So we’re floating away in milk… we need to do something… and letting the girls drink all the milk they wanted wasn’t the answer – although they try every day.
The answer was cheese. Homemade cheese – why not!? I know it takes lots of milk to make cheese so that’s good – in fact it takes 10 pounds of milk to make 1 pound of cheese (that’s about 1 1/4 a gallon of milk. Let’s do it!
This is a simple acid based recipe since I’ve had a hard time finding rennet in the area. I’ll just have to order some online I suppose. In the mean time, here is a simple recipe:
2 quarts milk
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar or lemon juice
14 tsp salt
Heat milk to 180 degrees stirring to keep film from forming. Remove from heat when temperature is reached. Pour in vinegar and stir. You will notice the curds start forming right away. Mix thoroughly. Let stand for 5 minutes. Pour into a fine sieve or a colander lined a few layers of cheese cloth. The remaining liquid is whey.
Now you can add your spices, including your salt, and mix thoroughly. Personally I thought the salt was WAY too much – I’ll update this when I get it right. I actually used 12 tsp. of salt in three batches of cheese – and it’s still salty! So be careful.
This recipe made a nice cheese – pretty smooth. The longer you let it drain the dryer it will get. I added some of the whey back in to make it just a bit more moist.
You can use the whey for some things – when you use rennet you have a lot of other options for using the whey, but in this recipe you can use it for soups or sauces – it is like a high protein milk substitute. You can use it to water acid loving plants, or feed it to animals. Rennet made whey can be used to make ricotta cheese – now that would be great!
It was SUPER ease and fun. Next time I’ll try some various spices and a whole lot less salt and see what I can come up with. Remember, this is a soft cheese – but can still be used for a lot of things besides spreading on your crackers.
Ideas: Laurie used it in our salad tonight (delicious), on a veggie pizza, on an fried egg – from your own hen of course!
I want to make a lot more of this cheese to get better at it before I try hard cheese. I don’t even know if you can make hard cheese very well from goat milk – but we’ll try. But first more soft cheese – and well… ice cream of course!!