Making Farm Cheese
It seems like I say this a lot, "My favorite food storage recipe. . . ." What I really mean to say is that feeding your family is only as far away as your recipe book or your imagination! It is comforting to know that you can create food for your family from what you have laying around in the kitchen.
Another of my favorite recipes is for what I have always been taught to call “Farm Cheese." It is very simple, and yet so very versatile. It starts with simple ingredients of milk and vinegar, and only takes a little bit of your time.
You will also need a heavy bottom, non-aluminum pot and a candy thermometer. A very fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth. An old, clean linen napkin also works very well. The rest is very simple.
8 Cups Milk - whole milk preferred, but any will work. Even 8 cups of mixed up powdered milk
1/4 to 1/2 Cup Vinegar
Place the 8 Cups of Milk in a heavy bottom pot and heat on medium heat until the milk reaches 180 degrees F. Watch the milk carefully during heating so that it does not burn to the bottom. Turn off the heat and add your vinegar. Stir gently, then allow to sit until milk and whey separate. Allow to sit for 10 minutes or so.
Strain through the strainer or cloth, saving the whey liquid to use in other recipes. If you want the cheese to be softer, don’t press it and don’t let it sit and drain. For a drier cheese, allow it to strain for additional time, checking occasionally to check consistency. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
You can vary the softness and hardness of this cheese by changing up the type or amount of vinegar. In my experience, rice vinegar seems to make a softer cheese, while white vinegar makes a very hard cheese. Mine was more crumbly with white vinegar. This made it good for ravioli and sprinkling in quiche, but not so great in lasagna. It was horrid as a pizza topping.
I find that Farm Cheese never melts like mozzarella cheese does on pizza, but if made softer, it can be similar to ricotta on the pizza, and goes great in other pasta dishes like lasagna or baked ziti.
One very yummy vinegar to use is the leftover vinegar brine from a jar of jalepenos or banana peppers. We have used this and it is wonderful. It tends to make a much softer cheese with a nice pickled-pepper flavor. It goes great on top of Southwestern Quinoa bowls and even sprinkled on top of a taco salad.
Experiment with red wine vinegar and others to see what you enjoy. Make sure to write down how much vinegar you use and your results. This will help you develop favorite recipes to use with your meals.
Judith has over 30 years experience in food storage, herbs, essential oils, and prepping. She was a captain in the USAF-AUX, FEMA trained, Community Emergency Response Team member and NRA marksmanship award recipient. She shares her experiences with her readers offering tips and recipes.
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