Make Homemade Cheese

Homemade cheeses are renowned around the world for their range and taste. So if you want to create a post dinner cheeseboard with unique style, a quest to track down some homemade cheeses could take you on a round trip of The World. From the lush dairy pastures of the mid-west to the far-flung reaches of Germany, dairy farming has long been the source for making homemade cheese. That is because where you find good milk you are going to find good homemade cheese. Some places for that are right in our own back yard, or in other cases they are a little further down the street at our local grocer. But, if your like me and love things that are convenient, or if its cold out and you don't want to leave your house, you find all of your homemade cheese and supplies online. Regardless, we all have access to everything that we need to make our own cheese and make ourselves feel a little prouder that we were able to create such a tasty snack.

A year ago my friend really turned me on to artisan homemade cheeses at a party she was throwing. I couldn't believe all the flavors. I asked where she got it, she said online. I ordered two wheels the next week for my big Thanksgiving Day Cornucopia. It was a big hit with the family. But this year I am making my own. After I started ordering I noticed that there were kits available too. I did some research and found some great sites. Now this year I am going to be making a Camembert and a Blue.

I would suggest to anyone that for the holidays, why not impress your guests with some homemade cheese. Whip up a batch of this easy to make homemade cheese and sit back as your family and friends ooh and ahh over your accomplishment.

To make homemade cheese you will need:

1 gallon of milk (preferably organic)

1 quart of buttermilk (preferably organic)

Heat the milk and buttermilk in a pot on your stove over medium low heat. Keep an eye on the pot as you prepare the other items needed since the only thing you don't want to do here is allow the mixture to come to a boil. You'll know when it's ready because large curds form and separate from the whey in the pot. If you have a thermometer you can check the temperature. Ideally it should be about 180 degrees F.

Meanwhile, find a cheese cloth or cut the leg off of a brand new or very clean pair of tights or stockings.(a very homemade cheese cloth) This works better than cheese cloth because the leg can be fitted over the mouth of a large jar. When the milk mixture is ready simply pour it into the leg and the liquid will collect in the jar. You will have to remove the stocking and dump out the liquid a few times during the process unless you have a super large jar. Not exactly traditional but I have found this method to be easy and super for cleanup time.

Once the entire contents of the pot have been strained through your stocking contraption, allow it to hang there for about 30 min. This will allow more moisture to drip out while cooling it enough so you can handle it. After the 30 minutes passes, it's time to decide what you want to do with your homemade cheese base.

One option to transfer the cheese to a bowl, add salt, and form into a rectangle. Place it on a clean kitchen towel and lay it down on a cookie. Next fill a large pot with water (for weight) and use the pot as a press for the cheese. Simply put the entire setup, tray, cheese and pot, into the refrigerator and allow it to set 6 hours or overnight. The longer you allow the cheese to set the firmer it will become. With this simple homemade cheese you can do almost anything. From that add whatever you want to age it to tasted and texture. ENJOY!

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