Friday, July 2, 2010

Home dairying

Oh the joys of having our own cow! So far I've made gallons and gallons of yogurt. Brian has perfected ice cream in at least 4 flavors and he's plotting his next creation as I write. I've made baked custard and Rennet custard. And there are several one gallon bags in the freezer filled with lovely yellow butter balls.
So for my next trick I decided to tackle cottage cheese. I read the directions in the Rennet package. It didn't look all that difficult. I thought I sort of remembered the process from when I was little and my mother made cottage cheese. So after the morning milking I strained the milk into a big stainless steel pot. Added the required number of Rennet drops and buttermilk. Then I placed a linen towel over the top and placed it carefully on the counter to wait.
Wait. Oh yeah how long did it say I had to wait? 12 hours... let's see it's was 11am by the time I got everything in the pot... so it should be curd by 11 pm. No big deal I thought. I have to work tomorrow so it will good to stay up tonight and get "flipped".
So at 11pm I was cutting my curd, heating it to 115 degrees slowly in a water bath, stirring every 5 minutes so the curds didn't stick together. Then straining off the whey. Plunging the curd in ice water. Hanging it to drain. At 2 am I decided it was just going to have to be drained enough because I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore. I tucked it in the fridge and crawled into bed.
This morning I added salt, pepper and cream. Yep that's right cottage cheese is supposed to be swimmin' in cream. Then I tasted it. YUMMY! It's going to be great with fruit and for stuffing pasta. Thanks Hazel. :^)

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