Friday, July 1, 2011

Home Dairy: A Cheese Making Adventure

Mapleline Farm Milk
This week in addition to eating loads of yummy greens and veggies from our garden and CSA shares, I have been developing a routine for making the dairy based products we eat: sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, garlic and cheese spread.  I've master soft cheeses pretty well. My goal is to have mastered hard cheeses: cheddar and jack cheese by fall.

Making my own allows me to know exactly what is in the food we eat and to choose the ingredients carefully (such as only using vegetable rennet). Another added benefit to making my own milk/cheese products is I'm not buying all those plastic containers. 
Cottage Cheese draining
sour cream
I am using Mapleline Milk. It is local, only 4.2 miles from us, and the kids and I have been able to drive over and see how their farm works and their cows are cared for. (The cows have names.) Mapleline Farm Milk is a fourth generation family farm. They have a strong commitment to sustainability and have incorporated solar power and grey water recycling into their practices. The thing I really love is that I can get the milk in GLASS bottles (no plastic) and that they have delivery service. Yes, the Milk Man visits us every Monday!

This week I made 2 jars of sour cream, 2 quarts of cottage cheese, 1 quart of yogurt, cream cheese and came up with a recipe for spreadable garlic/scallion cheese. My inspiration for all this cheese making is the Cheese Queen herself, Ricki Carrol. You can get supplies, recipes or even sign up for a class at the New England Cheese Making Supply Company. They are a local business based in South Deerfield, MA. They hold classes in Ricki's beautiful home in Ashfield, MA.

Recipe for Garlic/Scallion Cheese Spread
2 qts light cream
1 packet buttermilk set culture
1/4 tsp salt
2 cloves of garlic
chopped or dried scallions
butter muslin

  • Mix the cream and buttermilk culture and bring to 85 degrees F
  • Put it in the yogurt maker and let it sit for 12 hours
  • Heat the mixture to 180 degrees F or until the curd and whey separate
  • Pour into a strainer lined with muslin and let drain for at least an hour
  • Mix in some cheese salt to taste
  • Mince the garlic and add garlic and scallions to the mixture
  • Refrigerate for a few hours
  • Enjoy! (It's great on crackers)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! I just made some crackers, and this sounds like a nice spread for them.