Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Ever since I finished Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Mineral I've started making cheese. I got the ricotta and mozzarella kit from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company and have made three batches of the mozzarella. It's the most fun to make because it only takes 30 minutes and involves stretching the cheese, which is then an elastic little clump you can slice for bread and crackers or shred into dishes. It's delicious and simple.

I am still daunted by the hard cheeses, if for no other reason than that they require a lot of equipment. There are molds and presses and wax and all that. So far the only thing I've had to buy is the ingredients and the thermometer delicate enough to register accurate temperatures of 86 degrees...

Today, I'm making my foray into another kind of cheese. I bought some mesophilic starter so I could make lactic cheese, a soft cheese that I think will be kind of like chevre (though not made with goat milk) or that yummy spreadable cheese, Rondele. To make it you work with the milk at night, bringing it to 86 degrees and adding the starter and rennet. Then in the morning it looks like yogurt and you strain it through a colander lined with muslin. You wrap the muslin and hang it (I'm using two barbecue skewers poked through the muslin) over a pot for another 6-12 hours. Then you add salt and herbs (if desired) and put it in a serving dish.

I can't wait to try it tonight with Steve's homemade bread.

The recipe recommends it takes shape in a 72 degree kitchen, but it's cooler than that in here today, what with the land hurricane and all. Still, as the author of the Chickens in the Road blog, Suzanne McMinn says, lactic cheese is very forgiving, another reason I decided to try it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the cottage cheese my mom used to make.
And the sour milk pudding which later came to be known as yogurt.

Good for you!