Making cheese

This week, while listening to the audio recording of “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle“, I learned that you can make cheese at home. I had no idea. My daughter was listening to that segment with me and proclaimed she was very much wanting to make cheese. (This is picky eater #1)

Yesterday we did it. Our first creation – lemon cheese.

The recipe, if you can call it that, is ridiculously simple. 2 ingredients. I watched a video on YouTube and basically followed those instructions.

  1. Have ready, 1/3 cup lemon juice and a colander in the sink lined with cheese cloth or a nice clean tea towel. (I have not been able to find cheese cloth at a grocery store in a long time.)
  2. In a large pot, over medium high heat, (or it will take forever), stir 2 litres of milk. I used Avalon Dairy‘s 3.25%MF.
  3. The video explains to watch the edges of the milk and notice the little bubbles that appear as the milk is about to boil. A recipe says 175 degrees F. I don’t have a proper thermometer, but my meat one registered this temperature, if not a little hotter.
  4. Take off the heat, pour in the lemon juice and continue to stir as the curds form. To limit the taste of the lemon juice, the recipe suggests using less than the full 1/3 cup. But my daughter was keen and in the whole thing went.
  5. Pour into the waiting colander. This is where cheese cloth would be nice as it is so fine. Squeeze out the whey. Open up and add salt along with herbs or other flavour. My daughter wanted salt only. Tie into a ball continuing to let the whey drain off. After about 20 minutes, I put opened the cloth and put the ball on a plate as shown above.
  6. Evidently this keeps in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Although I will be surprised if ours last beyond today.

I am hooked. And that is not surprising. Cheese is an ancient food whose origins, predate recorded history. It was likely an accidental result of transporting milk that came in contact with natural rennet. So our milk drinking ancestors have consumed cheese since the beginning.

Now I am on the hunt for the ingredients to make 30 minute mozzarella. And I’m keen to find and try other kinds of milk. Stay tuned.

2 thoughts on “Making cheese

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