Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cottage cheese: Success!

The way I grew up making cottage cheese, you would let skim milk sit on the counter until it clabbered, which sometimes took several days.  Then you dumped it into a large pan, put the burner on low, and gently stirred until the curds separated from the whey.  You'd put cheesecloth in a colander, place the colander over a pan or bucket, and pour the contents of your big pan into this.  The whey was then poured into the slop bucket (wow, it's been ages since I've heard that term) to give to pigs or chickens.  The curds were rinsed off, drained as well as possible, and hung on the clothesline so any remaining liquid could drain away.  
Using an online recipe as a guide, I changed a couple of things.  Rather than wait for the milk to curdle on its own, I added some buttermilk to hurry the process along.  After twenty-four hours, it was nicely curdled.  The recipe suggested that I should pasteurize the milk first; I did not do that.  A different recipe suggested adding rennet, as did one of my readers.  I will try that next time, if I can find rennet at the store.    
The most drastic change from my old way of making cottage cheese was that I used a big enamel canner, put water in it, and set the container with the clabbered milk inside it, so it worked like a double boiler.  Using a cooking thermometer, I followed the rules on temperatures.  It wasn't nearly as "hit-and-miss" as my old method.  
 Here is the stainless steel pan sitting inside the canner.  Curds and whey are all in there, heating up.  


Here are the drained curds.  


This is my kitchen after making low-fat brownies and healthy bran muffins for Cliff, followed by the cottage cheese-making.  


I saved the whey because it tasted good, and whey is good for you.  With my old method of making cottage cheese, the whey was not so good.  The pigs and chickens liked it, though.  


I added salt and pepper and rich Jersey cream, and took a couple of bites of the best home-made cottage cheese I've ever tasted.  

8 comments:

Amy said...

I'm salivating at that last picture! I love cottage cheese and pepper!

My kitchen looks like yours....pretty much every day. :-P

madcobug said...

Sounds and looks good. I have never put any black pepper in it though. Helen

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It does look good. I'm glad you had such wonderful success!

Anonymous said...

Donna, that looks so good. I would love to taste it. My grandma used to make it the old fashioned way and nothing, no brand anywhere purchased in a store comes close to the way REAL cottage cheese tastes. Karen

Lindie said...

That looks and sounds so good! I always use pepper (and a bit of kosher salt) on mine. Or put it over canned pears.

Rachel said...

That's so much work, I wish I liked cottage cheese. If there is any left on Sunday, you could probably make a pretty penny off Brooke! LOL

Hyperblogal said...

Adopt me... adopt me......

Leilani Lee said...

It sounds wonderful. I have used rennet to make cottage cheese, but yours looks much better. I used to get milk sometimes from a Jersey cow down the road... have fond memories of cream so thick I could peel it off the top and eat it. Oh my.