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I made cheese today!

August 25, 2014

Thanks to my life, I’m just about always cooking for a party of one. This has made certain substances unsustainable, milk being a prime example. I hadn’t dared to bring home a carton till Joy visited but even then by the time the expiry date came and went, there was still a substantial amount of creamy goodness I had to toss. I felt slightly sad about that plus paiseh my dear landlady had to test smell for me, since I have no idea how milk smells either way. 

I don’t know what brought the idea of cheese into my head, but it did and I’m so glad it did. Credit goes to the excellent tutorial on thekitchn, whose link I have attached. What I liked about it was written in the spirit of things, with specific bits on what to look out for. So instead of an exact temperature, all I did was to “take it off the heat” when the milk looked “foamy and steamy”. The comments below are helpful too!

I didn’t rinse my cheese, didn’t measure the amount of lemon juice and because the lemon ended up not working very well (read: like, barely.), I used my landlady’s white vinegar instead. But even then I am extremely happy with the results. Here’s the process: 

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This is the beginning. I’ve emptied my milk (about 1.5 litres or so) onto an enamel i.e. heavy bottomed pot, and the fire is burning mediumly – is there such a word? To the pot’s left is a wooden spoon for the occasional stir to check the milk has not burned at the bottom, my then-unbeknownst to me non-curdling lemons which I had precisely intended to use for curdling, and once bread bag now cheese cloth bag with a strainer and mental pot below the strainer. 

 

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Behold, the wrung cheese. It is full of lemon pulp because, as I have since discovered, lemon juice does not simply and easily run out when one squeezes the lemon like the imaginary commercials in my head. Lemon juice is a battle to be fought with the selfish lemon who will not surrender its lifejuice and has to be struggled valiantly with before clumping off into pulp. And also I accidentally dropped the lemon into the pot. Did I mention it didn’t curdle my milk anyway? Used 3 tablespoons of white vinegar then let the stuff stand for 10 minutes.

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This be the previous step, the separation of the curds from the whey. As an aside, was this the stuff the nursery rhymes spoke of? 

 

 

 

 

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Tadahh. The cheese, after being set and refridgerated for an unknown amount of time; possibly under an hour. Apparently it needs a heavy weight of top of it while setting in its cheesecloth bag so I dumped my glass bottle of condensed milk atop and checked it off the list. I think it looked beautiful enough. Now I can kind of understand why parents are forever taking photos of their kids. (I only took one at each stage.) The lemon pulp did value add in the end; it gave a nice, light lemony taste to the cheese. Also, the texture was pretty dreamy – smooth, firm, and melty all together. You know it’s good stuff when your landlady’s husband is invited to try a piece and ends up munching on a few more. Everyone liked it, yay. 

One more for the road: 

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tadahhhhhh

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2 Responses to “I made cheese today!”

  1. (: Says:

    WOW. RNG/ ROO !!! WAO. So proudddd of chu!!!


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