Milking a goat
Photo by Aur Beck
Do you have milk that you think is past the use by date or starting to be sour? Don’t throw it away. Make cheese! One gallon of milk will produce about one pound of cheese.
Directions for Farmstead Cheese
1. Bring milk up to 180 to 190 degrees (the older the milk, the lower the needed temp). Use a thermometer.
2. Keep stirring to avoid sticking and getting a film on the top.
3.To test if it is the right temperature, using a big spoon, take out a little of the milk and add a little sour (lemon juice or vinegar) to see if it curdles in the spoon.
4. When you pour in the sour into the warm milk, do so as slowly as possible, while stirring, until it curds. If you put in too much sour the cheese will be sour. We ate so much sour cheese when mom was first learning how to make it I now prefer it with a little sour zing.
5. Set up a pot with a colander or strainer filled with a cheesecloth. Pour the cheese mixture through the cheesecloth/colander/strainer.
6. Save the whey. Boiling the whey will free the stuck- to-the-pan burnt milk. No matter how much you stir there will be milk browned to the pan unless you use a double boiler which I never do as I use the whey. I used to laugh at my mom for reusing the whey (liquid left over) but now follow the same process to clean the pan.
7. While the cheese is very hot it is the best time to add your flavors to be baked in. The flavors tend to be savory like garlic or Italian seasoning but my favorite is cinnamon raisin. I highly recommend flavoring the cheese as it is very hard to not have some sour taste. Although the cheese is immediately ready to eat, the longer it drips the more solid the cheese will become. You can even hang the cheesecloth above the sink or a bowl to drip for a while or just put in a container for a soft spreadable cheese.
8. Start eating right away or form it up and store in the freezer. Freezing it doesn’t seem to change texture or flavor. In the spring when we had tons of milk from our goats, we would make lots of cheese and freeze it in pound chunks. This is so simple to make we never got around to making the more common aged hard cheeses.
Here is a video of the whole process.
Aur 'DaEnergyMon', is a NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer. His name Aur (pronounced "or") means light or to enlighten in Hebrew. Aur Beck has lived completely off-grid for more than 35 years.. He can be reached at tech@AESsolar.com . Aur is a presenter at The Climate Reality Project, a fellow addict at Oil Addicts Anonymous International and a talk show co-host at WDBX Community Radio for Southern Illinois 91.1 FM. Find him on the Living Off Grid, Really!?!? Facebook page, and read all of Aur's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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