Print Story Eating her curds and whey
Cheese
By MissTrish (Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 08:43:02 AM EST) yoghurt, cheese, zomnomnomnom (all tags)
Adventures in cheesemaking, vol. 1
I like cheese.


I also like Buffy. Whenever cheese is mentioned on the show or in the comic, I squee a little inside. Mid-season 4, Willow tells Riley that Buffy likes cheese. It’s not necessarily the key to her heart, but Buffy likes cheese. Later Riley tries to use cheese as a pick-up line. Final episode of season 4, the gang is harassed by a man wiggling cheese slices while the first slayer tries to kill them in their dreams. In the first episode of season 8 (first bound book of comics) the big bad doesn’t know who Amy is, but she’s asking for cheese. I’m sure there is more, I just can’t think of it right now.

This started out when I read French Women Don’t Get Fat. I was looking for starter French recipes, interested in reading a story at the same time. The book itself was like many self-help books and many recipe books. Threw out a lot of clichés about diet, exercise and attitude and dressed them up in the French language. Made assumptions about level of cooking ability, left out steps and basic ingredients that obviously would have made the food much more delicious (perhaps less French.) But the book certainly contained some gems that made them worth the price of shipping.

Yoghurt!

The recipe that I use is a direct adaptation of the French Women Don’t Get Fat version. In the book, it is credited to a talkative Greek cabbie.

Ingredients:
2L of 3% cow milk (I have tried skim, 1% and 2%. They all work fine if there are fat content concerns)
1 small container of plain yoghurt (I try to reach to the back of the shelf for the freshest one)

Tools:
1 large stainless steel pot
5 glass jars with airtight lids
Stainless steel ladle
Medium glass bowl
Medium-sized towel

Sterilize everything! I boil everything in the pot twice before I start. It may be overkill, but I like my bacteria tasty, not vomity. I’ve read on a couple of sites that there are places where you can cut corners and they claim that experience will teach you where. I prefer not to find out the hard way.

Scald the milk over medium-low heat. It’ll be doing that for awhile, but keeping it low stops it from burning the milk on the bottom of the pot. Walk away. Play some Diablo. Once the milk just starts to boil (you can tell from  little bubbles around the edges), remove the pot from heat. I think it’s okay to let it boil, just messy if it goes over. At least, I let it boil this time, and my yoghurt turned out excellent.

Let the milk stand. I have read on websites that the temperature should reach 50 Celcius before proceeding. The method that I use and that came in the book is to wait until you can dip your finger in the milk and hold it for 20 seconds. It normally takes about 45 min, I think. I’ve gotten distracted and let it go a little longer, and again, turns out fine.

Once the heat has gone down, scoop out about half a cup into the bowl. Mix in the yoghurt starter. To reduce the number of tools I need to sterilize, I smush it all around with the ladle. Pour the mixture into the pot and stir it in really thoroughly.

Separate it into the glass jars. Seal them, put them in the oven and cover them with the towel. If it’s really cold in my apartment, I’ll turn the heat on just the tiniest bit while the milk is boiling to make it warmer in the oven. But I do turn it off while the yoghurt is setting. I figure it’s better to have the temp a little low and let it sit longer than to have it too high and kill the bacteria.

Now watch a movie. Go and build a snow castle. Beat Duriel. Go to bed. Because it’ll take at least 8 hours for the yogurt to set. I normally start everything around 6 or 7pm, then put it in the fridge at 7am.

I’ve read a bunch of different timelines as to how long it will keep in the fridge. I have always eaten it all by the end of the week, so it has yet to matter for me. Top limit I have read is one month, bottom limit 2 weeks.

I generally eat it with wine-poached pears (also from the book) or peaches or nectarines with granola (of course.) I think I’ve made this recipe at least ten times over the winter. And I’ve been thinking: it’s time to make cheese.

