The Berks-Mont News (http://www.berksmontnews.com)

Through My Kitchen Window – The Cool Cheese


By Davina Weinhold, ThroughMyKitchenWindow@gmail.com, For Journal Register News Service

Thursday, February 7, 2013

“What you doing Mommy?”
“Making cheese.”
“No Mommy. That’s milk.”
“Yes, but we make cheese out of milk, Shiloh.”
“Why?”
“Because that’s how cheese is made.”
“But why?”
“Because milk makes cheese, that’s why. Do you want to help pour in the vinegar?”
“No Mommy! Stop!”
“What?”
“Vinegar is nasty, it……..cool!”
Shiloh watched amazed as the curds and whey separated. He uttered another “Cool!” and was instantly distracted by the cat who was begging for some cheese curds.
I’ve wanted to make cheese for a long time, but was intimidated by the array of cultures and special cheese molds needed.
And then I discovered cottage cheese. Well, maybe not discovered. I’ve loved eating cottage cheese topped with a dollop of apple butter since childhood. It’s a treat.
But I have recently discovered how simple it is to make cottage cheese, and it is ridiculously simple. The only tools needed are a pan, kitchen thermometer, colander, and tea towel. The only ingredients are milk, vinegar, and salt. It takes less than an hour to make.
And it’s way better than store bought! The cat agrees.
Homemade Cottage Cheese
Yield: About 3 cups
1 gallon milk
¾ cup white vinegar
1 ½ tsps. Kosher salt
In a large saucepan, warm the milk to 120° stirring often. Turn off the burner, and slowly pour in the vinegar. Stir for 2 minutes. You will see the curds (cheese) and whey separating. Cover the pan and let it set for 30 minutes.
Line a colander with a large tea towel and set it in the sink. Slowly pour the curds and whey into the colander. Allow the whey to drain off for a few minutes. Gather the curds in the towel and rinse under cold water, making sure all the curds are rinsed to get the vinegar off.
Squeeze and wring out the curds getting as much water out as possible. Dump the curds into a bowl and mix in the salt. Store in the refrigerator.
Optional: If you like creamy cottage cheese, mix in a few splashes of milk before serving.