Making cheese

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Lady Wolfshead
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Making cheese

Postby Lady Wolfshead » Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:59 pm

Made my first ever cheese this weekend for Bannockburn! I used a Gold Top milk from Jersey cows and also VegeRen that I found in Sainsbury's. Made it on Thursday night and ate it on Saturday. Tasted like a slightly salty mozarella which was reasonably tasty. :D



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sally
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Postby sally » Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:46 pm

Fun isnt it! You'll be making hard cheeses in no time (though Halloumi still baffles me, goes wrong every time I try to make it)

Well done on your first cheese foray! :D



Lady Wolfshead
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Postby Lady Wolfshead » Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:14 pm

Thanks, you're right it is fun, especially when I added the rennet - I thought it hadn't done anything until I picked up the bowl and discovered lovely jelly-like curds. :)

I've already started contemplating hard cheeses! :D Just need to get myself a proper cheese mould as I was simply using muslin for this one. Can't wait to have a selection of home-made cheeses to take to events!



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moosiemoosiegander
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Postby moosiemoosiegander » Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:01 pm

Well done you! It's something that I've been meaning to do for ages and just never got round to it. How easy do you think would it be to make cheese curds as a living history thing?

I shall now have to get my behind into gear, you have shamed me into action with your triumph :P

Sally - Do you need much room to make hard cheeses, or would a normal domestic kitchen/fridge do?


I'm up and dressed, what more do you want?

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sally
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Postby sally » Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:45 pm

moosiemoosiegander wrote:Well done you! It's something that I've been meaning to do for ages and just never got round to it. How easy do you think would it be to make cheese curds as a living history thing?

I shall now have to get my behind into gear, you have shamed me into action with your triumph :P

Sally - Do you need much room to make hard cheeses, or would a normal domestic kitchen/fridge do?


All you really need is a saucepan, a cthermometer, a colander, a cloth and a mould- you can improvise with old pop bottles for that bit, I'm no expert by any stretch, but I've had a lot fo fun playing with cheesemaking on the occasions when we have made some, its been edible every time :D



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Heloise
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Postby Heloise » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:29 am

I make cheese as a LH thing purely by heating a bit of milk over the fire, pouring it into a bowl, adding a drop or two of vinegar (or anything acid to separate the curds out) thus showing the separation. Then it gets rinsed and strained and squished in muslin. Combine lumps with herbs. Eat. Explain how it gets more squished to make hard cheese and preserve milk. Watch people be very surprised that it's edible and that easy (though according to one interested MOP ther other weekend, Gordon Ramsey had been doing something similar with buffalo milk. He was therefore very impressed and considered I was doing it correctly as Gordon had done it. Yeees.)



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sally
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Postby sally » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:42 am

As Heloise says, it can be that easy, I think for the really long keeping hard cheeses the temperatur at which you add the rennet is supposed to be vital, but I'm sure with practice the fingertip test would do just as well as the modern version with a thermometer. Another good beginners one is to tip yogurt into a cloth and strain it over a day or two, makes something very similar to Philidelphia and is yummy on fresh bread, mixed with herbs etc



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Postby Lady Wolfshead » Thu Jun 28, 2007 2:15 pm

I didn't have a thermometer and so just stuck my clean finger in the milk to test the temperature. Certainly worked for a fresh soft cheese but haven't tried a hard cheese yet.

For quantities, the recipe I had said to use 1 pint of milk but this made a very small amount of cheese, just a handful really.

Thanks Sally for the tip about pop bottles, I hadn't thought about that. Might try the yoghurt/philadelphia cheese too. :)



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Postby Lady Wolfshead » Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:24 pm

Had another go at making cheese again this weekend. This time went for two pints of milk as I wanted a larger quantity and, after waiting a little longer than 1/2 an hour for the rennet to re-act, it worked really well.

Does anyone know where I could get a cheese mould from in order to try making hard cheeses?

:)



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Postby PotBoy » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:15 pm

I nake soft "morning cheese" at every event I do living history. If you want to make it for dinnertime you will probably find that you need to use more rennet. I've found that using 6 pints of milk and about 15 drops of rennet started at about 9am will make a soft cheese by about 1.00pm making enough for about 30 soldiers to have a small piece each. I strain it in muslin and then "press" with a large flat stone. This will give a "philadelphia' type cheese.

To make a harder cheese it just needs to be pressed for longer and kept in a cool (and dark if possible) place and make sure you change the muslin regularly. It will also take a larger amount of milk to make. You also need to salt it to preserve it.

Good luck with your cheese making. I always find it's a great distraction for bored children. They love to make their own cheese and finding things to flavour it with.


More bag pudding please Mistress Anthea

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vlasta
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Postby vlasta » Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:03 pm

Hi! I'd like to ask, if anyone of you ever tried to make cheese with Lady's Bedstraw (Galium verum) instead of rennet?
Greetings
Vlasta



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ViscontesseD'Asbeau
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Postby ViscontesseD'Asbeau » Fri Sep 21, 2007 2:45 pm

Never used it for that because it's too useful as a red dye! Is related to madder, and although the roots are tiny if you can find or plant a big enough stand of it, after a year or two you can get a lovely red dye from the roots! Have come across references to using it for cheese, too, wasn't sure what that was all about? Which part of the plant do you use?



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vlasta
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Postby vlasta » Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:24 pm

I never tried to use it myself, I just found such info in "Rich & Rare. The Story of Irish Dress" by Brid Mahon, where the Galium verum was described: "It is one of the few native plants to yield a red dye and is sometimes known as binid, meaning 'rennet'. The juice of the stem has the property of curdling milk and could be used in the making of cheese." I tried to find more details on the Internet, but the only useful thing I found was "The name 'Cheese Rennet' can be attributed to the use of Lady's Bedstraw to curdle milk, a benefit to the processing of certain cheeses. By the sixteenth century, the herb was called ' Cheese Renning'. Grieve tells us in A Modern Herbal that "The people in Cheshire especially about Nantwich, where the best cheese is made, do use it in their rennet, esteeming greatly of that cheese above other made without it.' The rich colour of this cheese was probably originally derived from this plant, though it is now obtained from annatto." Scottish Highlanders made use of this property as well, and it has been used in Gloucestershire for the same purpose, either alone or with the juice of the stinging-nettle."




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