Here is yesterdays Monterey Jack cheese which is air drying for a few days. (Out of the sun -this positioning was for the artsy shot!) then it will be waxed and sent to the cave without any dinner!
I have a newish cheese press and I think this was not pressed tight enough but we will see. OK down to business:
How to make ricotta cheese. This is more of a process than a recipe. After the cheesemaking, let your whey sit in your big cheesemaking pot overnight to develop some acidity. It will get a white bloom on the top. This is good. Slowly heat to boiling point. Stir often, make sure it does not boil over ors tick to the bottom of the pot. This will take a while. The bloom will separate until it looks like there are fat clouds floating in whey. This happens right at the end of the process so be patient.
Turn the heat off and stop stirring. Line your colander with a light cheese cloth. (I use old cut up pillow cases.. well they’re washed!!) Sometimes you can spoon these cloudy delicate curds in, but often you will need to gently pour the liquid through the cloth and leave it to drip. Overnight.
You never get as many curds as you want. As soon as most of the whey has dripped through I place the whole thing in the fridge to finish draining in there. The last of the whey goes to the pigs. One of the other reasons for having pigs is that they are my clean up guys after cheesemaking.
My new buttermilk has started nicely. I shall always have a jar of this in the fridge for the season. So I made cream cheese. Using John’s recipe here.
My biggest problem was getting everything down to 70F. It was 85 in the kitchen and Daisy’s milk comes in at 101. So instead of heating the milk I had to cool it! Though the cold collected cream helped with this.
Many of you have asked where I will cure the cheeses. And make all these cultures. So I took you down below, and through the basement and then through into the cool cool cave. Into my wondrous cellar. Now you remember don’t you. See those cupboards behind the vinegar? Those have been purpose built for the cheeses.
I only have one lonely parmesan in the cheese cupboard. So there is an air of expectation down here too. It is dark and cool in here, better for making the buttermilk and cream cheese and other bits and pieces. Upstairs is too hot. Down here is a little too cool but there you are, it works.
Good morning. The lovely people at The Parts Dept where my new broken bucket came from are sending me a new one poste haste without apologies or question, and I am not to bother about sending back the broken one. So they get my vote and my business next time.
Today we are going to make our home made lasagne, using the last of the tomato sauce from last season, the dairy products that are thickening in the cave and pasta made with our eggs. Then onto the cheesecake.
And today I shall try again to get shots of the milking. Milking and taking photographs is harder than I thought. It looks like another beautiful day.
I am off to work. Have a lovely day.