Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cottage Cheese

I've attempted to make cottage cheese several times over the years just remembering how my mom used to make it, and it was all right. However, I am one of those people who for some strange reason feel they need to understand how things work before they can fully take advantage of them. Which is all the more strange, seeing that I am a crafty person.

Anyhow, this time I actually researched and made FANTASTIC home-made cottage cheese.

Why bother? My reasons are:

- We have a nice Amish place near us where we get raw organic milk straight from the cows. Buying from them helps them and saves money for us. Not to speak of the unmatched flavor of pure, fresh milk and home-made milk products.
- I love sour cream but hate buying the plastic containers it comes in. Same stands for cottage cheese.
- By making my own milk products I am directly in control of the ingredients.
- Also, making my own milk products makes me feel like a domestic goddess.

So, here is how I did it:

Home-made cottage cheese recipe

I used 1 gallon of milk, let it stand in the fridge for about 12 hours (overnight) and took the cream off the top carefully with a little ladle.

Heat the milk gently to 104 F in a stainless steel pot, then cover lightly (with a kitchen towel or a cheesecloth) and let it sit in a warm place until it jells. This should take one to two days. First the milk will sour as the sugar in the milk turns into lactic acid but it should not be foul. The acidity creates the jelling as it separates the protein in the milk. This jelled milk is smooth and very healthy and we used to eat it with bread for dinner.

Next, you very gently and slowly warm the milk to 104 to 108 F, gently stirring it now and then. Stirring will help the cheese separate and not stick together. When the cheese and the whey separated, pour the whole thing through a cheesecloth-lined colander. Rinse the curds under lukewarm running water for a couple of minutes until the water runs clear. Let it drip for 15 minutes, then put it in a bowl, and mix it with a little salt and cream or sour cream, if desired.

I wanted to take pictures, but it was all gobbled up before I could get the camera.


woolies said...

wow, sounds totally awesome. Wish I had an Amish farm next door.
I do buy my eggs from a friend with chickens..

Life in the 20 acre woods said...

Yes, we are very fortunate that way. It may not be too exciting around here, but we do have lovely milk and produce :)