For the cost of a gallon of milk (under $3 if you're doing it right), and a half hour of time, you can have about a pound of delicious farm cheese and heaping helping of whey to make crepes, pancakes, or as a power-packed drink for yourself or your chickens. (You DO have chickens, right?)
This is not the stuff that you Kraft sells, wrapped in plastic on your grocery store shelves. It isn't a hard cheese. It is soft and crumbly - more like a feta or ricotta with a very mild flavor. It lends itself well to adding garlic, herbs, and the like.
So here's what you'll need:
1 gallon of milk - any milk will do, but whole milk makes for a tastier cheese.
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (I make my own, but that's another post!)
1 Tbsp salt
minced garlic, herbs, or whatever else you'd like to add
- Place your milk in a large pot, bring to a boil
- Remove from heat
- Pour in vinegar and stir
- Wait for the cheese curds to separate from the whey. You will know that this has occured when the whey is yellowish and clear - not white.
- Pour the contents of the pot into a colander lined with cheesecloth, a bandana, or a clean cloth napkin (like I did here) set into a large bowl to catch the whey.
- Add salt and/or herbs
- Gather the cloth up and give it a good twist to remove the excess whey. Be careful. It is very hot. Because of this, I sometimes tie the corners of the cloth together over a skewer and hang it through the handles on my kitchen cabinets, allowing the excess whey to drip out.
- That's it! You now have about a pound of farm cheese. Eat it on salads, in pastas. Spread it on crackers or eat it straight from the bowl.