This weekend, I took the time to be present in the moment. The best way I know how to do that is to make cheese. Making cheese requires focus, attention to detail, and most of all, to be present.
So on Friday and Saturday my goal was to make three different types of cheese. A cheese making Trifecta! Here they are in all their cheesy glory.
Firstly, I made Red Leicester. Leicester is an English hard cheese which Kim as been asking for me to create for quite a while. I was glad to oblige.
This cheese should darken in colour as it ages, turning orange as it reaches full maturity in about 9 months time. It was a delight to make a new cheese from scratch as it has been such a long time since I made the last hard cheese in my own kitchen.
I used the best possible milk that I could. Demeter Bio-Dynamic. It tastes fantastic and has a 4.5% fat content, just like real milk should.
I searched high and low for this milk, as it is the king of milks for cheese making (besides raw that is). It cost me about $6.70 per 2 litres so this cheese was made for about $30 a kilogram. That is a pretty cheap wheel of bio-dynamic Leicester!
On Saturday, I made Queso Fresco.
This cheese, stems from Spain and Latin American roots. Translated it means Fresh Cheese. This cheese shouldn’t be confused with Queso Blanco, which is essentially Ricotta Salata. Queso Fresco uses rennet, whereas Queso Blanco only uses lemon juice to coagulate the milk.
It is a quick farmhouse cheese that can be made a variety of ways. It involves a little bit of mesophilic culture, a little liquid rennet, and some salt. Not too much to making it really, but well worth the effort.
For the recipe: http://www.littlegreencheese.com/2015/04/queso-fresco.html
For the kit; http://www.littlegreenworkshops.com.au/product/soft-cheese-kit/
I filmed this cheese, which you can watch the Queso Fresco at this link or use the player below;
So on with the next cheese. From the whey left over from the Queso Fresco, I made Whey Ricotta. This is the easiest soft cheese that you can make. Just heat the whey to 92°C (200°F) and add ¼ cup of white vinegar.
It instantly separates, and makes a smooth soft cheese. Add ½ teaspoon of salt if you want a savoury flavour, or leave it if you are going to use it in a dessert.
Strain it through butter muslin and it stores for about a week in an airtight container in the fridge.
For the recipe and video of whey ricotta; http://www.littlegreenworkshops.com.au/2015/02/make-whey-ricotta/
So, a three cheese weekend. Other than these cheeses, I have been helping Kim with shop product refreshes (filling oil bottles for soap making kits), and just relaxing.
The garden can wait until next weekend!