My cheesemaking buddies Roxane and Oonie met Tuesday to spend a few hours making cheese and butter. (Remember that gallon of cream? I'm thinking maybe it was TWO gallons.) It was well worth it, for the conversation at least as much for the cooking.
First we went to the local health food store, Martindale's, and bought a gallon of raw milk. Then we heated it up to between 185 and 190, while keeping each other up to date on the latest divorces, deaths, and home sales. At that point we added, slowly, 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. When curds formed, we ladled them into a colander lined with butter muslin. Then we hung the butter muslin from the kitchen faucet and allowed the whey to drip into a bowl in the sink.
A couple of hours later, after we ate a lunch of hummus, veggies, and Oonie's homemade yogurt,the cheese was solid enough. Then we whipped up a couple of batches of butter in the food processor. We split up the butter, cheese, and expenses and said our goodbyes. I got to keep the fresh buttermilk, which isn't tangy like cultured. To me it just tastes like delcious whole milk.
The cheese was so easy to make, and it has that full raw milk flavor that makes you realize what we've been missing all these years. It's the kind of cheese that doesn't melt, along the order of paneer or halloumi. You can fry or grill it. I cubed it and added it to a main dish salad of cucumber, tomato, and onion, with an olive oil and lemon juice dressing.
The cheese recipe is on p. 93 of Ricki Carroll's Home Cheesemaking, 3rd ed. Oh, and I used the whey in a bread recipe that I'll share with you all in the next post.
Blessed are the cheesemakers.