Cheese Production – Made Simple

One of the classes we attended at the Mother Earth News Fair was taught by Gianaclis Caldwell on making quick and simple cheese. We took careful notes and went home to make cottage cheese. We learned the importance of making sure everything is very clean. The longer you plan to cure cheese the more sterile your working conditions need to be. Listeria contamination can a big problem. We assembled a clean steel pan, thermometer, colander and cheese cloth. Ingredients were milk and lemon juice, although you may use any edible acid.

Cheese making

We gently heated 1/2 gallon of milk while stirring until it reached a temperature between 175 -185º F. We removed the heat and added 8 ounces of fresh lemon juice, stirring as the protein clumped together into “curds.” The milk was covered and allowed to cool; then it was strained through several layers of cheese cloth to separate the protein “curds” from the remaining liquid whey. Curds were rinsed in non-chlorinated water, squeezed dry and refrigerated until chilled. Season with salt or add herbs to taste.

Cheese Making

We were amazed at the amount of cheese we recovered. As we examined it, we said, “This looks like more ricotta or farmer’s cheese than cottage cheese.” We immediately knew what to do with it – make lasagna! Alternate layers of homemade sauce, noodles and cheese, ending with cheese. Bake at 350º F in any available oven until hot thorough and cheese melts (about 1 hour). Try not to eat it all in one meal.Lasagna

Photos by: RustyBuggyEnterprises, Inc.

References: Gianaclis Caldwell and Jack Schmidling

 

Additional Articles in this month’s issue:

Billie Nicholson, Editor
May 2014

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