Tag Archives: cheesemaking

Cheese Update, July 29

26 Jul

It is with regret that I report my efforts in making hard cheeses were not a success.  And I had such high hopes, especially for the smelly Picking Cheese!

It was hard waiting the month before checking it, but I did.  I had marked on my calendar when to check it.  I waited and waited.  And at last came the day.  So you can imagine my disappointment when I examined it this week and  found it had completely molded!  Even the cloth I had wrapped it in and the inside of the pan I was using as a drain shelf was covered with mold.   I had to throw out the cheese and wrap.  The pan needed a through scrubbing and bleach.  I’m sure the problem was because I didn’t store it in a cool enough place.   It would have been best if I had an old refrigerator or maybe even if I had used a cooler and continually added ice.    It may have been better if I had used a cheese mold and press.

The Cornish Cheese is ok.  Certainly not great.  Very crumbly and dry.  It tastes only acceptable.  I tried some plain and it was ok, but very bland.  One day I added some to an omelet.  I won’t do that again.  I was able to eat it, but can’t say I enjoyed it.  I am debating whether to keep it or throw it out.

On a brighter note, the fresh cheeses were great!   I was able to use the lime cheese until a last week, when I noticed mold.  The other fresh cheese (I didn’t label it so don’t know if it was the ricotta or the mozzarella) lasted quite a while too.  And the Feta is still very tasty!   I imagine with it being in brine, it will last indefinitely, just get more salty.  Unless I use the Feta as the salt for a dish, it needs rinsed before eating.    I shared the fresh cheeses with my daughter-in-law who loved them.

One interesting thing in my cheese making venture was what to do with the whey.  Since I never want to waste anything, I froze it, thinking I would use it later in one of the ways I had seen online.  Well I found a use for it this summer.  Homemade gator aid!  With all the hot weather my daughter and I had talked of the need for electrolytes.  She mentioned she had seen recipes online.  So I looked.  What I ended up making was a combination of several recipes.  My gator aid consists of baking soda, salt, sugar, lemon Koolaid, whey and water.  I used amounts listed in the recipes, then adjusted to taste.  The result was a refreshing, low cost yummy hot weather drink.

So to sum up my cheese making efforts, I’d say it was an adventure.   Will I try it again?   Definitely on the fresh cheeses.   I will probably want to find other fresh cheese recipes to try also.   As for hard cheese–well I know I’m not ready to invest in cheese making supplies. However, I  would really like to try  the Picking cheese again.  I do love a challenge and t is just quirky enough that it intrigues me.

Cheese update, July 1

1 Jul

The Feta is very tasty.  I think the goat chease recipe has a pronounced lime taste, so I may not have added the correcct portions (I made 1.5x recipe).  But it is still very good.

The Cornish cheese seemed very crumbly when I went to wrap it.   Strange because I thought I followed the direction on that recipe closer than I did the others.   It said to put it on cool spot, and the only place that is cool here is my fridge.  So I put it in veggie drawer.   I forgot to put the basil leaves on it.  I thout of it today so unwrapped it and tried to rap some leaves around  the cheese, but it is still very crumbly.  It, and the Picking cheese should be ready to sample by middle of July.   The Picing hardly smells at all now, so I’m really glad I didn’t throw it out early on when it smelled so bad!

I haven’t made any manicotti yet, but been using the cheese on top of  omelets and baked potatoes and it tastes very good.  I got too busy to make the ricotta and my freezer got too full for any more whey, so the rest went into the compost pile.  I thought of using to water garden, but luckily saw on one of the ‘uses for whey’ sites that it can burn plants if not diluted.

Cheesemaking venture

22 Jun

Well, here I am again off on something else.  Not exactly new, but something I haven’t done for a long time–leftovers I guess.  I agreed to milk some goats for some friends while the were on vacation.  I have had milk goats in the past, so I do know what I am doing–at least mostly.

i goat sat for these friends a couple of times last fall and made some wonderful baked custard and delicious ice cream.  I also made some acceptable feta and ricotta.

But it is summer now, so I don’t want to heat the oven for custard.  And I had just bought milk, so don’t need to use the goat milk for drinking or cooking.  For some reason I’m not really in the mood for ice cream.  So decided to experiment with making cheese.

Of course I couldn’t find the recipes from last fall.  I thought I had printed them off but. if so, where did I put them?  Well I would just have to use what I had.  After searching the internet, I found some recipes that sounded interesting.  Most called for yogurt or buttermilk starter which meant a trip to town.  One good thing-I do have rennet.  I had ordered several boxes from Amazon last fall.  Wanting to make some cheese right now, I looked some more.  Then i saw it.  Cheese made from lemon juice or vinegar!   Wow, I just had to try this!

I found the recipe at  www.saucygirlskitchen.com  (Hey, I just learned how to add a link–at least I hope so.)  I tried the Goat Cheese recipe using lemon juice.  I rolled the cheese in seasoned herbs.  I tried it after two days and it was really good.  Could have used a little more salt.  I didn’t add  any to the cheese cause my herb blend is salted.

