I have one word for you…

Cheese. 

That’s it.  That’s all I have to say.  Have a lovely day.

Ha!  Right, if only I could say what I wanted to with one word, this blog would be a whole lot shorter, and I’d probably have a lot more readers!  But, that’s just not me.  I’m just plain wordy, in case you hadn’t noticed.

So cheese it is…or rather, it was.  It didn’t last long, that’s for sure.   My latest cooking adventures have involved milk, acids, and rennet.  And can I just say that cheesemaking isn’t as difficult as one would think.  Truly there is no mystery involved in it – it’s milk people, how scary is that?!

There is a lot of waiting though.  I mean, a lot of waiting.  You wait for the milk to come up to temperature.  Then you wait for the curds to form.  Then you wait for the whey to go clear.  Then you wait while the cheese is draining.  Then you wait while it is in the press (if you’re pressing your cheese that is).  And finally, you wait for months for your cheese to properly age before you can even get a sample taste (again, this is for aged cheeses, which really are the best ones).  Waiting.  Lots and lots of waiting.  It’s very demanding – I highly recommend it.

Other than that, cheesemaking is simple, fun, inexpensive, and can be done using store-bought whole milk (that’s not what I used, but that’s what the recipes all call for – so anyone can make cheese at home).   I purchased all my supplies (except for the milk, of course) from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company and have been completely happy with the products, the instructions, and all the free stuff they sent as well.

Like Sam with his micro-brewing, I can see this as my new favorite hobby, especially since we now have the opportunity for our own source of fresh milk….but those details will be coming in a later post (or you can pop over to Our Edible Suburb and check out the latest farm news).  Let me just offer a teaser though….if you want to see us, you’ll have to come to Georgia as there won’t be much traveling in our future!

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2 Comments

Filed under COOKIN' WITH B

2 responses to “I have one word for you…

  1. Awesome! So far I’ve only done the easy cheeses, paneer, cottage cheese and cream cheese. I have vegetable rennet and would love to try some other cheeses.
    What do you do with the whey? I’ve attempted ricotta but I didn’t get very many curds, I think the PH was off.

    • In soft cheese making the whey is not right for ricotta making – not enough acid in it to form the sugar and albumious proteins needed for making whey cheeses. However, it is perfect for adding to pizza dough, Italian breads, English muffin bread, and a few other things.

      I have considered making paneer, but we don’t eat enough Indian food right now to make it worthwhile for us – darned SBD! I have thought about queso blanco – and you might try that (milk and cider vinegar) as many people use it in place of tofu – plus it tastes better and is healthier for you than tofu.

      BTW, how did your cottage cheese turn out? Was it like store bought? Did you do a small curd or a large curd recipe? Everyone I know who has eaten homemade cottage cheese said it was gross and nothing like store-bought. I’m a huge cottage cheese fan and want something like store-bought that I can make myself.

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