Posts Tagged ‘Cheesemaking’

Homemade Yogurt: A Lesson in Patience and Slow Food

There was an unopened box lurking in our basement from ages ago. When it first appear, nobody was quite sure, but lurk it did.

Actually, it was from my bridal shower, which was many years and years ago. And it’s been lurking because I figured that yogurt would be complicated because there was this complicated-looking piece of uni-tasker specialty equipment. Ha! How wrong! It’s quite easy, but it does require some patience.

The last time we ordered cheese cultures from The New England Cheesemaking Supply Company I also ordered some yogurt starter.  I mean, I knew I had this yogurt maker in my possession. I chose “Y5” because it was advertised as sweeter than traditional and contained more probiotics. Then in the tradition of yogurt things lurking, the starter, too, sat ignored in my freezer.  On a whim this weekend, I finally decided to roll up my sleeves and give homemade yogurt a try.

For the record, the directions that came with my yogurt maker said I didn’t need to heat the milk, so I ignored the directions written on the packet (Sorry, Ricki “The Cheese Queen” Carroll”) and made the quick dump-it-all-together and ignore it version.  Patience, hah!

Not surprisingly, attempt #1 didn’t work out so well.  Twelve hours later and the resulting fermenting broth was poured down the drain. I apologize O Cheese Queen, I should have listened to you! So I tried again following The Monarch’s Directions:

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That worked! So, thank you – all you economical homesteaders out there – you inspired me to open that box, wash the thing, plug it in, pour some starter powder into a quart of warmed local milk, and let it sit overnight. I don’t know what I was afraid of, but my goodness, talk about saving money on all those little containers of yogurt!

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Add the results of the Y5 experiment? Tasty yogurt! It was thick and creamy and pleasantly, mildly tangy.   I would say I have a happy new weekend yogurt-making routine.

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Ricotta Waffles

Cold weather has you stuck inside? Try making your own cheese on the warm stovetop and transform the extra into waffles! The waffle recipe was adapted from Williams-Sonoma and the supplies for the homemade ricotta, which is surprisingly easy to make, can be purchased from the New England Cheese Making Supply Company for the cultures. Just add local milk, but be sure to use unpasteurized or regular pasteurized because the ultra-pasteurized won’t curd properly. Make extra and freeze them and then all you need to do is pop them in the toaster for a fast, nutritious breakfast.

Ricotta Waffles

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese (homemade or 15 oz store container will work)
  • 9 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flaxmeal
  • 1 cup oatbran
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Whisk the wet ingredients together and then stir in the dry. Cook in a waffle iron.

I confess that I can’t stand gadgets in the kitchen that don’t do much (read here – like waffle irons). Yet, I actually do like my Cuisinart Griddler because it has removable plates that are dishwasher safe and can be swapped out for a panini press, grill, waffle iron, and I think a few more that I don’t own. Easy to clean and does a lot for a relatively small amount of storage space.

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