For today's Weekly Kitchen Tip, I dug in my comments and pulled out a gem. My friend Christina once asked her Amish friend, Bethany, how she made cheese. Bethany wrote down all her methods and Christina keeps the paper in her recipe box. What I love is the simplicity of each recipe. Each type of cheese explained in five sentences or less! Makes it seem so easy! What do you think?
I once asked a friend who used to live among the Amish to share how she made cheese, since I didn’t have internet then it was my primary resource of info. She wrote it on little paper that I keep in my recipe box. Here are Bethany’s recipes in her own words. – Christina
Ricotta: (freezes well)
Heat up goat milk to at least 180 degrees then remove from heat and slowly stir in vinegar or lemon juice at the proportion of 1/4 c. to 1 gallon. The curds should separate and float to the top within seconds. If not add a little slug of more vinegar. Let it cool some and strain the curds into a colander. I usually save the whey to use in breads, soups or feed it to the chickens or cat.
Raw Goat Cheese:
I use the older milk at least several days old. In order to leave some room at the top of the jar for expansion, I skim the cream. We use 1/2 gallon mason jars and I take several inches from the top and then set the jar in a warm place until it separates (the milk). I pour this into a colander lined with cheesecloth. I sprinkle some salt on the cheese, maybe 1 tsp. or more per 1 gallon batch? Then I put a cover on it and let it strain for a day. Next I cinch up the cheesecloth with a big twisty tie and hang the cheese over a pan to drip for a day or so. You’ll get the hang of it. I like to put more salt and herbs into this cheese and eat it on salad or bread or crackers.
Get some plain yogurt from the store. I like Brown Cow. Use the fresh warm milk. Put a heaping tablespoon of yogurt into a very clean quart jar. Strain fresh milk into jar at 1/4 full and mix milk and yogurt well (opt. mix vanilla and honey in as well, usually has good results), then fill jar up with milk. Set in a warm place or find any inventive way to keep it warm for 8-12 hours then get it cold. I always make a 1/2 pint of yogurt with every batch to have fresh starter, keep your starter plain.
Yogurt Cream Cheese:
Strain yogurt through several layers of cheese cloth and leave until thick like cream cheese.
Skim cream off of milk, mix 2 tablespoons of yogurt into 1 scant pint of cream and let sit in a warm place until thick.
Thanks for sharing these recipes and tips, Christina!
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