Cheese! Glorious Cheese!

10:45 PM Edit This 19 Comments »
I made homemade cheese today. After I spent an hour. AN HOUR! A WHOLE HOUR at the fabric store trying to buy two yards of cheesecloth, I needed a nap and I was convinced that there was going to be no cheese making today. But I couldn't sleep. So there. I made cheese. A half gallon of milk and 2 1/2 Tablespoons of vinegar and there you go. Cheese. I used whole, organic milk for this venture. I warmed it up with a low, low flame. If the milk gets scorched, you're screwed, so I watched it the whole time and used very low heat. The recipe I used called for the milk to reach "about boiling" which also meant 185 degrees. I found a meat thermometer in the drawer and when it got to about 180 degrees, I thought I was good to go. Then I poured in the white distilled vinegar. The recipe told me to simmer it for a couple minutes, so I did. I wanted to add more vinegar to make more curds, faster! But I was on the phone with my sister who is the cheese making goddess, and she cautioned me to be patient. Sigh.

So, I took it off the flame and let it sit for about 20 minutes.
Look at the curds!
Some people save the whey to make ricotta, but for my first cheese making experience, I just threw it out. I know. Sigh. Wasteful. But you gotta start somewhere. I had the cheesecloth and colander ready to go.
I poured the mixture in and pulled up the cheesecloth.
Look at my collection of curds!
The recipe said you should tie it up and let it drip for at least four hours or overnight.
This is four hours later.
Cheese! It's real cheese! And I made it! I put too much salt in it. It said to salt it when you put the curds up to hang. The recipe said you should salt it more than you would imagine. And well, it was too much. Hold back!
It's a spreadable white cheese like cream cheese. Kind of. It's awesome! I made cheese! I'm going to try it with skim milk tomorrow. This was whole milk and it's super creamy and yummy and well - I'm super excited! I made cheese! How cool is that? The recipe says you can add all kinds of herbs and spices when it's in curd form. Garlic? Parsley? Onion? Italian spices? I don't know, but I'm pretty dang excited!

19 comments:

Ink Spiller said...

Cheese :)

Kelly Hogaboom said...

Great job!

Some comments:

You can buy cheesecloth in the grocery store or Walmart. You can also use those really thin flour-sack towels - if they've seen a lot of wear (like some I have). I also use them to make niter kibbeh.

Another great cheese: 1 gallon whole milk, 1 quart whole buttermilk. Heat and process just as above. Add a bit of salt at curd stage. After draining, semi-flatten under plates w/weight. Cut and fry. ZOMG.

Great job, again! Make it for friends and they will be so impressed!

Jennifer said...

THIS IS AWESOME, INSPIRING!

justme said...

that is so cool, i can't believe how impressed i am! i will never make cheese, because we can't eat it but very very cool

TMC said...

yum yum YUM! I make a version of this style of cheese using plain yogurt. Adding finely diced sauteed veggies makes for a tasty savory spread. :)

Rebecca said...

Yummy!!!!

Last Place Finisher said...

I just laughed when I read this. I'm a foodie, love to cook, entertain, have even worked as a cook in a reasonably good restaurant. I just never had the urge to make cheese. It's delightful.

Given that I now spend more time taking photographs than cooking, my only other comment is, "Say cheese!"

Summer said...

Holy shit. She can make cheese. I've never met anyone around our age that can make cheese. I think I love you.

Bill Todd said...

Rock out with your cheese and whatnot. Now I'm inspired to try my hand at cheesery.

BTW, please forgive my dumb, but where is your RSS feed link. I want to add you into my Google reader, but I can't find the RSS link.

Kate said...

You just have to click on follow. That will put me in your google reader.

melissalion said...

Wow!! Good stuff!

BrianAlt said...

Congrats!

Is it okay that I don't like cheese?

Holly said...

Very cool! I might have to do this with Little Ms. C when she gets older.

buffalodick said...

I'm impressed! As much as I love cheese, I have never attempted to make any...

Sara said...

Your sister's coming to see me in a few weeks. I think she's going to have to teach me how to make cheese!

GreenCanary said...

That's precisely how we make Sirak, a traditional Slovak food, at Easter. I like to call it "egg loaf." You mix a bunch of eggs with some milk, nutmeg, and some other things. You cook over low heat until the eggs are about to scramble, then you do the exact same cheesecloth/hang-from-the-cabinet trick! The next day? TA-DAH! Egg loaf. We put horseradish on it, but I think it really needs some bacon.

lacochran said...

You should use "Look at my collection of curds!" as your tag line on your dating profile. Can't miss! :)

carrster said...

Wow - that is quite ambitious & impressive! Nice work.

artemisia said...

You made paneer! Now you can make more homemade Indian food!! (If you make Indian food!)

Wahoo!

And the warm milk smells so good. Oddly.