$15 Worth of Milk and What I Did With It

November 24, 2008 at 1:32 pm | Posted in Cooking, science, Test | Leave a comment
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Ok, so somehow I got it in my mind to make some homemade butter. A little research told me all I needed was some good heavy whipping cream and a jar to shake it in or a food processor. The latter two I have on hand. The first of these, as I know all too well from my previous culinary adventures can be hard to obtain in this part of the world. At least if by cream you mean something with a lot of butterfat and no non-dairy additives to “make it creamier” or whatever crap the marketers of dairy products would have you believe.

So, as usual that plan got changed into something slightly different as I discovered more information. Turns out that there is in fact a way to buy raw milk in this part of Arizona. All it takes is a twenty minute drive during rush hour and a little over twelve bucks a gallon. I rounded it up to 15 to account for gas and time.

Obviously I rushed right over and procured a gallon of this liquid miracle. They did not have any cream so I left for home with a half-cocked plan to make mozzarella. All I needed was some rennet, an enzyme that is probably sold at the same place I bought the milk, but I was in a hurry to check into this farm fresh milk idea so I didn’t ask. As you might have assumed – my search for rennet and pure citric acid was going nowhere fast the next day and I refused to mail order any supplies as that would mean more fridge time for my lovely gallon of milk that was not pasteurized, and Thanksgiving is coming so I needed the space!!

Enter – Queso Blanco. A fresh, white cheese made with just milk and vinegar, or lemon juice. I opted for lemon juice as my research showed that might make it “tangier” and I love tangy cheese. So, this is where my storyline will give way to the educational format offered by pictures and text of my first adventure in cheese making.

Boiling Utensils

Boiling Utensils

Boiling everything that will touch the ingredients for 20 minutes.

Temperature Monitoring

Temperature Monitoring - So I always know how hot my milk is. Exactly.

Clean Clean Clean

Clean Clean Clean. Can't be too sanitary when dealing with raw products.

Raw Milk

Raw Milk. Expensive and Tasty.

Ingredients

Ingredients. Milk and Lemon Juice. Thermometer.

Curds

Curds form right about 185 Farenheit when you toss in 1/4 cup of lemon juice.

Drained Curds

Drained Curds in a cheesecloth-lined colander. Yes, cheesecloth was originally used to make cheese with, not polish your car.

Cheese Ball

Cheese Ball is formed after being squeezed in the cheesecloth for awhile - don't rush this as the whey you are squeezing out is still 185 degrees.

Whey

Whey. Its leftover and hard to find a good use for. Soups are one thing, cooking pasta in is another I have heard of. I will be using some of this in my turkey gravy in a couple of days.

Finished Cheese Wheel

Finished Cheese Wheel. Seasoned with an artisanal salt, Salish. It is an alder smoked salt and is delightful. I also tossed in some garlic powder and covered it all in fresh ground black pepper. Now it tastes like cottage cheese with smoke, salt, pepper and garlic. 5 times the price - but 10 times the satisfaction. Not bad for 2 hours of time experimenting in the kitchen.

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