Monday, April 27, 2009


I'm pretty much hosed when it comes to dieting because I love cheese. I will eat most any kind of cheese until it is gone... I just keep going and going like the Energizer Bunny.

I had a washed rind, really, super, stinky cheese in CA once that I didn't care for because it smelled exactly like my cats' litter box. But that's just it, I didn't care for it. It's not like I wanted to barf or I HAD to get it out of my mouth IMMEDIATELY because it was so bad.

Having our little goaties, we have an abundance o' milk. I make a really nice fromage blanc and a really nice chevre. I'm hard pressed to tell a difference between the two but I lean toward the fromage blanc. I like the texture a little more I think.

They are so incredibly easy to make that I make them without even thinking about it. We have enough milk for me to make one of these cheeses probably two or three times a week right now with the babies gobbling up everything else.

I get this package for $5.95 from New England Cheesemaking Supply. There are 5 small packets inside, like the white one pictured, and each packet is good for a 1 gallon batch o' cheese, glorious cheese. (another reason I completely identify with Wallace - not only do I look like him, but I share his cheese fetish)

We pasteurize the milk by heating it to 160 degrees in a double boiler. We move it over to an ice bath until it cools to 86 degrees. I open up that little white packet and slowly stir the magic powder into the milk. We cover it and let the magic happen for 12 hrs.

After 12 hours we have this. Curds and whey baby. Curds and whey.

We use stainless steel milking buckets, pots and slotted spoon.

Scoopin' the curds....Into a colander lined with muslin you lovely and delicious curd. Cheesecloth from the grocery store is more like gauze than what you'd really like for cheese making. You want this muslin cloth so you don't lose any of your wonderful, cheesy, goodness.

Hang it and let it drain for 6-8 hrs. It is that simple. And wonderful.

We sprinkle some non-iodized salt onto the cheese to give it some flavor. And we will add garlic and dill which is a HUGE hit at potlucks. Or I like to put some cinnamon, honey and walnuts in it for an incredible dessert cheese or oh so good on bagels. Sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts and basil are awful yummy. Herbs de Provence give a mild herb flavor. Green chilies mixed in are to die for!

This one batch makes 3 small margarine type tub containers full o' cheese. It is so much fun to mix it up and discover new taste sensations.

I don't know that my expanding waistline is so great, but boy are my tastebuds happy, happy, happy!


Heather said...

Cheese is probably my favorite food on the planet. Goat cheese is my numero uno. John makes great cheese popcorn. The spicier the cheese, the better!

Shanster said...

MMMM - how does he make it?? Inquiring minds want to know! :)

DebH said...

Perfect,,I was about to ask for a step by step on your cheese attempts have not been good so far. Pretty hasty I think I am!!

Shanster said...

Oh, it's so easy! I'd invite you over for cheese making...

now the pressed cheeses. UGH. Now those are TIME CONSUMING to the Nth degree. I made 4 last year. We'll see if I can make more this summer?

I'd love to learn how to make a camembert... I might have to give it a whirl this summer.

Heather said...

To start, we use an air popper. Pop the corn into a bowl, drizzle on some butter (not too much!), fluff by hand, sprinkle on shredded cheese (liberally), fluff by hand, add sea salt, fluff by hand.

That is the basic idea. Somehow though, it doesn't taste as good when I make it as when John does.

Cheddar and pepper jack are a good combo, though we are recently enjoying Monterrey jack and jalapeno cheese.

Shanster said...

Now THAT sounds good. Can you send him over to make some for us?