homestead cheese please!

I am so grateful to be surrounded by friends who make cheese of all sorts! From the experienced goat cheese makers up the valley, who bless us with lovely raw milk each week and have perfected the art of feta and herbed chèvre, to our dutch jersery farmer friends making picture perfect gouda, to my fellow urban transplant girlfriend who has just started making goat cheese.. and is well on her way in the art of fine cheese making… with stunning little wheels of chalk white chèvre. I adore them all… my friends and their cheese’s.

Did I mention cheese is my favourite food group? When I used to own my bakeries, people always said how can you have a cookie shop and not be fat? and I always answered because I don’t own a poutine shop. Simple truth.Though I am without cow or goat or sheep for that matter at this time, it has always been my agenda to move to the country, raise goats and make cheese. Usually I am happily 1/3 of the way there.. but yesterday I whipped up a quick and easy batch of farmers / paneer cheese, with my surplus of both cow and goat milk.

It was painfully simple to make and doesn’t amount to much when compared to any of my friends curds… but it took no time, purposed my surplus milks, and it was fun. Because this paneer recipe uses no rennet it doesn’t have much in the way of depth of flavor.. it is an incredibly mild soft cheese, but torn coarsely and mixed with fresh basil and a long sweet red pepper minced up, a pinch of sea salt + a touch of hot chili flakes… and all of the sudden it’s the perfect salad and taco topper which is precisely where these dainty little curds will end up as we camp and canoe along the lake this weekend.

Basically I boiled 12 cups of milk (blended goat and cow.. which is likly is a cheese making sin.. but hey I am a newbie and don’t like to play by the rules much anyway)

Once the milk came to a boil (in a deep bottomed stainless pot) I slowly stirred and added 3/4 cup of organic lemon juice mixed into 1/2 cup of water. After about 3 minutes of stirring gently I removed the lot from the heat and continued to move the curds around for about 5 minutes.

I then strained everything into a tiny mesh cotton produce bag inside a colander, and let the curd drain. After about 30 minutes I added a weighted bowl and left the cheese for about 3 hours, then crumbled it and set it in a covered bowl in the fridge.. ready for herbs and eating. Surprisingly the texture was really really nice, not at all rubbery, it actually reminded me of nice cheddar curd (without the cheddary aged kick of course)

So the moral of my storey is, you don’t have to be a milk maid to make cheese, it’s not as scary as it sounds, and for the whole 15 minutes of effort it takes it is well worth your time. give it a try! and now I must bid you ado as the lake is to calling me…

I have added this post to a FIGHT BACK FRIDAY : FOOD RENEGADE blog circle, to read more article like this from folks fearlessly eating raw milk, SOLE food, and connecting with their food source just like me check it out here! Us Renegades should stick together!

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