I love cheese. We eat a ridiculous amount of cheese in this household, actually, and since we have a cow, it seems reasonable that I should learn how to make cheese.
My husband gave me this cheese making kit awhile back, and now that we have milk, it’s time to start using it!
I made a batch of feta the other day and it’s in the fridge in brine. It’s kind of … melting, though, which I have researched. Apparently that means I didn’t let the cheese cure long enough before soaking it (which I didn’t), so I know what to do next time. It’s still delicious, if a bit soft – I think I’ll make salad dressing out of it.
Today I made cheddar. Well, I’ve started it: the culture and curd and draining the whey is all done, and the cheese is now being squished by a few of my husband’s exercise weights. It looks promising, anyway, and the curds I tasted were yummy, so I think we’re on the right track. This one has to age for a few weeks, which should be interesting. It needs to age in a cool spot – we don’t really have any cool spots (the fridge is too cold, the house too warm), so I think I’ll probably try the cooler with a small ice pack and see if I can get that to the right temperature.
I did a bit of reading on what to do with the whey – the liquid left over after the cheese curds come out of the milk. It’s actually quite sweet, and you can use it to make bread or to cook pasta, and the dogs and cats love it. I’ve given some to the pets, as it’s too hot to bake bread right now, but I’ll try that soon. I also found that you can make ricotta cheese from the leftover whey, so I did that today and it is amazing! Soft, creamy smooth cheese from the leftovers of making *other* cheese, and you are still left with a nutritious broth you can use for cooking or baking or whatever.