I have been channelling my inner "Little House on the Prairie" lately and have had the urge to make my own butter and cheese.
The cheese was the first thing I tried and with the modern day version of learning things (Google and You Tube), I decided to try the most basic of cheeses using just milk and lemon juice.
The first time I tried this it was a disaster because I used some UHT milk that I had in the cupboard and knew it would sit there forever if I didn't use it for something.
UHT milk does NOT WORK when you make cheese.
So the next day I bought some more milk and went to work on my cheese experience take 2.
After heating the milk up, adding the lemon juice and letting it sit for awhile until it separated, I then tied it up in some cheesecloth over the sink to let it drain for awhile.
After salting it, wrapping it back up then pressing it for a couple of hours with a few cans of baked beans on top I was left with cheese.
I'm not sure if I really like the lemon flavour though so I think I will try it with vinegar next time to give it a more neutral flavour.
It is quite yummy on crackers with a little of my homemade relish though so that's got me quite chuffed. The cheese making story has just begun though as I've just ordered an Italian Cheese beginners kit from our local brewing shop so I'll keep you updated on my progress.
The other thing I made was butter which I'm sure is one of the easiest things in the world to make.
All I did was pour a bottle of cream into the mix master and turned it on to do it's thing while I tidied up around the house a bit. Then when it started to thump around, I knew that it had separated and I poured the lovely buttermilk into a jar for future use in pancakes.
I then washed the butter which is basically pouring some water on it and squishing it around then draining the water off. Then pouring some more water on and squishing it around again a few more times until the water is clear and not cloudy.
That's it. Seriously.
You can add a pinch of salt if you want but otherwise just plonk it into a container as is.
I melted a little of it in a pan with some garlic, added some zucchini and mushrooms then mixed the whole lot through some leftover pasta for a quick and yummy lunch.
It was also really nice on the hot scones I made for an after school snack on a cold and rainy day.