Cheese Making Part 1 – Buttah
Before I say anything, I have to give major kudos to my husband for staying home with our two sick kids today. Usually we try to tag team when the kids are sick so one of us doesn’t become overwhelmed, but because this project has been in the works for a couple of weeks, and I had the non-homogenized milk, we kinda had to do it – this weekend. So thank you Husband for sacrificing your sanity for cheese.
Making your own food from sustainable sources and small farms is not only rewarding financially, but also spiritually. Joining with friends to make something from scratch is an amazing experience. I felt the world drop away the moment I walked up to the house (after I grabbed a stick to protect me from David’s attack roosters). I can imagine that with David’s chef experience, he feels like this a lot. There truly is something special about making food with and for other people from scratch. Whether it be the ball of simple ricotta or chicken skewers, hummus, sprouts, yogurt cheese and homemade pita bread, there’s a sense of togetherness that is palpable and wonderful. As my husband said, you get a real appreciation of how your food is made. Or should be.
I showed up at David and Liz’s house at about 11:00, with 6 1/2 gallons of (yes local) non-homogenized milk and one pint of heavy cream to make butter. We didn’t know what kinds of cheese we were going to make, we were going to wing it. Because that’s how we roll. But after looking at the available ingredients we had (milk, rennet, mesophilic culture, traditional buttermilk after we made the butter – not cultured buttermilk, there’s a difference. We googled it) we decided to make a simple farmers cheddar and a double batch of feta. But here is our first project. Butter. Which only yielded enough butter for about 3 slices of toast. ~sigh~ We took the remainder of the milk and made more ricotta. As for the buttermilk, we have no plans…yet.
It took a team of us to make the butter.
We started with the heavy cream:
And then we shook it.
And shook it.
Aaaand shook it.
Until finally, we had butter.
And you also have some lovely traditional (not cultured) buttermilk to add to your pancakes, or heck, just drink it!
5:00 came and the sun was setting over the farm. The cheese was resting and looking promising. David took the dog and went with some friends for a walk in the timber. I sat with Liz for a while and chatted over some wine, and then I went outside and took some random photos.
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