Adventures in Cheese!

As I am a spoilt young lady, my lovely parents bought me a cheese making kit for Christmas. Guess what? I've only gone and made my own cheese, Gromit!

I ordered an extra 2 litres of milk with my Kent veg box last week. The milk is whole, non-homogenised milk from Hinxden Farm Dairy and has a lovely creamy top. For those that may not know, homogenisation is a process involving squirting milk through tiny holes to break up the fat globules and incorporate the cream, so it won't separate in future and has a longer shelf life. There are claims that non-homogenised milk is better for you, as some nasties that attach themselves to large fat molecules are usually digested by the gut, but with homogenisation these nasties can be absorbed into the bloodstream and cause artery clogging leading to angina, heart attacks and strokes. I know I'm probably a little bias, but I honestly believe this milk tastes better too, and that is why I chose it to make my cheese. Plus, you can't get much more local than that!

Anyway, to the cheese!

For some reason, I had decided I was going to make a buttermilk cheese, and procured some from my local Co-op before my milk had even arrived. I found a really simple buttermilk cheese recipe and decided to give it a go.



I added fresh rosemary and thyme to my milk mix and I reserved all the whey for other recipes (it was a lovely addition to a stonking bolognese), and I'll probably use it to make some ricotta later today.


It also has a nice, but unusual taste if drunk on it's own.
(Edit: I also just cooked some basmati rice in the whey and it was delicious and there was no need to season it.)

The final product was originally soft, but a little crumbly, but firmed up after a couple of days in the fridge. It was lovely on crackers with my homemade red cabbage sauerkraut, or a little balsamic glaze.



Making your own cheese really doesn't have to be difficult, is very rewarding and much more ethical if you choose your ingredients wisely. I won't stop buying other cheeses any time soon, but I'll certainly endeavour to make a lot more of my own.

I believe I'm going to like this new hobby.


Comments

  1. I always wanted to make cheese but I thought you needed some kind of humidifier or something?

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  2. This was a particularly simple recipe. The ones I've seen so far haven't involved any humidifying. I believe some may need to mature at a constant(ish) temperature, but all you really need is a big pan, cheesecloth, a couple of moulds and a thermometer.

    I got some rennet tablets too but I don't even think you need those either, as something else such as lemon, vinegar or buttermilk can be used to start the process.

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  3. Yeah I once accidentally made cheese by leaving a pint of milk in the fridge for about 5 months but it didn't smell too appealing, your recipe is more appealing!

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