Sunday, March 10, 2013

The beginner cheesemaker

I just thought it might be interesting for you ladies to take a little peek into the kitchen of a beginner cheesemaker. 
Here's a pot full of fresh goat milk. 

I heat the milk and pour a glug of white vinegar into the pot - I don't measure, just watch for the moment when the white curds begin to separate from the greenish whey. Then I strain it all over a cheesecloth (I use a clean old cloth diaper) (one that was only ever used for burping).

And here's the freshly made cheese, in a recycled cream cheese box. It's rather thick, with a high percentage of excellent quality fat, and is great in sandwiches and on toast. Today it went splendidly in cheese fritters, which we had for lunch.

Three cheers for delicious home-produced food!


Anonymous said...

You make it look so easy. I've never thought much about how cheese is made, but I did think that aging is part of the process. Is no aging required for this because this is a spreadable cheese?

I continue to enjoy your postings. Thank you!

Leah Brand-Burks said...

That is unbearably mouth-watering. :-D

Mrs. Anna T said...

Anon, yes, there are the more complex cheeses which require maturing, special cultures, etc. But an easy beginner cheese can be made simply be heating and adding a little acid.

Rose said...

Mmm fresh ricotta! Perfect in lasagne, added to pizza, with fresh fruit. I envy you that fresh goat's milk Anna -- do enjoy.

Lady Anne said...

sounds delicious! I will have to try it, especially as my husband sometimes has trouble with cows milk.

Just read in the news that parts of Israel are experiencing swarms of locusts. I hope you have enough food on hand to survive this on-slaught.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I also made cheese for the first time this weekend, thought just from store bought milk, not from my very own goats! If you've heard of Marion Cunningham, I made the "Breakfast Cheese" in her breakfast book. It was very easy to make, and fun! I'm sure I'll do it again sometime.


Anonymous said...

Anna, Is that the same as feta cheese? Could it be made with cows milk? What do you do with the whey?
Mrs. L.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I just discovered your blog.I am a Canadian homeschooling mom who milks 2 cows and I make this cheese with cow's milk. So easy and I like to know my kids have fresh, healthy food!
When you strain the curds, do you save the whey? I use mine for bread making, but I always have too much. My chickens get some but I was wondering if you have found any other uses for whey?
Thanks, Amy Kirby, Canada

Mrs. Anna T said...

Mrs. L, I think this could be done with cow's milk as well. No, this is not feta cheese, it's less firm and more spreadable.

Also, you and Amy asked what I do with the whey. So far I haven't tried saving it yet, although I know there are many used for it (baking, cooking, soaking beans, etc). The problem is, using whey would make the product dairy, and since we are Jewish, it means we couldn't eat that product with meat, or for 6 hours after we eat meat. For example: bread made with whey couldn't be eaten with chicken soup. So I avoid "dairifying" my products as much as possible, unless obviously it's a dairy product per se. For example, if I can bake a cake with butter or olive oil, I will almost always choose olive oil, because then the cake can be served after meat. Hope that makes sense.

Kim said...

You are so fortunate to be able to raise goats where you are! You inspired me so much that I looked up my city's animal code, but alas farm animals are not allowed within city limits. Enjoy your cheese!
Kim W

Mrs. Anna T said...

Kim, even if you can't keep animals where you live, perhaps not too far away you can find a farm which could be a source of healthy fresh food, far superior to what is sold in supermarkets.