Adventures in Cheese Making: Part 1

Eric came home from work a few days ago and proclaimed,  ” we’re making cheese today!”  Having been wanting to try this for sometime, I jumped at the idea.  Moments later we packed up the Mazda and headed out to Earthfare for some cheese cloth, whole milk and pizza ( that was added to the list because their pizza is delish and hard to pass up:)).

As I said before cheese making has been on my mind for sometime.  Few things are better than a glass of red wine and some delicious cheese to go with it, especially after a day of chasing two, wonderful but, crazy girlies! Many Saturdays that is what Eric and I will have for dinner once the girls are in bed.  And, I don’t know about you but good cheese is expensive!! I have read several blogs on cheese making and for farmers cheese and mozzarella cheese it seems farely straightforward.  We decided to try farmers cheese first since it requires the least amount of ingredients. We did not follow just one recipe but combined a few together. So, without further ado, here is our first adventure with cheese making!!

Ingredients:
1 gallon of whole milk ( raw is best)
2/3 cup white vinegar
Cheesecloth
1tsp salt

I told you it required few ingredients.

First, empty milk into a large stock pot and insert thermometer.  Stir frequently so that milk does not stick to the bottom, on medium heat.  Heat until milk reaches about 180 degrees and a layer of skin begins to form on top.

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Once milk has reached the correct temperature take it off the heat and add in the vinegar. This part is amazing! Instantly you will see the cheese curds forming and the whey separating out. Stir a few times and then leave the pot alone for about 15 minutes so that the separation can work its magic!
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Here is a closer look at the curds and whey
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Then, pour mixture into a colander lined with cheese cloth.
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This next step is oh so important! You want to be sure to drain all the whey out. Less moisture= firmer cheese. Gather the cheese cloth around the curds and twist the heck out of it. Eric was excellent at this part! Once you have a firm hold on your cheese,
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you must find a way of propping the cheese up so that it can continue to drain for another hour. We tied our cloth onto our bathtub drain and placed a pot underneath. Apparently I forgot to take a picture of this step:/

After an hour of draining, unwrap your cheese and it should look like this, starting to really take shape.
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At this point I was giddy with excitement! We were really making cheese, CHEESE PEOPLE!!! But our adventure was not over yet. It is now time to break this beautiful looking block of cheesy goodness apart, to add the salt.
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Our block was ruined! Or so I thought. Once the salt was added we placed the crumbles in a glass container and pressed it down. Now, this is the part where a cheese press would definitely come in handy. But being that we did not have one, we made one up ourselves. Consisting of a glass bowl, an oatmeal container, and all of our Harry Potter books:).
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After an hour we turned our cheese out onto a plate and enjoyed some delicious cheese and wine!
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Cheers!
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The cheese had a delicious flavor and a semi-soft consistency. When we make it again I’m going to try the cheese before we crumble it and add the salt. Wondering if the consistency would be more smooth and what the flavor would be… cheese lovers out there, try this easy recipe! You won’t be disappointed! Next week we are embarking into the world of mozzarella. Super excited about this because we use mozzarella all the time! Thinking of all the money we will save! Stay tuned…

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2 thoughts on “Adventures in Cheese Making: Part 1

  1. Ummmm, I LOVE this!! I have saved a couple tutorials on making mozzarella, but I am so glad to see someone I know have success with making cheese! What a great tutorial, Tricia, and what an awesome result. Thanks so much for sharing :). I will be sure to follow up if we are able to try this recipe!

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