For today's Weekly Kitchen Tip, I dug in my comments and pulled out this 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 collander. 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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