Thursday, April 16, 2009


So here is another article about cheese. I have made it until the cows came home, I know bad joke. I decided it should sound as easy as it is. By the end of this "journaling" you will see that timing is not very critical. I have had a "clean break", gotten a call and left it for hours and

it was fine when I came back to it. I left the cheese in the press for hours and came back to it the next morning. It was fine. So relax, get brave andhave some fun!

I promise you will be pleasantly surprised. By the way, I have been using fat-free, non-instant milk powder that was canned in 1988. Really!

I have a very busy life. Overhauling the yard and the house, all while I spend plenty of time with the kids & grandkids, filling assignments at church and keeping life going all around me. I cook, run errands, bake (trying to get my bread back to what it used to be!) In other words, I am busier than I was when I was raising my family. You CAN do this if you need to. Not many of us like powdered milk, so here is a way to get that down the hatch and your family will be happy about it!

The green lettering is how long each step took. The blue is my life as it went on while making cheese. The black lettering is the actual instructions.

1. FIVE MINUTES--Mix non-instant milk powder with water in blender. Pour into a pan, let it for an hour or so and then scoop foam off top. Texture of the cheese will be better.

2. FIVE MINUTES --Mix with seasoned buttermilk, cover place in comfortable spot for a few hours for culturing. ( I set the buttermilk out the night before to "season".

3. DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU NEED TO DO--Go do something else: scrub potatoes, grate them and start breakfast, load dishwasher, pick beans and set them cooking in crock pot with ham hocks, eat breakfast, plant veggies in front yard flower boxes, try to put the truck into reverse and break the gear shift lever (not kidding), figure out how to unload, spread and level the rest of the 1,700 lbs. of gravel, with the truck in the way, put the clean dishes away.

4. ONE MINUTE--Check the milk by tasting it with a clean spoon, I like to have a little “buttermilky” taste. Five to ten hours later, depending on the temperature of the room, dissolv

e the rennet in ¼ cup cool water, stir into the cultured milk, blending well. Cover and leave it ALONE, UNDISTURBED on the back of your counter. I put a sign on it to keep my hubby, or anyone else that might happen by from checking it out. When my kitchen has been very cool, I rig up a lamp and towel to keep temperature above 70°. Time to go to bed, read a good book, have sweet dreams!

5. TEN MINUTES--Next morning I get up ten minutes early to check for a clean break. If you don’t have it, let it sit longer until you do.

If you have it, cut into ½ to ¾ inch cubes. Leave in pan and stir it very gently on in awhile (maybe each half hour to hour). So fix breakfast, feed the kids, load the

dishwasher, start the laundry, get the kids to school, in other words, go on with your life. Making cheese doesn’t have to disrupt your life! The whey will gradually seep out of the white blob and you will have curds and whey, just like Little Miss Muffet!

6. TEN MINUTES-- When the curds are getting pretty floaty in the whey, pour the pan out into a strainer lined with cheese cloth. Cover to keep the surface from drying out while it continues to drain. I wrap the sides with saran wrap. When it slows way down, hang up the cloth and let it continue draining. The longer it drains, the harder the cheese will be. I find I actually tend to leave it too long and have had a hard time pressing it into a block.

7. TEN MINUTES-- When you have let it drain long enough, dump it into a bowl, sprinkle with salt and stir around. The recipes call for about 1 teaspoon of salt for 1 to 1 ½ # of cheese. You can taste the curds occasionally to see when you have enough for your taste. Let the salt dissolve good and then let your kids try "squeaky cheese". My kids loved it when they were little and now the at least the grandsons do, the granddaughters haven't had a chance to try it yet.

8. FIVE MINUTES--If you are going to make cream cheese (must be soft curds), whirl in a food processor to make it nice and creamy. If youare going to make a block, place into a cloth lined press and weight it down for a few hours.