk, but there is always still that "what if" lingering question in the back of my mind. What if my kids got sick? How would I deal with that knowing I chose to give them something that created the problem?

In Kansas I was able to find local, non-homogenized, pasteurized milk. Perfect. I cannot find that here in Northern VA, it just isn't available. So, after the suggestion of a friend from a book group I belong to (I know, right?!) who mentioned that her own mother pasteurized their milk at home, I figured I'd look for some info on how to do it. And just like making butter, it looks to be very straightforward.

Mother Earth News, always my first choice for "how to" information:

It’s actually very easy to pasteurize your own milk on the stovetop. An added bonus is that your milk won’t need to stand up to long distance shipping and prolonged storage, so you can pasteurize it safely using lower heat and less time than many industrial milk producers use. All you need is a stainless steel pot and a simple kitchen thermometer. Just follow these simple steps for home pasteurization:

Pour the raw milk into the stainless steel pot. If you have a double boiler, that will work even better to keep the milk from scalding. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can put one stainless steel pot inside a larger pot with a few inches of water at the bottom. If you can’t achieve this setup, then you’ll just need to be careful to heat the milk gently.

Slowly heat the milk to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. If you are not using a double boiler, stir frequently to avoid scalding the milk.

Hold the temperature at 145 F for exactly 30 minutes. You may need to increase and decrease the heat to keep the temperature constant.

Remove the pot of milk from the heat and place it in a sink or large bowl filled with ice water. Stir constantly until the temperature drops to 40 F.

Store pasteurized milk in the refrigerator.

So tomorrow I'll give it a whirl. We'll see how it goes trying to keep the milk at a constant temp for such a long period of time!


This was super easy to do and I'm glad I tried it. I will continue to home pasteurize our milk each week. Sadly, the taste does change once the milk is heated but it is still far better than what you can buy at the store. I don't have a double boiler, so I just put a smaller pot in a bigger pot that had water in it and slowly heated the milk. I couldn't keep it exactly at 145 degrees, but I kept it between 145 and 150 for a half hour. Cooling it took way longer than I was expected. I kept it in the sink bath until it was around 60 degrees, poured it back into the glass jar and put it in the fridge. This was the quickest way to get it back below 40 degrees. I now understand all that stirring is to keep the milk cooling at the same rate throughout the pot.



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