I gathered my ingredients:
1/2 gallon milk $1.65
2 cups buttermilk $2.09 (yeah, that's the cost of a quart, but I don't have plans for the rest so that's that)
1 tbsp vinegar
Total cost: About $3.74
But that's 8 cups of milk and 2 cups of buttermilk ... so far it's all sounding good.
And then I read the recipe. Yield: 1 cup
I bravely forged ahead, certain that *my* yield would be more than 1 cup. I'm not sure why I gave myself this much credit, but I did.
|Milk curdling, straining contraption ready to go in the background.|
I brought the milk and salt to 180'. I added the buttermilk and vinegar. I stirred. I waited 10 minutes. I strained the concoction into an (unused) cloth diaper (because I had no cheesecloth or unused pantyhose - I don't think I've worn pantyhose since I moved to south Florida 18 years ago so even though they are a reasonable substitute for cheese cloth I didn't have any) and a strainer. After straining and squeezing I turned my final product into a container.
|I rigged the dripping cheese with twine, from the microwave door handle. Looked weird, worked great.|
Yup. 1 cup.
|This container only holds about 4 cups total.|
But really, it's about flavor, right? Sure, if you like bland rubber. Me neither. Really, it's flavorless, so it's not all bad, but it's rubbery and just not appealing. I will use it in something, like a casserole or spaghetti sauce, but not by itself.
I don't think I'll make this again. But ... I read enough reviews to know that the results aren't always the same, and there are options that might make for better, larger quantities of cheese, so I might give it another try ... probably on one of those days when the milk must be used immediately.
- Some recipes suggest using fresh lemon juice instead of vinegar. That might make it more flavorful (?)
- The recipe I used called for 1 tbsp. vinegar, some others I found called for 1/4 cup, which might increase yield
- There is no vinegar taste at all in the final product
- I did not use whole milk, which was recommended, and might have increased yield
- There are many suggestions/variations regarding adding ingredients for flavor
- I wish I hadn't squeezed as much whey out of it, that might have made it less rubbery
- The whey is supposed to make a very healthy drink, I didn't try it, but did hate to see so much waste
- There has to be a way to do this more cost effectively, I just have no idea what that it
If you make farmer's cheese I'd love to hear of your experiences. Please share!