Not wanting to limit myself to making only this cheese, I went and got the buttermilk and yogurt.  Now I could make real cheese.  I again made some Feta from the recipe on the rennet junket box.  Only this time, instead of water for the brine,  I used whey (after ripening a day) leftover from the goat cheese I had made.   I learned this from my internet search.  Interestingly, the whey brine can also be used to make sauerkraut.  I will have to try that next summer, when I hope to have a better garden.  The whey itself can be used as liquid in lots of recipes:  bread, soaking grain, stews, etc.

On another site ??  Now what??  I just did the link and now I can’t get the link button to work.  Ugh, technology!  I am using my laptop and it is so sensitive.  I probably bumped something.    Well I will just have to type in the link and you can cut and paste.  It is

<www.countryfarm-lifestyles.com/making-cheese.html.  The title is “Making Cheese:  Homemade Cheese Making Recipe or Two for Homemade Cheese

This site has several recipes for ‘old world’ type cheeses.  I think it is always interesting to learn how people used to do things.  Some of these recipes are really something!

 One recipe, the Picking cheese, is made by setting it in the hot summer sun for a week.  Now this sounds like an adventure!  So I started to make the cheese, adding the rennet and starter.  I continued following the directions when it said  to leave the cheese  in the hot sun in day and bring in by night,  And  I waited, at bit impatiently.  I moved it from the east to the west side of the house daily.  The recipe didn’t say if it should be covered or not.  I didn’t the first day, but it seemed to be drying out and it smelled a bit when I brought it in that first night, so I covered it.  I had it in a snap on top stoneware bowl.   By day 5 this cheese was really smelly.  It was a good thing I had a tight fitting lid,  especially when it was inside for the night.  It was so smelly I was tempted just to throw it out, but couldn’t quite make myself do it.  I really wanted to see the end results.  Yesterday was day 7.  So this morning I bravely uncovered it, salted it and wrapped in a bandanna.  Since I don’t really have cheesemaking supplies, I improvise a lot.  I put it in a strainer type double boiler with a small plate on top.  For a weight I filled a gallon jug with water and put it on top of the plate  Since I don’t really like to waste anything, I decided I might as well make tea too, so in went some tea bags.  I’ll empty out the tea tonight when I turn the cheese and put in new water.  I wondered where I could now put it that it wouldn’t stink up the whole house?  I decided in my laundry room would be ok.  I lit a scented candle in there and also in the kitchen. (by the way, I ALWAYS use the candles in glass jars now.  Maybe I’ll remember to tell you about that at Xmas time.)   Funny thing though, after adding the salt the cheese didn’t smell quite as bad!   So even though the house smells a bit funny, it isn’t really a bad smell.  Now I have to wait again to see the result.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  I really would like to have it turn out good.

On my second batch of the Goat Cheese recipe I decided to use lime juice.  I had quite a bigger batch this time.  It is now curing in the fridge.  Maybe next time I can try vinegar.  I read from one website that vinegar, strangely enough, produced the best cheese.

I also made some ricotta, but the temp got too high, so it isn’t as good as I made last fall.  I tried some mozzarella, but again the temp got too high.  I had tried that in a crock pot cooker, got distracted and didn’t watch it as close as needed.  So I don’t have an elastic cheese.  Flavor is ok, but it is grainy.  I think it should have drained longer, too.  I followed the recipe time for the drain time, but guess I should have just followed my instincts, since it seemed kind of runny.  Anyway it tastes good.  I think I will use it as ricotta for making manicotti.

This morning I’m using the last of the milk to make the Cornish cheese from the ‘old world’ site.  That isn’t the name of the site, but since it has old world type recipes that is how I refer to it.    I found another site

<www.familesonline.co.uk.     Title:  “Wild Garlic Yarg:  Cornish Cheese

It calls the Cornish cheese Yarg (gray spelled backwards).  According to the site and also my internet search seemed to confirm this, the Gray family produces this cheese in the UK.  Often it is wrapped in nettle leaves.  On this familiesonline site wrapped it in wild garlic.  I don’t have either, so I’m going to use basil leaves.   I may try some ricotta again  with the Cornish whey.  I froze the other leftover whey.   I hope to add it to bread and stews later.

Oh, by the way, yesterday I found my recipes from last fall.  They were in a folder marked ‘cheese recipes’  In a pile of papers I needed to go through.  I still have lots of stuff to go through, but I’ll tell you about that another day.

Wish me luck on my current cheesemaking results.  Please check back.  I will really try to write every week if possible.  And send your comments.  In trying to find how to make the link button work I somehow brought up a page of my stats.  I have had 7 viewer today!  That is encouraging.  Someone is really reading this blog.  The regions are US mainland and Alaska.  Wonder who in Alaska is reading this?  I did post my blog site on FB so maybe they got it from there.  Guess it need to update my FB profile sometime and add by blog.  I’m sure that can be done.  Just something else to learn.  But if there is one thing I’m not afraid of, it is learning new stuff!

You all have a good day!

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