To the internets! I’ve found that some of the most informative sites have .edu at the end. The rest seem to be just articles like this one, personal experience rather than SCIENCE! The one I’ve been looking at the most is http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Cheese/Making_Laban/Labneh.htm because it’s Labneh! I pretty much followed the recipe aside from one minor adjustment (I added the salt directly to the yoghurt jar and mixed it there, rather than sterilizing and messing up another bowl.) I think I also may have added more salt than the recipe calls for, but I’m not convinced this is a bad thing. 

Summary for you click-lazy jerks:
Mix a teaspoon of salt into a jar of yoghurt. Strain out the whey through a handkerchief suspended above a bowl. Let strain for about 24 hours.

My bag o’ curds is hanging from my cupboard door and I’m collecting the whey to try making ricotta.

The biggest problem that I have come across so far is that I like cheese. I really like cheese. I just want to bust open my bag of cheese and omnomnomnomnomnomnom. I have been salivating for the past five hours just thinking about it.

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Eating her curds and whey | 30 comments (30 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Now, I may well be remembering incorrectly... by ni (4.00 / 1) #1 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 08:58:56 AM EST
But didn't you once decline to participate on a plan of mine to make labneh (or some fresh cheese -- maybe paneer?) on the grounds that it was a dirty foreign cheese?


"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM
That's generally why I decline to do anything by MissTrish (2.00 / 0) #3 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 09:02:51 AM EST
I can't remember the instance you speak of, but I am a contrarian and it sounds like me ('specially the bit 'bout the filthy furriners.)

I had some exceptional Quebec cheese that I suspect was illegal the other day. I only bought it because it was called chevalier.


ypu're a chair
[ Parent ]
This diary confuses me. by Driusan (2.00 / 0) #4 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 09:16:04 AM EST
Don't you hate all things that are:
  1. French
  2. Quebec?


--
Vive le Montréal libre.
[ Parent ]
Not all things by MissTrish (2.00 / 0) #5 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 09:25:54 AM EST
Food is the way to my heart in all things. Especially if its cheese.

ypu're a chair
[ Parent ]
Horse cheese? by Herring (2.00 / 0) #6 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 09:47:40 AM EST


christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
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Is horse milk tasty? by MissTrish (2.00 / 0) #9 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 10:18:02 AM EST
This cheese was tasy.

ypu're a chair
[ Parent ]
Not sure by Herring (2.00 / 0) #17 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 11:26:47 AM EST
Horse meat is tasty.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
Illegal cheese? by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #7 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 10:05:05 AM EST
Unfortunately not quite as cute by MissTrish (2.00 / 0) #8 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 10:17:38 AM EST
and more ridiculous. Quebec legalized raw milk cheese. So Ontario made it illegal to "import" Quebec cheese. I haven't read the legislation, so I'm not sure what limitations/exceptions there are.

ypu're a chair
[ Parent ]
Unpasteurized cheeses are legal here? by Driusan (2.00 / 0) #15 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 10:25:25 AM EST
How did I not know that? Why am I not eatting some right now?

Omg omg omg, I'm going to Provigo!

--
Vive le Montréal libre.

[ Parent ]
starter French recipes, by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #2 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 09:02:18 AM EST
Check out Julia Child's "Mastering the Art".

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

It's on the list by MissTrish (2.00 / 0) #11 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 10:19:35 AM EST
especially for when I get bored of my current bread resume. I've only recently begun to buy actual recipe books. I loves them!

ypu're a chair
[ Parent ]
omg, typing too fast by MissTrish (2.00 / 0) #14 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 10:23:36 AM EST
please read resume as recipe

ypu're a chair
[ Parent ]
Perhaps I should make cheese by R343L (2.00 / 0) #10 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 10:18:22 AM EST
I love cheese. A lot. I cannot escape the grocery store without buying cheese even when I am not planning to cook anything with cheese. I can always just eat it straight! And my grocery store has such a delightful cheese counter.

I do not think making my own cheese would decrease such purchases so much as just increase cheese consumption. So far, though, it shows no signs of making me fat.


