Saturday, 12 March 2016

How to: Homemade Pressed Cottage Cheese

It was a Monday where I was at lunch with some colleagues, with whom I shared the same gender, age and status in the company.  They talked about their booze-filled weekend and the bars they went and the people they met and the drinks they drank.  They then turned to me and asked what I did over the weekend - I said I made cheese, and I killed the conversation right there.

 It was early afternoon on a Saturday, I'd made cheese, and that was enough for the weekend.  I felt so accomplished and proud.  I mean it's dead simple and effortless but just the idea of being able to make my own cheese is like a big tick on the bucket list.

Maybe I'm rather odd for people of my demographics. Maybe I hit middle-age a bit too soon. Maybe I'll regret it in a couple of years.  Let's see.
So. I got this recipe from a Lithuanian cookbook, so caraway seeds were added.  It's funny, my Lithuanian flatmate once brought this cheese over and I just loved it - it was just mild and fresh and after spending ages looking for a recipe, I found it in a cookbook she brought over.

4L of milk produced so little and I consumed the entire thing in two days!  That's why I try not to keep cheese in the house, it just disappears.

Recipe from Taste Lithuania
2L Keffir or buttermilk
2L whole milk

In a large pot that can fit 4L, bring the whole milk to a point of simmering, do not let it boil. Slowly pour in the keffir, stirring constantly.  The milk will start to curdle, and continue stirring without letting it boil.  Using a spoon, nudge the curds together. 

Add a pinch of salt and maybe some caraway seeds.  Line a sieve with a cheese cloth (or jcloth or even a tea towel like what I did), with a lot of overhang, and place it over a bowl.  Using a slotted spoon, bring the curds together and into the sieve. 

When all that's done, bring the cheese cloth together and squeeze the remaining liquid out.

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