"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

I suspect that making cheese by MissTrish (2.00 / 0) #12 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 10:22:16 AM EST
will slow down my consumption. Especially once I get into cured cheeses. Why buy this wheel of brie when I have some pressing right now? This may be complete fallacy. I learned my love of cheese from my mo, who can eat 200mg of havarti in one sitting. She, though, does show signs of being fat.

ypu're a chair
[ Parent ]
I think I mean 200g by MissTrish (2.00 / 0) #13 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 10:22:50 AM EST


ypu're a chair
[ Parent ]
Unless your mother by R343L (2.00 / 0) #16 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 10:27:20 AM EST
is a Lilliputian than yes, 200g sounds more right. Your mom is taller than six inches right?

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
God I hope so by MissTrish (2.00 / 0) #18 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 03:23:01 PM EST
Otherwise I have no idea how she maintains the weight she does.

ypu're a chair
[ Parent ]
IMHE, French women by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #19 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 03:51:34 PM EST
Do not get fat because they smoke ~40 Marlboro Reds a day, drink umpteen strong cappuchinos and eat like sparrows.


The book claims by MissTrish (2.00 / 0) #20 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 04:17:38 PM EST
that it's because they take the stairs, cook all their own food and eat only leek soup for a weekend when they think they're getting too fat...it was a very silly book.

ypu're a chair
[ Parent ]
Not cappucinos by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #21 Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 10:47:10 PM EST
Milk is fattening.


[ Parent ]
large skinny cap is around 80 cal? by Dr H0ffm4n (2.00 / 0) #22 Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 02:56:16 AM EST


[ Parent ]
um by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #23 Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 03:00:59 AM EST
I have no idea. And a large cappucino is physically impossible due to the required ratio of foam, coffee and milk;) Do they have Starbucks in France?


[ Parent ]
yes by Dr H0ffm4n (4.00 / 1) #24 Mon Feb 16, 2009 at 03:05:43 AM EST
its is called Le Starbucks.

With cheese. </pulpfiction>

[ Parent ]
my gf by garlic (2.00 / 0) #25 Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 10:14:11 AM EST
failed at making cheese multiple times, however her recipe required raw milk and rennet. I will show her this and see what happens.


let it be noted by MissTrish (2.00 / 0) #26 Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 10:39:15 AM EST
I have also techinically failed at making cheese. Full details to follow in my next "Adventures" but tiny curds bunged up the cloth and my whey stopped draining about an hour in, from the looks of things. I will be experimenting with cheesecloth soon (stay tuned!), but the yoghurt is reliably tasty

ypu're a chair
[ Parent ]
I believe by garlic (2.00 / 0) #27 Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 10:49:30 AM EST
cheesecloth was purchased during one of the attempts to make cheese. So far I think she's failed 3 times now. I've come to the conclusion that it is easier to buy cheese than to make it. I'm not sure if she yet agrees.


[ Parent ]
when i said cheesecloth by MissTrish (2.00 / 0) #28 Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 10:55:57 AM EST
what i meant was "cloth with which to strain whey to make cheese", not necessarily cheesecloth. What I have read far indicated that cheesecloth is bunk and there is a certain weave of old-timey handkerchief that will cause more success. As the proud inheritor of my greatpapa's hankies and some old sheets, I plan to test a bunch of them and see what sort of thread count is best.

ypu're a chair
[ Parent ]
also, you are probably right by MissTrish (2.00 / 0) #29 Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 10:58:13 AM EST
but it isn't the easier part that i'm worried about. takes five minutes to walk to the grocery store to buy some yoghurt. takes apprx 12hrs to make myself. i dunno, it's fun and satisfying

ypu're a chair
[ Parent ]
this is why by garlic (2.00 / 0) #30 Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 11:05:50 AM EST
every year my gf makes homemade applesauce with the foodmill. Foodmills are so ancient that the spell checker doesn't recognize it as a word, but it's basically a way to spend 24 hours making 1/2 gallon of applesauce that tastes like what you buy at the store.


[ Parent ]
Eating her curds and whey | 30 comments (30 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback