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cheesemaking-msg – 2/9/08

 

Comments on making cheese. Recipes. Information sources.

 

NOTE: See also the files: cheese-msg, Cheese-Making-art, cheesecake-msg, butter-msg, dairy-prod-msg, Cheese-Making-art, cheese-goo-msg, clotted-cream-msg, cheese-lnks, fresh-cheeses-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

************************************************************************

 

(Freydis Haraldsdottir) writes:

>Does anyone out there have a cheese recipe a bunch of neophytes

>couldn't butcher too badly?  Or perhaps point me in the right

>direction for finding one?  I have no qualms about using inter library

>loan, but have no ideas about what books would be useful, and what

>wouldn't.

 

>Your assistance would be greatly appreciated, and I'll be happy to let

>anyone know how this great experiment turned out.

>

>Freydis Haraldsdottir               m  Liana Ohman

>House Anthrax                       k  Dorm Rat

>Canton of the Northern Highlands    a  Houghton, Michigan

>Club Med.                              Michigan Tech Medievalists Club

 

Years ago, when my family had a cow, we had to make cheese and butter

just about every weekend to keep up (I was in charge of the butter,

while my brother made the cheese).  The instructions we used came from

a poster that was contained in 'The Mother Earth News'. Sorry, I

don't know the date of the issue, but you may be able to find out from

the editor's office.

 

Basically, the procedure we used was as follows:

 

Mix together the milk (and/or skim milk, cream, etc) in a large pot

and heat gently while stirring, till lukewarm (I think the poster gave

an exact temperature here).  At this point, stir in the rennet, which

has been dissolved in a little water.  Most rennet is made from calves

stomachs.  If this bothers you, it is possible to get vegetable

rennets, or you can use other milk coagulants, such as lemon juice or

yoghurt culture.  We usually used mostly commercial rennet, and a bit

(say 10% of the whole volume) of homemade yoghurt for the taste.  At

this point, let it sit till it coagulates, then use a large knife to

cut the resulting curds in a checkerboard pattern.  Then pour the

whole pot into a colander or other holey device that has been lined

with many layers of cheesecloth.  Allow to drip for awhile, then put a

plate on top of the cheese (the cheesecloth must be brought over the

top of the cheese first) and add a weight, such as a couple of bricks.

After it has been squeezed dry (overnight or more), the cheese can be

unwrapped from the cheesecloth and put in your cheese cellar :-).  The

longer it is aged, the better it will be, but the longest we managed

to keep one was 6 months.  1 - 2 months was more typical.

 

At any rate, that is the general idea.  If you can find a copy of the

poster from the Mother Earth News, it will clear up any loose ends.

Please note that I make no claims for this being particularly

mideval(sp?).

 

stephanie moore-fuller

 

ga.smf at forsythe.stanford.edu

ga.smf at stanford.bitnet

 

 

From: sscroggi at uoguelph.ca (Sarah E Scroggie)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Cheesemaking

Date: 10 Feb 1995 03:22:05 GMT

Organization: University of Guelph

 

I know how to make cream cheese and since it is so simple I doubt the

method has has changed much over the years. What's more I learned to make

it in Wales (from a swiss woman). Anyway you take a bucket full of milk,

unpasturized and unskimmed is what we had - straight from the cow - cover

it with a tea towel and leave it in a warm place (eg. beside the furnice)

for a few days until it has a thick, slightly moldy curd floating on top.

Stain the liquids out though a chese cloth and what's left is creem chese

of yogert-like consistancy. It make a tasty desert when mixed with fruit

and honey.I think that if you save somw wey from the last batch of cheese

and keep it in the fridge until you make the next batch, it can act like a

starter. You can probably buy spacific types of cheese starters but I have

never looked into it.

      I have no documentation for this type of cheese making and learned

how by watching (that in itself is very period).

      I hope this helps

                  Sarah

 

 

Date: Tue, 16 Sep 1997 10:45:36 -0400

From: marilyn traber <margali at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #262

 

ND Wederstrandt wrote:

> I was at the wonderful Central Market and found some cheese with Nettles in

> it.  I was tempted to get it to try but didn't have enough cash.  I also

> read that nettles can be used for cheesemaking as well as being a fiber and

> dye plant.  The Vikings were very adept at using it.

>

> Clare St. John

 

Definitely, one of the current derivations of vegetarian cheesemaking

supplies. The modern stuff [you dont need to float the nettles in the

milk] can be mail ordered from:

 

new england cheesemaking supply co, inc

85 main st, po box 85

ashfield, ma 01330

413-628-3808

 

margali

Blessed are the cheesemakers....

 

 

Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997 00:21:39 -0400 (EDT)

From: DianaFiona at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - rennet

 

>>>

Actually when I make cheese I've been using mushroom extract for rennet.

While it is not period it's easily found, vegetarians can eat the cheese

and it's easily stored.  I can't recall the name of it right off but I've

found it in three stores here in Bryn Gwlad.  One day I'm gonna track down

rennet from a calf and see what happens.  I'm getting ready to make some

for a couple of events and one of the things I'm planning on is trying

nettles and a few of the other rennet plants.  We have a species related to

Lady's bedstraw that grows here in the spring and I'd like to try that...

see if it works.

 

Clare St. John

>>>>>>>>>>>

 

      You might want to go to http://www.windward.org/ush/ush.htm  (The

University of St Hildegarde site) and look at the cheesemaking article there.

It went into some detail on different ways to obtain rennet from calves'

stomachs, plus a rundown of how well various plants work to achieve the same

effect. Lots of good info!

 

Ldy Diana, who would love to visit this wonderful place in

person......................

 

 

Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 20:25:41 -0500

From: Maddie Teller-Kook <meadhbh at io.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #391

 

Ron and Laurene Wells wrote:

> I would especially like to make my own cheese!  But HOW IN AMERICA (I'm

> certian it's possible in other partes of Earth) do I find NON-Homogenized

> milk?  The dairy farmers won't sell it to people because of the law that -

> well - says they can't!  

 

Non-homoginized milk can be sold. There is a dairy here in Texas called

Promiseland that sells it at the supermarkets here. It is against the

law to buy raw (unpasteurized) milk.  I would check with the health food

stores in your area.  

 

meadhbh

 

 

Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 22:43:22 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #391

 

Ron and Laurene Wells wrote:

> I would especially like to make my own cheese!  But HOW IN AMERICA (I'm

> certian it's possible in other partes of Earth) do I find NON-Homogenized

> milk?  The dairy farmers won't sell it to people because of the law that -

> well - says they can't!  I don't know anyone with a "pet" cow or goats or

> whatever.  How do I find it?  I know it has to be pasteurized - that just

> involves cooking the milk to kill bacteria.  

 

I don't know whether the problem is any different in Oregon that what I

have to deal with, but many farmers' markets, healthfood stores, and

some supermarkets sell unhomogenized milk where I live, usually in the

old-fashioned glass bottles.

 

It is quite possible, though, to make a decent cheese with homogenized

milk. Before I am drowned out by the protestations of purists, I will

say that the finished product is not exactly the same as when made with

unhomogenized milk, but it is acceptable and often quite good. The

problem with homogenized milk is that the butterfat has been

emulsified into the  milk, acting as a shortening: the fat shortens the

protein strands, just as it would with dough, affecting the solidity of

the final product, in this case the curds. When you go to buy your

rennet, though, you should be able to get some calcium chloride suitable

for cheesemaking: it is used to counteract the effects of homogenization

and de-emulsify the milk, rendering the final product almost identical

to that made with unhomogenized milk. You only need a tiny bit, and if I

remember correctly, most of it is drained away with the whey.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 23:36:26 -0400 (EDT)

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - milk

 

<< It is against the law to by raw (unpasteurized) milk.  >>

 

It is against the law to sell raw, UNINSPECTED milk for human consumption in

PA. The health food stores carry inspected raw milk and many a farmer can be

convinced to sell it to you for "dogfood". :-)

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Sat, 25 Oct 1997 01:30:44 -0400

From: marilyn traber <margali at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #391

 

> I would especially like to make my own cheese!  But HOW IN AMERICA

> (I'm certian it's possible in other parts of Earth) do I find

> NON-Homogenized milk?

>

> -Laurene

 

You can call the local 4h and ask about kids with prohects, OR

you could go to the nearest large animal vet and ask around discretely.

I am lucky to have a dairy farm within an hours drive that sells raw

milk- apparently CT doesnt have that silly law.

BTW, they have a chemical you can add to milk to turn homog milk into

cheesable.

 

new england cheesemaking supply co inc

85 main st po box 85

ashfield mass 01330

413-628-3808

 

margali

 

 

Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 11:47:46 -0600

From: "Jack Hubbard" <jack at cwebs.com>

Subject: Re: SC - cheesemaking

 

Ron and Laurene Wells wrote:

> I would especially like to make my own cheese!  But HOW IN AMERICA (I'm

> certian it's possible in other partes of Earth) do I find NON-Homogenized

> milk?

 

We buy pasturized non-homogenized milk from "Whole Foods Markets" other

stores of this type will proabably carry it as well. Watch out for the cost

though.  I belive we pay almost $1.50 a quart!

My lady is also intrested in making cheese as she has worked in the selling

of  same for some years.

 

Eoian

 

 

Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 15:43:59 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - sources

 

>I am interested in doing research on period cheese making and dairying.

>Does anyone have reccomendations for period sources about this. I am

>looking for recipies, if possible, but anything would be interesting.

>I have a copy of Menaigier de Paris, what others should I see?

>Thank you!!!

>Emmanuelle of Chenonceaux

 

Here is a web site that just came to my attention. It is on Scottish

cheesemaking.

 

http://www.efr.hw.ac.uk/SDA/cheese1.html

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 10:06:48 -0500

From: donna_m_smith at icpphil.navy.mil

Subject: Re[2]: SC - Raw Milk

 

    I agree with Lord Ras.  Homogenization is a process of keeping whole

milk from separating into cream and skim milk by breaking up the fat

globules into smaller globules, and distributing it throughout the milk,

which happens by a mechanical process of *shaking*. According to my

reference, cheese curds will still form if you're making cheese, they will

just be softer, and not quite as easy to make into a cheese.  Some cheeses

are made from skim milk, cream, or whey as well. (Cheesemaking Made Easy,

Ricki Carroll & Robert Carroll).

    Pasteurization will kill off the bacteria found in raw milk.  Some of

these are human pathogens (ex. tuberculosis and brucellosis) and some are

not harmful to humans and can add some useful flavors to cheese if you make

it.  Some people swear by raw milk cheeses for this reason.  You must be

very careful about where the milk comes from if you plan to use raw milk,

unless the cheese is to be aged more than 60 days.  (In PA, I can definitely

buy unpasteurized, unhomogenized milk.) There are two ways to pasteurize,

one of which has the least effect on the flavor of the milk or the cheese

made from it.  Of course that one is the least economical.

a.  The better one:  Heat milk to 144 or 145 degrees F (62 C) for 30

minutes.  Cool immediately to 40 degrees (F).

b.  Flash pasteurization (most economical):  Heat milk to 160 deg. F (71 C)

for 15 sec.  This results in a cooked taste to the milk.

    Another thing that could hinder cheesemaking is the presence of

antibiotics in the milk.  When adding cultures to the milk, the antibiotic

could kill it off even at that point.  This happens occasionally, and the

culture simply won't grow (the one(s) you *want* in the milk.)

    I thought that "rotted" milk was due to the presence of bacteria (which

would enter from the air after the milk was pasteurized) that happens to

produce that kind of result, while cheese (and buttermilk) was due to the

presence of wanted bacteria that happens to produce that particular type of

output.

 

Meadhbh ni hAilin

East

 

 

Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 22:19:48 -0500 (CDT)

From: jeffrey stewart heilveil <heilveil at students.uiuc.edu>

Subject: SC - excitement for the week.

 

I just thought I would share my triumph and possible triumph with a lot of

fun attached.

 

I got part of the Barony together to make cheese.  We did an easy quick

soft cheese.  Essentially, heat up milk, add lemon juice, and drain.  It

tasted fine, and everyone had a good time.  Granted someone requested we

try to do feta next...

 

Bogdan din Brasov

 

 

Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 00:29:45 -0500 (CDT)

From: jeffrey stewart heilveil <heilveil at students.uiuc.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - excitement for the week.

 

SIMPLE CHEESE:

One quart milt, heated to 100F.  Add the juice of two lemons.  Drain in

cheesecloth.  Simple but tasty.  If you do it this way, ADD SALT.  I would

suggest forgoing the lemon and try a nice cider vinegar or somesuch having

done it once.  It was easy and fun for the whole guild.

 

Bogdan din Brasov

 

ps. next time is Feta!! ( i hope.  I know it may be OOP, but it sounded

easy, and a lot of us use a lot on a day to day basis...)

 

 

Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 21:34:27 -0500

From: "Diamond" <nordgate at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: SC - Trying new stuff

 

Thought I would let you know that tonight I made some goat cheese. The

first time I ever tried anything like this. The recipe that I used was very

simple, 1/2 gallon goats milk ( I used canned ) and a 1/4 cup vinegar. heat

the milk to 180 degrees then add vinegar stir and remove from heat. I was

supposed to come out with a ricotta type cheese but instead I've got cream

cheese. I'm not sure what I did wrong. It tastes fine but I am going to

have to put it in a mold.

I also made some of Mistress Christiana's Brwi. It turned out fine. If

anyone out there makes cheese let me know what I did wrong.

 

Arabella

 

 

Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 23:55:52 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Trying new stuff

 

nordgate at worldnet.att.net writes:

<< I was supposed to come out with a ricotta type cheese but instead I've got

cream cheese. I'm not sure what I did wrong. It tastes fine but I am going to have to put it in a mold. I also made some of Mistress Christiana's Brwi. It turned out fine. If anyone out there makes cheese let me know what I did wrong.

 

Arabella >>

 

Did you put it in a cheesecloth and hang it to dry? This would allow the whey

to thouroghly drain from it and should change the texture also. Many times

cheeses were pressed in molds to achieve the final product. This is off the

cuff, so to speak, but I have made yogurt cheese before and hang it in

cheesecloth for a couple of extra days under refrigeration. This dries it out

somewhat and makes for a superior product, IMO.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 20:51:38 -0700

From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Trying new stuff

 

hi all from Anne-Marie

 

we are asked:

> Thought I would let you know that tonight I made some goat cheese. The

> first time I ever tried anything like this. The recipe that I used was very

> simple, 1/2 gallon goats milk ( I used caned ) and a 1/4 cup vinegar. heat

> the milk to 180 degrees then add vinegar stir and remove from heat. I was

> supposed to come out with a ricotta type cheese but instead I've got cream

> cheese. I'm not sure what I did wrong. It tastes fine but I am going to

> have to put it in a mold.

 

I have made a fair amount of cheese, both with goats milk and with cows

milk in my day, using both raw milk and pasteurized stuff. I have never

attempted to use CANNED milk however, and am wondering if the canning

process (which DEFINATELY affects the taste of the stuff) did something

funky to the caseins (milk proteins that make cheese a solid).

 

When I make goats milk cheese I use the following recipe...

In a stainless steel or other non-aluminum pot slowly heat 1 gallon of fresh

milk to 185 degrees, stirring. Stir in 1/4 cup vinegar. keep at 185 degrees for a few minutes, constantly stirring till a soft curd forms. Line a colandar

with a cheese cloth. Pour in the curd, salt or season to taste (fresh herbs

are lovely), and mix well. Tie the corners of the cloth together and hang

to drip. The longer you hang it, the firmer the cheese. Overnight gives a

semi firm, like feta. A couple hours for standard "chevre" texture. It will

be fairly crumbly/chunky.

 

Note that this is twice the milk for the 1/4 cup vinegar, plus the

difference in canned vs fresh milk.

 

- --Anne-Marie

 

 

Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 23:51:10 -0500

From: "Diamond" <nordgate at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Trying new stuff

 

I have to use canned milk because all the goat farms in this area (

Pensacola, FL ) cannot sell goats milk for human consumption. using the

canned milk you have to add a can of water to it. I don't mind it this way

but it sure suprised me

 

Arabella

 

 

Date: Tue, 08 Sep 1998 08:27:31 -0400

From: Phil & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Trying new stuff

 

Diamond wrote:

> Thought I would let you know that tonight I made some goat cheese. The

> first time I ever tried anything like this. The recipe that I used was very

> simple, 1/2 gallon goats milk ( I used caned ) and a 1/4 cup vinegar. heat

> the milk to 180 degrees then add vinegar stir and remove from heat. I was

> supposed to come out with a ricotta type cheese but instead I've got cream

> cheese. I'm not sure what I did wrong. It tastes fine but I am going to

> have to put it in a mold.

 

Well, you said you made some goat's milk cheese, and goat's milk cheese

appears to have been what you got, so I don't feel you necessarily did

anything wrong. Is it good stuff? Apparently, yes. It might perhaps not score

style points as adherent to somebody's idea of chevre or some such, but again,

that doesn't make it wrong.

 

Technical points to consider for further experimentation: Goat's milk does

tend to have a finer curd than cow's milk, no matter what the method of

curdling. Also, canned goat's milk (the stuff I've seen is spray-dried and

then canned as a powder, is that what you used?) is pretty well homogenized,

first by the goat, and then by the spray drying machine, which means the fat

in the milk acts the same way as a shortening: it shortens polymers, making

the lumps of protein (curds in this case, gluten strands is what would be

involved if this were baking) smaller.

 

One thing I have done successfully in the case of cow's milk cheeses when I've

had to use pasteurized and homogenized milk, is to add a few drops of calcium

carbonate solution (at least I think that's what it is, maybe someone who's

already had their tea or coffee might confirm this); this tends to reverse the

effects of homogenization and produce tighter curds in cow's milk cheeses, it

might help with the type of milk you are using, if you have  no other option.

You can get this at a cheesemaker's supply house. (Also at the hardware store

for melting snow, buuuuuuttttttttttttt..........)

 

You also might want to experiment with using rennet. You can use that or an

acid such as vinegar or lemon juice, but if you're going to have to go to the

cheesemaking shop anyway...might as well give it a whirl in the hopes of a

firmer product. It certainly won't do less than what you are already using.

 

This is all assuming everything else is more or less above the cheesemaker's

board, and that you don't have the option of quickly getting some fresh raw

goat's milk to play around with. I don't have easy access to real goat's milk,

but I've been able to work pretty well with the canned stuff.

 

Adamantius, whose preference is for goat's milk cheese preserved in olive oil

 

 

Date: Tue, 08 Sep 1998 14:58:47 -0400

From: Marilyn Traber <margali at 99main.com>

Subject: SC - cheesemmaking

 

http://www.cheesemaking.com/ my sypplier, they have a cookbook available with the recipe. BTW, you use taffy pulling skills to make mozzarellza...

margali

 

 

Date: Wed, 4 Nov 1998 22:28:14 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Question on Butters

 

MGroulx at NRCan.gc.ca writes:

<< I WAS planning on making cheese for lunch to go with the bread, but I

can't find rennet (or junket) anywhere. And I mean ANYWHERE.  >>

 

Did you try looking in the pudding/custard aile? It is used to make certain

types of custard and is located there in my supermarket. Another place to

try would be Agway or a similar farm/home store.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Thu, 05 Nov 1998 08:52:31 -0500

From: Chris Peters <cpeters at cinemagnetics.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Question on Butters

 

[Micaylah was looking for rennet for making cheese]

Micaylah wrote:

> Ras, I have looked almost everywhere I can think of. Including all the major

> grocery stores, and not so major ones, dairies, cheese outlets (boy do we

> have alot around here), major wholesalers, farm/home stores, cheese making

> clubs, everywhere, including online web searches here in Cda.

>

> For some reason it is a very difficult commodity to come by at the moment in

> this neck of the woods?!?!?!

 

http://www.cheesemaking.com

 

They have it. It's in stock. ( I called) Hope this helps.

 

 

Date: Mon, 09 Nov 1998 16:18:58 -0700

From: Curtis & Mary <ladymari at cybertrails.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: cheese making

 

Kristi Kelly wrote:

> Does anyone have any recommendations for books or resources regarding

> period cheese making?

 

No necessarily period, but excellent for beginners:  The complete Dairy

Foods Cookbook-How to make everything from cheese to custard in your own

kitchen" by E. annie Proulx & Lew NicholsRodale Press,copyright 1982 by

the authors, ISBN: 0-87857-388-7  The first chapter has a bit of history,

like perforated cheese making jars found in Swiss lake villages, et.

Rodale press also puts out a lot of whole foods cookbooks and things and

you will probably find other recipes by checking them out.

 

Mairi, Atenveldt

 

 

Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 19:14:00 -0500

From: Karen at stierbach.atlantia.sca.org (Larsdatter, Karen )

To: Kristi Kelly <Kristi.Kelly at mci.com>, sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: cheese making

 

Elspeth of Wye wrote:

> Does anyone have any recommendations for books or resources regarding

> period cheese making?

> I'm a total beginner and any help would be appreciated.

 

"Cheese Making for the Compleat Novice" by Lady Aoife Finn

http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/rialto/Cheese-Making-art.html

 

     [Another file in my Florilegium - ed]

 

"An Easy Homemade Cheese" by Lady Catriona Fergusson

http://www.mtsu.edu/~kgregg/dmir/08/0828.html

 

"Kefir and Kefir Cheese" by Lady Catriona Fergusson

http://www.mtsu.edu/~kgregg/dmir/08/0827.html

 

"Slipcoat Cheese"

http://www.adelphi.edu/~sbloch/sca/cooking/ppb.html#cheese

 

That should at least be a start ... :)_

_

Karen Larsdatter

What A Friend We Have In Cheeses

 

 

Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 16:12:23 -0800

From: "Melinda Shoop" <mediknit at nwinfo.net>

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Re: cheese making

 

There are at least two books about cheesemaking in print, and available

from Lehman's a non-electric company who supply the Amish. The books are:

Cheesemaking Made Easy, by Bob Carroll, and Goat Cheese: Small Scale

Production, by the Mont-Laurier Benedictine Nuns.  The same company also

has a video about cheesemaking.

 

I have no financial interest in Lehman's, just that they have good stuff

for some of us recreationists.  Their website is www.Lehmans.com

 

Hope this helps.  From my personal experience, making cheese is

ridiculously easy!

 

Vigdis Bjornsdottir

Veni, Vidi, Vantsi

I came, I saw, I nalbinded

 

 

Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 02:44:38 -0500

From: Melanie Wilson <MelanieWilson at compuserve.com>

To: "INTERNET:sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu" <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Cheese making

 

It depends on the type you wish to make, soft, semi soft, hard, blue and so

on.

 

I strongly recommend starting with Soft cheese as it is the easiest and

quickest and working your way up as above.

 

Books :-

 

Soft Cheese Craft by Mary Ann Pike(gives some later period info

The story of cheesemaking in Britain -Val Cheke 1959

The Cheeses of Old England- Shelagh Frazer

Dairying Exemplified Josiah Twamley-1784

 

and on the practical side

 

Home Dairying by Katie Thear is the best I know of

 

There is a UK web site with all cheese making supplies listed they do mail

order, and if you can't find a US equivalent might be of use

http://www.netcomuk/~moorland/index.html. They do starter kits for curd,

soft and hard cheeses.

 

If you tell me more the period you are looking to I might be able to help

further.

 

For instance medieval cheeses were often from goats and ewes milk as

opposed to cows.

 

Mel

 

 

Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 07:40:20 -0800

From: Melinda Shoop <mediknit at nwinfo.net>

To: Artspersons <SCA-ARTS at UKANS.EDU>

Subject: Cheesemaking

 

I did a little digging last night and came up with  these sites on

cheesemaking, and thought I'd pass them on.

 

New England Cheesemaking Supply

www.cheesemaking.com

 

Cheesemaking in Scotland--A History

www.efr.hw.ac.uk/SDA/publshr.html

 

Glengarry Cheesemaking and Dairy Supplies (Canadian)

www.3dbiz.com/cheese/

 

The Art of Cheesemaking and Biotechnology  (very technical!)

www.uwrf.edu/biotech/workshop/activity/act16/act16.htm

 

Vigdis Bjornsdottir

 

 

Date: Fri, 01 Jan 1999 15:06:18 -0500

From: Marilyn Traber <margali at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Scottish/british food terms

 

There are 2 kinds of lactobacillus used in cheese making, and they are only

slightly different. Meso is what is used in chedders, colbys, bries and the

non bubbly cheeses. the other type is what makes the eyes in swiss and havarti.

 

margali

 

 

Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 08:00:18 EDT

From: LyAngharad at aol.com

Subject: SC - Re: Cottage Cheese

 

There is a recipe for cottage cheese in "Cheesemaking Made Easy" by Ricki and

Robert Carroll, pages 42-45 [ISBN 0-88266-267-8].  We haven't actually done

these recipes, but have used others from this (modern) book, and they worked

fine.  There is a lot of information about all kinds of cheeses in this book!

The authors are co-owners of the New England Cheesemaking Supply Co., where

we order all our cheese supplies from.

 

Ly. Angharad

Namron, Ansteorra

 

 

Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 14:22:26 -0400

From: Melanie Wilson <MelanieWilson at compuserve.com>

Subject: SC - Cottage Cheese

 

Cottage cheese

 

Traditionally for using up skimmed milk if the pig is full!

 

1.12 litres skimmed milk

1 tbs cultured buttermilk or natural yogurt(optional)

2tsp junket rennet

salt to taste

 

Heat milk to 30 degrees C, stir in started and rennet, cover leave 1 hour,

cut curds reheat to 38 degrees, stirring gently, remove pan allow to settle

15 mins, line colender with scalded muslin, over bowl, spoon in curds drain

10 mins, rinse under cold tap water , add salt chives, or whatever to your

taste

 

Mel

 

 

Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 09:57:25 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Chessy Question

 

Tollhase1 at aol.com wrote:

> Oh how does one milk a ewe

> (besides carefully). What regulations are there concerning using raw milk?

 

All I know is that in some places it is illegal to sell raw milk for

human consumption. You may be able to buy fresh goat's milk, or

something, to slop your hogs with. There are ways around most such regulations.

 

> Does it still need to be pasteurized prior to making cheese, or can it be

> done afterwards.  Are there Places to purchase Raw milk, or at this point in

> my craft it won't make a difference.

 

As far as I know, the main enemy for cheesemaking is _homogenized_ milk,

not pasteurized milk. I've made many perfectly fine cheeses with

pasteurized, non-homogenized milk in the standard grocery-store paper

half-gallon cartons. Most large health-food stores (the kind that sell

stuff other than jars of vitamins and Weight Gain 4000 ["BEEFCAKE!!!!"]

) sell non-homogenized milk. The trouble with homogenized milk is that

the butterfat acts, effectively, as a shortening, preventing protein

molecules from growing into chains, as is supposed to happen when milk

forms curds, so you can't get a good firm curd with homogenized milk

unless you add any of various chemicals, like calcium carbonate.

 

You might consider that route anyway, if you want to experiment on a

small scale while you get started. The New England Cheese Supplier place

you mention sells calcium carbonate solution; you add a couple drops to

a gallon of homogenized milk and you're ready to go. I'd advise this

more in the case of a city-dweller who might have trouble getting the

necessary unhomogenized milk. Your call.

 

You might also try Jocasta Innes' _The Country Kitchen_

1979 Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd.

London

ISBN 0-906459-01-X

 

She has an excellent and comprehensive chapter on cheesemaking.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 12:13:39 -0400

From: margali <CmUaSrKgYaNlOiLES at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Cheesy Question

 

> Is it true that say Joann fabric cheese clothe does NOT work for cheesemaking?

> Frederich

 

I use unbleached muslin washed twice in detergent to remove

the sizing and then again in plain water to remove any

residue of the soap. Cut into a 24"x24" square and serge the

edges. I also use kitchen cotton cording to tye the thing

into the draining sack and suspend it from the valence over

the sink to drip into a bowl [I like to make whey bread]

 

I havent really ever used actual 'cheesecloth' [fine gauze]

for anything except wrapping fish to poach in.

margali

 

 

Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 12:29:25 -0400

From: "D. Clay-Disparti" <Clay at talstar.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Cheesy Question

 

In a galaxy far, far away (and several years in the past) we owned a dairy goat

herd.  We milked twice a day, by hand, and never had a problem.  I kept most of

does and sold the bucks, hand feeding all the babies.  We had milking stands my

husband made out of lumber where you put the goat's head through one end so

their head is above a box holding some sweet feed to keep their

attention...goats will do most anything for sweet feed. It helps to have warm

hands and you gently punch the udder like a kid would do to help the milk "let

down".  Never had a problem with a goat withholding her milk.  I personally

think it helps if they have been hand fed from birth.  We ordered all our

supplies from a place called Caprine Supply and I think I vaguely remember some

kind of mechanical milking device (although I am getting older and they say the

memory goes first)... you can also order all the vaccines, milking supplies (if

you want a fresh sweet tasting milk you need to use stainless steel and make

sure it is sterilized) and cheese making supplies, as well as books.    Your

county agricultural agency can also help with answers sometimes.  If you decide

to raise any goats yourself and need help, just e-mail me. I'm good for some

advice on the animals and the cheese making.

 

Isabella

 

 

Date: Sun, 29 Aug 1999 15:41:32 -0500

From: "Sharon R. Saroff" <sindara at pobox.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Chessy Question

 

I don't remember the name of the cheese now, but I made a soft Indian

cheese for Laurel Prize back in November.  It was made of milk and lemon

juice and spices with herbs.  The lemon juice was used to make the milk

curdle.  I used caraway seeds as spice for one batch, mint in the second,

and tarragon and dill in the third.

 

Sindara

 

 

Date: Sun, 29 Aug 1999 16:45:26 -0500

From: "Sharon R. Saroff" <sindara at pobox.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Chessy Question

 

>"Sharon R. Saroff" wrote:

>> I don't remember the name of the cheese now, but I made a soft Indian

>> cheese for Laurel Prize back in November.  It was made of milk and lemon

>> juice and spices with herbs.  The lemon juice was used to make the milk

>> curdle.  I used caraway seeds as spice for one batch, mint in the second,

>> and tarragon and dill in the third.

>>

>> Sindara

>

>Panir, by any chance?

>

>Adamantius

 

Yes, That is the name.

 

Sindara

 

 

Date: Fri, 3 Sep 1999 06:34:56 -0700

From: varmstro at zipcon.net (Valoise Armstrong)

Subject: SC - Re: german/prussian recipe, help needed

 

Adamantius said:

>This being a German dish, I suspect cottage cheese or "pot" cheese might

>be appropriate. Can anyone tell me what "hoop" cheese is? Is it a

>reference to the manner in which it is drained, in something like a flan

>ring? Or am I being logical again?

 

I don't know about "hoop" cheese, but since this is a German or Prussian

recipe, I suspect the cheese would be similar to Quark or Topfen which

consists of fresh curds. I don't know of a period recipe, but there is a

really simple one in Elizabeth Luard's  _The Old World Kitchen_. I haven't

tried it, but a friend of mine swears it comes out similar to the authentic

product.

 

Valoise

*****

 

Curd Cheese

Quark (Germany)

Topfen (Austria)

 

2 tablespoons plain yogurt or wine vinegar

or 5 tablespoons lemon juice [My friend used lemon juice]

 

2 quarts milk

 

You will need a sausepan, a bowl, and a sieve. If using yogurt, bring the

milk to a boil and leave to cool to finger temprature (100 F). Mix the milk

with the yogurt in a basin. Put it in a warm place for 4 to 5 hours to set

as solid as yogurt.

 

If using vinegar or lemon juice, stir into the milk and brig to a near boil

(200 F) in a bowl set in a saucepan of water. Remove and keep in a warm

place for 4 to 5 hours.

 

Pour into a sieve lined with a scalded clean cloth. After an hour put a

plate on top to weight and encourage the whey to drip through. The curds

are the cheese. Cover and store in a cool pantry, and it will keep for

about a week. Drink the whey, flavored with fruit juice, for your health-or

use it to make scones. Keep in the refrigerator and it within 2 days [If he

wasn't ready to use the whey right away, my friend said that he could

freeze it without any problems and use it later for baking.]

 

 

Date: Fri, 10 Sep 1999 11:59:45 -0600

From: "Brian L. Rygg or Laura Barbee-Rygg" <rygbee at montana.com>

Subject: Re: SC - cheese revisited

 

I take yogurt -- the natural kind without the thickeners like gelatin, and

drain it in a #6 plastic Melitta coffee cone lined with a paper filter.  I

cover the top of the cone with plastic to keep out odor and prop it in an

8-cup Pyrex (glass) measuring cup in the refrigerator -- leave it overnight.

One quart yields about 2 C. fresh cheese.  Don't throw out the whey -- use

in bread-making for part of the water.  The bread will keep longer.  You can

also use it to dip cut up fruit in so that it doesn't brown (instead of

using lemon juice).

 

Raoghnailt

Stan Wyrm, Artemisia

rygbee at montana.com

 

 

Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 16:41:36 -0600

From: "Brian L. Rygg or Laura Barbee-Rygg" <rygbee at montana.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Yogurt Cheese

 

> rygbee at montana.com writes:

> << I take yogurt -- the natural kind without the thickeners like gelatin, and

>  drain it in a #6 plastic Melitta coffee cone lined with a paper filter. I

>  cover the top of the cone with plastic to keep out odor and prop it in an

>  8-cup Pyrex (glass) measuring cup in the refrigerator -- leave it overnight.

>  One quart yields about 2 C. fresh cheese.>>

>

> I have never tried this method of making yogurt cheese before but you can bet

> I will put away the 4 layers of cheese cloth that I used at Ladies Champions

> Tourney. That was the first time I tried actually preparing the yoghurt

> cheese/garlic dish. :-)

>

> Ras

 

I use this method of making yogurt cheese as the base for a lower-fat

boursin (French garlic, pepper, herb cheese-- usually a double or triple

cream base).  Let it age for at least a week to blend the flavors.  I add

the seasonings to taste and use whatever herbs besides parsley I have

currently growing in my garden.

 

Raoghnailt

 

 

Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 19:43:04 -0600

From: "Brian L. Rygg or Laura Barbee-Rygg" <rygbee at montana.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Yogurt Cheese

 

> Do you add the herbs/seasonings after it has sat overnight and then let it

> sit again for a day or a few hours?

>

> Frederich

 

Yes, I make the yogurt cheese first (overnight) and then add the rest of the

flavorings which then sit again to mingle.

 

Raoghnailt

 

 

Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 13:16:33 +0100

From: "Cindy M. Renfrow" <cindy at thousandeggs.com>

Subject: SC - re: cheesemaking

 

There are some soft cheese recipes in Two 15th c. Cookery Books, and some

illustrations of cheese making in Tacuinam Sanitatis.

 

Here's a recipe in verse from Liber Cure Cocorum, 15th c. (BTW, I sent the

scanned text of this MS. to Greg Lindahl, but I don't think it's up yet at

the Med. & Ren. Food page.)

 

Lede lardes

Take eyren and swete mylke of a cow,

Swyng hom togedur, as I byd now;

Take larde of fresshe porke with alle,

Sethe hit and schere hit on peses smalle;

Cast [th]er in and boyle hit, [th]enne

Styr hit wele, as I [th]e kenne,

Tyl hit be gedered on crud harde;

Leche hit, and rost hit afterwarde

Apone a gredel, [th]en serve [th]ou may

Hit forthe, with spit, as I [th]e say.

 

Cindy Renfrow/Sincgiefu

cindy at thousandeggs.com

Author & Publisher of "Take a Thousand Eggs or More, A Collection of 15th

Century Recipes" and "A Sip Through Time, A Collection of Old Brewing

Recipes"

 

 

Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 16:01:56 -0800

From: Maggie MacDonald <maggie5 at home.com>

Subject: SC - cheese cultures

 

At 06:10 PM 3/31/00 -0500,CBlackwill at aol.com said something like:

>BTW:  If anyone is culturing the bacteria for making bleu cheese, I would

>really like to know you better...mine died off about two years ago, and I

>haven't been able to get another culture to survive more than three days. Of

>course, I have been trying with commercially available strains from the U.S.,

>which may have a termination "gene" in them to prevent cultivation.)

 

Have you checked out the New England Cheesemaking Supply web page? They

carry several culture starters, and the first one they list is the type for

blue cheese.

its at:

https://camby.crocker.com/cgi-bin/bigcheez/web_store/web_store.cgi?page=cata

log.htm&cart_id=

 

Heck, they make it look easy enough that I may give the cheesemaking thing

one more shot. (My last attempt was abysmally AWFUL!)

 

Regards,

Maggie MacD.

 

 

Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2000 22:03:44 -0400

From: margali <margali at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: SC - My anti modern cheese thing was: toys for tot feast

 

> Her apprentice is my friend and could better speak about the wondrous soft

> herbed cheeses she makes.  Unfortunately I do not have her last Queen's prize

> documentation where I can get it.  Suffice to say she did her research.

> The closest I can find in the modern world, at least here, is "farmers

> cheese."

 

There are a couple of ways to accomplish herbed cheese - my favorite way to do it is to take the milk I am going to cheese and pitching the herbs into it and bring it up to temp, then inoculating it with the bacteria and rennet. Typically the herbs get bound into the structure of the cheese as it is coagulated by the

rennet. This works best with fresh chopped herbs. If I am using dried herbs, I

cut the curds, drain them and hand miz in the herbs , let stand overnight in the

fridge and then put it into cloth to drain the excess whey off.

 

I did find that if I make whey cheese it gets really nasty if I use herbed whey,

something about the slow heating and condensing does it. On the other hand, the

whey cheese is interesting enough on its own that it doesnt need anything else

added to it.

 

Margali

[thinking about starting to make cheese again this winter...]

 

 

Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2000 00:01:15 -0400

From: "Bethany Public Library" <betpulib at ptdprolog.net>

Subject: RE: SC - My anti modern cheese thing was: toys for tot feast

 

Jana penned:

>OOH  soft herby cheeses to spread on bread.  Fresh hot out of the oven, (Ok

>so I'll wait 10 maybe 15 minutes before slicing the bread).  This sounds

>like heaven to me.  I await recipes with knife in hand.

 

I'm sure I don't know why making cheese is a big scary thing to most SCAdian

cooks.

 

Making your own cheese is easy, relatively effortless, cheaper than

storebought, immensely more flavorful, and is impressive as hell when

presented pressed into shape and strewn with whole fresh herbs or a decent

sauce at the feast table.

 

The farmer cheeses referred to in this thread are different in different

areas of the country. In some places it's near cottage cheese, in others

it's hard and semi-aged. I think what we all SEEM to mean is

what I know as farmer cheese:  Crumbly or creamy, pressed (or semi-pressed)

white curds or bricks, that are sold fresh. In other words, green cheese.

Green cheese is nothing more than fresh pressed (sometimes unpressed) curds.

It isn't actually green (the color). It's green (unripe). Thus the

moon-is-made-of-green-cheese story. It looks like a cake of pressed, uncured

cheese, complete with pits and craters.

 

I've done this sort of thing easily for feasts, and so can you. Curds and

whey, Green Cheese, farmer cheese, etc., they all start out the same way.

Any cheese but cream and ricotta-styles are made up of Whole Milk and salt,

with a smidgen of rennet to make it curdle. Personally I amp up the cream

(and thus milkfat and flavor)content by a pint per gallon. You get rich

veins of high-milkfat running through your curds. Also personally, I use

unprocessed milk (that's a discussion for another time---but I pay half the

price of store-bought and the flavor is much better). Another personal

foible: I add some buttermilk, sour cream or yoghurt for flavor and to speed

along the process of curdling. The active cultures make for a better

finished product if aging the cheese, as well.

 

Here's what you do: Dissolve the rennet tablets in water according to

package directions. I use 2 Junket rennet tablets in 1/4 cup warm water per

each gallon of Whole milk plus additives (1/4 cup buttermilk, pint of heavy

cream). If the rennet is weak or old you will have to use more. You will

also have to use more if the milk is very new or if the cheese gods aren't

blessing your kitchen that day. Don't go overboard, however, because too

much rennet when not needed will make a rubbery curd.

 

Rennet is easily obtained from any cheese-supply source, in tablet or liquid

form, but you can also buy it at grocery stores. It's what's used to make

the dessert called Junket, which is nothing more than an elemental form of

cheese.

 

While dissolving the tablets (which can take up to 20 minutes), gently warm

the milk to blood temperature. Add your cream and cultured

buttermilk/yoghurt/sourcream if so inclined. When the

tablets are dissolved in the water, pour this gently into the milk, stir to

mix well, and then do not stir again. If you are a culture user, the culture

would be added about now, for cultured hard cheese. Not necessary for the

soft fresh cheeses.  Hold it all at blood-temperature (I end up turning the

heat off and on to do this, or wrapping the Pot in towels. Be patient.

Sometimes it's a long long wait to get a curd. The curd can look two ways

when set: obviously a separation of curd and whey, OR, it may be softer-set.

 

If you are looking at the pot, it's been an hour, and it doesn't look set,

don't be dismayed. Sometimes the pot will LOOK like it's not set even when

it has. Jiggle it, and see how the surface reacts (is it solid or liquid?).

If this doesn't help, stick in a spoon and see if it's solid. Don't be

afraid to add more rennet at this time if needed. If somewhat set, heat the

pot a few degrees higher (not a lot!), and this will help set the curd. The

curd should never be really hard at this stage. Slightly solidified is more

like it.

 

Once you know the curd has set, run a big spoon through the mass a couple of

times. You want something workable but also want to keep the curds as whole

as possible. You do not want a puree!

Line a colander with cheesecloth, linen, or a clean smooth-weave cloth. Put

it in the sink or elevate over a large bowl. Pour the mass slowly into the

colander. It will drain like crazy. The curd will slowly become firmer as it

drains.

 

At this point I tie the ends of the cloth together knap-sack style, and let

the mass dangle from the faucet and continue to drip. When the dripping

slows way down, you can either use the cheese as is (mixed with 1 tsp.. or

more per gallon of milk used, of salt).

 

If you want to press it into a cheese shape, this is easily done. I use soup

cans or larger cans for lack of professional equipment. Cut off the tops and

bottoms of the cans, and clean them very well. Use one of the circles you

cut from the cans. Throw the other away.

 

Place the can on the top of a screen or a fine cakerack. Line the can with

another piece of scalded wet linen, cheesecloth or whathaveyou. Smooth it to

the sides to minimize wrinkles, and let the ends hang out over the can. Put

about 1 cup the curds into this improvised cheese mold---for a soup can

sized mold (sometimes called a vate in period)---and sprinkle in salt (use 1

tbsp. salt per gallon of milk used--note that this is different fromt he 1

tsp. for curds---some of the salt is drained away in pressed cheese).

Overlap the hanging ends of cloth, and place the circle cut from the can on

top (this is a follower).  Any one pound of weight you can put on top of

this will do: Another can, clean stones, etc. Let it press until the

dripping is mostly finished. If you desire harder green cheese or want to

you cure the cheese, you can add more weight at this time, but for most

purposes this will be enough weight.  Unmold carefully, transfer to a plate

if serving as is. If curing your cheese, choose "cakes" of cheese that are

relatively smooth on the surface and have no deep cracks. Allow to stay on

a non-reactive surface in a cool atmosphere, turning occasionally each day,

until a rind has formed (your cake rack, lined with cheesecloth, linen etc.

would be good). You may rub the surface with salt or vinegar to keep it from

molding. This will take from 1-2 days to a week. At this point you may seal

the surface with cheesewax (usually red) or beeswax.

 

Aged cheese should be stored in a cool dry place, and turned every so often

to ensure even moisture distribution. Sample whenever you wish, but I'd wait

several months at the least. When testing cheese, patience is a virtue.

 

Viola, cheese. There are various recipes for cheese out there in period.

It's quite rewarding to attempt to make them. Someone should ask Adamantius

about his slip-coat cheese sometime. It would be a very rewarding discussion

for all of us <hint>.

 

Cheers

 

Aoife

 

 

Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 12:46:24 EDT

From: BalthazarBlack at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - making cheese

 

selene at earthlink.net writes:

> I'm another cheesehead interesting in making my own! I just picked up a '

> make your own cheese' kit at a garage sale last week, which has a convenient

> press gadget.

 

Lehmann's Non-Electric Catalog has a few cheese-making kits, as well as

rennet tablets and other cheese-making goodies.  I haven't ordered any from

them, but they do LOOK like they're high quality...

 

Balthazar of Blackmoor

 

 

Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 17:09:27 -0700

From: Maggie MacDonald <maggie5 at home.com>

Subject: Re: SC - making cheese

 

At 12:46 PM 8/10/00 -0400,BalthazarBlack at aol.com said something like:

>Lehmann's Non-Electric Catalog has a few cheese-making kits, as well as

>rennet tablets and other cheese-making goodies.  I haven't ordered any from

>them, but they do LOOK like they're high quality...

 

There is also the New England Cheesemaking Supply webpage. Their prices

seem pretty reasonable (though I haven't had the opportunity yet to order

any of their kits and give it a try).  They list things like the special

molds for different cheeses.  There are 5 different starter kits for the

novice.  They claim the mozarella-ricotta kit gets you into cheese in 30

minutes. That could be interesting for a cook's guild meeting, or

girlscouts/cubscouts/whatever.

 

They are at

https://camby.crocker.com/cgi-bin/bigcheez/web_store/web_store.cgi?page=catalog.htm&cart_id=

 

Maggie MacD.

 

 

Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 21:35:46 -0000

From: Harry Brandt <harry at sewingcentral.com>

Subject: Re: SC - making cheese

 

Philip & Susan Troy said:

>I know the New Engand Cheesemaking Supply people (www.cheesemaker.com, I

>think) will sell anything and everything you need to make cheese from

>supermarket milk, including calcium chloride solution.

 

Nope.  That's a really nice website for a cheese maker.

 

http://www.cheesemaking.com/

 

Harry

 

 

Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2000 13:41:58 -0600

From: "Brian L. Rygg or Laura Barbee-Rygg" <rygbee at montana.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Making cheese

 

The most milk I've made cheese with at once was 3 gallons and I was teaching

a friend how to make it (It's a good way to have help). ;-)  The largest pot

I have is a 20-qt. stockpot.  I suppose you could break the milk into 3-4

batches and do it that way.  The one thing I do stress is that you need (if

you don't already have one) is a real dairy (not the rinky-dink one that

came with the Salton yogurt makers) -- not candy -- thermometer.  Mine came

with a kit I bought a long time ago (1983), but the cheesemakers' site

carries one I think.

 

Raoghnailt

Stan Wyrm, Artemisia

Veritas praevalebit

rygbee at montana.com

 

 

Date: Sun, 27 Aug 2000 14:05:10 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Making cheese

 

ChannonM at aol.com wrote:

> Raoghnailt writes:

> > The one thing I do stress is that you need (if

> >  you don't already have one) is a real dairy (not the rinky-dink one that

> >  came with the Salton yogurt makers) -- not candy -- thermometer.  Mine came

> >  with a kit I bought a long time ago (1983), but the cheesemakers' site

> >  carries one I think.

>

> I have a brewing thermometer that floats, will that work? Right now my

> problem is finding a supply of unpasteurized milk. I've approached a few

> farms but no luck so far. Even the "I have lots of kittens" story isn't

> flying.

>

> I'll keep trying.

 

Unpasteurized, raw, unhomogenized milk is certainly a fine thing to make cheese.

 

However...

 

You... do... not... need... unpasteurized... milk... to... make... cheese!

 

This is a commonly held, but incorrect, belief. Anyone who tells you you

do need unpasteurized milk is either lying or simply wrong.

 

What you need, or, rather, what is helpful, is unhomogenized milk.

Failing even that, you can buy, for some small sum, from the same place

you're probably getting rennet from, unless you're slaughtering your own

calves and processing the wealcrud, a calcium chloride solution which

you can add to ordinary milk from the supermarket. This will improve the

curdling abilities of homogenized milk so that cheese-making is

possible, while adding a proportionately miniscule amount of a chemical

that drains off in the whey anyway.

 

I can certainly understand the desire to learn everything possible about

the overall process from period beginning to period end, but to forego

making cheese because you can't get raw milk straight from the udder is,

if I may coin an original phrase nobody here has _ever_ heard before,

letting the best be the enemy of the good.

 

Adamantius  

 

 

Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2000 09:07:44 -0400

From: margali <margali at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: SC - question about cheese...

 

Nisha Martin wrote:

> I was thinking about trying to make cheese and have

> seen several cheesemaking kits on the internet. Does

> anyone have a suggestion for an easier one to start

> out with? A company that is good to order from? I was

> thinking of starting with fresh mozerella. Thanks.

 

Mozzarella is not a good cheese to start with, it is more complex than even a

cheddar-at one stage in its making you heat the curd and stretch the mass sort

of like taffy[it is how it gets the funny peel apart string cheese effect.]

 

To be bluntly honest, you can make a soft cheese very simply by taking cottage

cheese, 1 8 oz container, 1 yoghurt, 8 oz container and mix them together.  I

like to throw in italian herbs and garlic at this point. Then I take a simple

collander or seive and line it with a layer of clean muslin that I have washed

out all of the sizing and soap if any. You pour the resulting dairy glop in and

set it either in a sink or in the fridge over something to catch the dripping

whey. When most of the excess liquid is dripped out, take a clean large can[the

large progresso soup can is good] that has been thoroughly washed and tiny holes

punched in the bottom. I save the lid and use it as the chaser. Place the muslin

wrapped green cheese drained curds in in the progresso can, place the lid on top

and then put a full smaller diameter can on top of the chaser to press down on

the curds in the large can. Place the rig over something to catch the drips

with, and you can even stack another can on top for more weight if you want.

After all of the whey has been pressed out and the cheese is a solid hocky puck,

you can eat it green or you can age it. I happen to like the flavored farmers

cheese [or you can use chopped chilis for a sort of pepper jack effect] or you

can make it without the garlic and herbs for a nice and mild green cheese.

 

If you want to make your own curd cheese from the start, you only need raw milk

and rennet, and a small instruction book on cheesemaking that you can get from

your local agricultural extension office. The only thing about the kits [I got

the basic mesophilic kit from american cheese because I like cheddar] is you get

a booklet, a thermometer[which I have never used] a strainer/mold, a piece of

cheesecloth and a couple of packettes of mesophilic bacteria combined with

rennet. You can buy the mesophilic culture/rennet combo separately, you really

dont need the thermometer, you can make your own mold/press, and they sell the

booklet separately.

 

margali

 

 

Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2000 19:23:43 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - cheese

 

Stefan li Rous wrote:

> But what do you use for a cheese press? Do you use one that your purchased

> commercially? Did you make it yourself? I'm imagining something with

> a large screw thread pressing a disc in a bucket. Or did you simply

> use a drilled plastic bucket, a circle of plywood or plastic and a

> bunch of wieghts? Would the latter work?

 

Yeah, it works. A fairly common traditional design for a cheese-press is

a a perforated cheese-vat, often looking like half a barrel with spaces

between the slats, and holes drilled in the bottom. This is inserted

into a rectangular frame with a wooden disk fitting inside it, which can

be weighted down, screwed down, or clamped down with a lever. Or you can

simply use the vat (corresponding to the bucket you mentioned) with the

disk inside, and weights. Sources like Digby and Plat mention using

weights to hold the disk down.

  

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000 09:50:20 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Trying Cheese (no, really trying)

 

ChannonM at aol.com wrote:

> A suggestion was to see if it separated when dragging a spatula

> through it. It did, but was not as solid as I envisioned it would be.

 

That is probably just a perceptual thing. The semi-hard, "squeaky" curds

some people think of when in Dairy Thought Mode is the result of cooking

curds, a process used in some cheesemaking, but not all. The closest

textural approximation of what to look for (that I can think of) is

barely set gelatin or aspic, the kind you then spoon over meat dishes,

pates and such as a glaze before it sets fully. Yes, you can slip a

spatula through it and it does separate (I usually just jiggle the pot

and see if I can see a clear space between the milk and the side of the

pot), but it doesn't, at this stage, form a  curd sufficiently solid to

hold itself up without support from a container. It still acts very much

like a liquid. I don't know about the stringy reference, that usually

comes later, AFAIK. What you've described, though, sounds like viable

cheese to me, if in the early stages.  

> I drained it anyway, thinking I had cooked it and set it too fast. I let the

> curds drain a few hours. The curds drained well enough so I added 1.5 tsp

> salt, mixed it and I then lined a large empty soup can with holes punched in

> it with cheese cloth and poured in about 2 cups of curd. I placed the can's

> top as a follower and placed a large can of beans on top. I made two such

> contraptions of cheese.

>

> This was left to press overnight sitting on top of a baking rack over a tray.

> Some soft cheese pressed out of the can in little blobs. I then took the

> cheese from 1 of the presses out and tasted it, looked at it and generally

> thought about it. Well, it was a taste between cottage and cream cheese, but

> without the dryness of cottage curds. It was fairly smooth in texture, with a

> hint of a rind. Seemed too wet to me, and the only flavour was from the salt.

> Kinda insipid. :)

 

This, too, shall pass. If you were able to remove it from the mold at

this stage of the game, I'd say you're on your way. Much of the flavor

component will come as it ripens, and the texture will also change as

the casein is broken down and stirred up by bacterial action.

> I added a second can on the other cheese contraption, and will let it press

> longer.

 

Sounds like a plan. Do Not... as in, do not, succumb to the temptation

to add too much weight in the early stages (even period authors are very

clear on this); unlike your little problem with curds shooting out the

holes, what you'll be left with (in addition to the aforementioned

shooting) will be dry and unpleasant. I would guess that you'll end up

with little wheels, each just shy of eight ounces, and you probably want

a minimum ripening period of about ten days for wheels that size. That'd

be for a not-really-sharp, creamy cheese like, say, Tomme, or York. In

short, slipcote.  

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2001 15:14:11 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Cheesemaking question

 

rcmann4 at earthlink.net wrote:

> So far, I've had a few successes and a few failures, and I think I've

> read nearly every cheesemaking website on the Net. There's one

> question I haven't been able to answer about period cheesemaking

> practices: I know they used cheese presses to shape and firm the

> cheese, but did they cook the curds?  Or is that a modern

> innovation?

 

From what I've been able to determine, it's modern. Admittedly, what I'm

saying is, "I don't know that the cooking of curds was done in period,"

rather than, "I know that it was not done in period." What I do know is

that of the actual cheese recipes I've seen in Dowe, Markham, Plat, and

Digby (the last three all early post-period), along with various

curd-based dishes in the medieval corpus and various net-based cheese

process descriptions of things like gruyere (allegedly period) appear to

be uncooked. This might be coincidence, and I may simply have missed all

the cooked curd recipes, but I suspect not.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 01:23:29 -0500

From: LYN M PARKINSON <allilyn at juno.com>

Subject: Re: SC - cheese

 

Hope you aren't completely buried under the snow, but you aren't going

anywhere, so try this great site I found today on how to make cheese!

 

http://www.tudocs.com/cheese.html

 

http://www.efr.hw.ac.uk/SDA/cheese2.html

 

The first one brought up a bunch of cheesy sites--didn't have time to

look at all of them.  One is a catalog where you can buy presses, cheese

boxes, etc.  Might try their 30 min. Mozzarella, myself, sometime.

The second one is directions and history, just the things you were

looking for.

 

Allison

 

 

Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2001 13:09:13 -0700 (PDT)

From: Chris Stanifer <jugglethis at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: SC - yogurt Cheese 101?

 

- --- Solstice Studios <solstice at moscow.com> wrote:

> I am experimenting with hyogurt cheese for th first

> time ever. Hanging out on this board is getting me

> tooooo excited :)  I have started with a large

> container of non -nonfat plain yogurt. I put it in

> two layers of cheese cloth and in a strainer

> overnight in fridge.

>

> Now, I am wondering if anyone else here has played

> with what must be a introductory and basic cheese

> making method that I am just now getting into :)  I

> am wondering what sort of spices and uses folks like

> to do with this cheese, different lengths of letting

> it sit, spice before or after?, and what sort of

> recipes are used for it. Sorry if this is too basic

> for the experienced folks here.

>

> -Aleska

 

While being far from actual cheese making, this is a

great first step, and is almost fool proof.  You will

be delighted with your first batch, I am sure.

 

I have made this on countless occasions, and have

always had great succes with it.  I usually let it

sit, in the refrigerator, at least 24 hours, and have

even let it drain for 10 days.  The former gives you a

cheese very much like a creamy ricotta, while the

latter will give you a denser, drier

consistency...almost crumbly.

 

My favorite herbs and spices to add are fairly

simple...fresh basil, mint and rosemary...sometimes

garlic, though not often... orange oil or

extract...and freshly cracked black pepper.  Be

careful on the last one, though, as it tends to create

a flavor in the cheese very much like raw beef...I'm

not certain why this happens, and it could be

particular to my tastebuds :)

 

I use the cheese in a number of ways, as well...as a

basis for blintz... as filling for canolli...in place

of sour cream on any number of dishes (especially Beef

Stroganoff)...as a topping for canape or

bruschetta...and even as a stuffing for light,

pristine Sole.  

 

As for when to put in the flavorings, it varies.  I

prefer to put fresh herbs in with the yoghurt prior to

draining, and mix spices and extracts/oils in after it

has thickened somewhat.

 

Once you have made this a few times, you might try

draining it for about a week, and then pressing it

into muffin tins (or a cake tin).  Weight it for

another three days...then roll it in rock salt to

cover it...wrap it in cheesecloth...and age it in the

fridge for another week.  It comes out tasting very

much like a slightly drier Feta Cheese.  Very nice in

a salad, or over plain cooked pasta with olive oil and

fresh herbs.

 

Balthazar of Blackmoor

 

 

Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2001 18:54:37 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - yogurt Cheese 101?

 

solstice at moscow.com writes:

<< Now, I am wondering if anyone else here has played with what must be a

introductory and basic cheese making method that I am just now getting into

:)  >>

 

I have made this for period middle eastern feasts. Mixing mashed garlic into

it after it has drained. I'm sure Stefan or someone on the list has the

recipe I posted on this list. The longer you leave the yogurt drain, the

firmer the finished product. I believe the source of the recipe is either

al-Baghdadi or the Book of the Beloved.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2001 19:12:24 -0400

From: "micaylah" <dy018 at freenet.carleton.ca>

Subject: Re: SC - yogurt Cheese 101?

 

Ras said...

> I have made this for period middle eastern feasts. Mixing mashed garlic into

> it after it has drained. I'm sure Stefan or someone on the list has the

> recipe I posted on this list. The longer you leave the yogurt drain, the

> firmer the finished product. I believe the source of the recipe is either

> al-Baghdadi or the Book of the Beloved.

 

Ask and you shall receive. I make this all the time.

 

Micaylah

 

******************************

An Islamic Feast in a Barbarian Court

by al-Sayyid A'aql ibn Rashid al-Zib

copyright c 1999

 

Sals

'Yoghurt Cheese with Garlic'

 

First. Yoghurt is filtered and garlic is put in it.

(from 'The Link to the Beloved'; Translated by Charles Perry. A Collection

of Medieval and Renaissance Cookbooks, Vol. II. Duke Sir Cariadoc of the

Bow)

 

Redaction by al-Sayyid A'aql ibn Rashid al-Zib, AoA, OSyc. Copyright c 1999

L. J. Spencer, Jr. Williamsport, PA.

 

1 pint Plain wholemilk yogurt

3 lg cloves Garlic, mashed to a paste

Nigella seed, ground for garnish (optional)*

 

Line a strainer with 2 layers of cheesecloth. Suspend strainer over a

deep bowl or pot. Dump yogurt into cheesecloth lined strainer. Cover

with a cloth or plastic wrap. Put in a cool place for 12 to 24 hrs. to

drain.

 

Discard liquid or use in breadmaking. Put drained yogurt in a bowl Blend

in garlic paste, mixing thoroughly. Leave a few hrs. to absorb and

develop flavor. Serve with flat bread. Serves 8.

 

(NOTE: Serving idea- Mould Sals in a mound in the center of an

earthenware plate covered with a large flatbread. Surround with an

overlapping layer of marinated or plain sliced cucumbers. Sprinkle top

with nigella and mount with a twisted cucumber slice.)

 

 

Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 09:08:12 -0400

From: margali <margali at 99main.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Torta Sambuccea

 

Great idea to make cheese at Pennsic ;-)

 

There is a chemical that you have to add to pasteurized

homogenized milk to make it curd up when you add the rennet

[animal or vegetable type] so I would suggest that you go to :

http://www.cheesemaking.com/

 

No afiliation [other than a satisfied customer ;-)]

They are very friendly, and they even have a starter kit:

 

https://camby.crocker.com/cheese2/cgi-bin/web_store/web_store.cgi?page=kit.htm&cart_id=

 

The starter kit is for ricotta/mozzarella, and is dead simple ;-)

 

I prefer their mesophilic starter [it includes the rennet and the

microbes for cheddar and other hard cheeses] as my favorite cheese

product is actually the curds that you get before you compress

them into cheese ;-) [what can I say, when made right, they

squeek when you bite into them. It's a kid thing, I grew up near

a cheese factory and like curds!]

 

margali

 

 

From: "a5foil" <a5foil at ix.netcom.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Torta Sambuccea

Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 01:45:35 -0400

 

> But when I do a curdled cheese using vinegar, wine  or lemon

> juice it comes out tasting like it has been left in the sun for a

> few days without benefit of refrigeration ... if i use a chemical

> such as rennet [I make my cheese with raw milk] I don't get the

> same problem. I think it is an issue of the pasteurization

> changing the flora living in the milk once it has been opened. At

> least with raw milk, the original mesophilic buggies taste right

> to me ;-)

>

> margali

 

I expect it has less to do with the pasteurization than it does the choice

of coagulant. Rennet isn't going to contribute any of the sour, acidic

flavors that vinegars and lemon juice contribute. I know what you mean about

that taste, though. We make fresh lemon cheese from time to time, and it can

have an off taste if the lemons are extra sour. But when the lemons are

right, it is refreshing and light, and doesn't have any more bite than a

good chevre.

 

Thomas Longshanks

 

 

From: "a5foil" <a5foil at ix.netcom.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 01:53:52 -0400

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Vegetable rennets (was Re: Cheese-making note )

 

I have found that dried hyssop consistently curdles warm milk (makes for a

horrid looking Douce Ame, but it still tastes good). Has anyone out there

used hyssop (fresh or dried) to make cheese?

 

The Catalan use a vegetable coagulant in cheesemaking called "herba-col". No

one I talked to could tell me what it is. No one on the cheesemaking boards

had heard of it when I posed the question last year. Does anyone here know

what "herba-col" is? I'm wondering if it might be an alternate name for the

cardoon flower.

 

Thomas Longshanks

 

 

From: Bronwynmgn at aol.com

Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 10:01:15 EDT

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Torta Sambuccea

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

margali at 99main.com writes:

> But when I do a curdled cheese using vinegar, wine  or lemon

> juice it comes out tasting like it has been left in the sun for a

> few days without benefit of refrigeration

 

Hmm - I've never had that problem, and I've done it with regular grocery

store milk and Pennsic milk.  I don't care as much for the vinegar ones

myself, but the lemon is really good (IMO, of course).  I haven't tried it

using wine.

I suppose that it tasting like it's gone bad is because curdled milk is

generally considered to *have gone bad*.  I certainly never expected to get

anything edible by pouring lemon juice into milk!  I was skeptical to say

the least, but found the end result pleasing.

 

Brangwayna Morgan

 

 

From: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 11:07:53 -0400 (EDT)

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Torta Sambuccea

 

> I have been served the lemon cheese as a feast dish, and it

> tasted like milk gone way bad.

 

I had lemon and lime cheeses at a class at a recent herb event. They were

very interesting and would have been good on sweet breads, Perhaps it

depends on the amount of lemon/lime juice?

 

-- Jadwiga

 

 

From: "a5foil" <a5foil at ix.netcom.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Vegetable rennets (was Re: Cheese-making note )

Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 00:05:28 -0400

 

(snip)

> Cynara cardunculus L is the Latin name for the cardoon or globe artichoke.

>

> I notice that one of the other common names in Catalan for

> this plant is "Card de formatjar" which would be

> "Cheesemaking cardoon", yes?

>

> Brighid ni Chiarain

 

Yes. The cardoon is used to make various cheeses, sometimes denoted by

"...de flor". The cheeses I've read about or tasted that are made using

herba-col, instead of rennet, aren't identified in any special way (e.g.,

mato'). Ah, well. Just one of those things I'm continuing to research.

 

Thomas Longshanks

 

 

Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 08:59:12 -0400

From: "Linda M. Kalb" <lmkalb at mail.med.upenn.edu>

Organization: University of Pennsylvania

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] making cheese with lactaid milk

 

I bought the book _Cheesemaking Made Easy_ by Carroll & Carroll, and on page 14,

under the header "Coagulation - How and Why" it states (I paraphrase) that there

are two basic ways to coagulate the milk solids into a curd, acid coagulation and rennet coagulation.  I quote: "You can cause acid coagulation either by adding an acid substance such as lemon juice or vinegar, or by adding a bacterial culture which turns the lactose (milk sugar) into lactic acid.  Both are good ways to make a curd, and each is used for different purposes."

 

So I would assume that although lactaid milk wold not lend itself well to

cheesemaking with bacterial starter cultures, it should be just as good as regular milk in making cheese by acid coagulation. Most of these are soft cheeses.

 

Inga Guthbrandsdottir

 

 

From: "chirhart_1" <chirhart_1 at netzero.net>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] New Cheese

Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 14:38:04 -0400

 

> On the subject, since I managed to miss the cheesemaking classes at

> Pennsic--can I make decent cheese with pasteurized, homogenized milk, or

> should I search out a source of raw milk?

>

> Margaret FitzWilliam

 

Chirhart adds: Yes you can but you will need to add calcium chloride. Add 1/4

tsp. for every two gal. of milk.

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 20:19:20 -0600

From: Sue Clemenger <mooncat at in-tch.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese Making, also Gjetost/Mjetost

 

Regarding the making of gjetost/mjetost....it's a liquid for a long,

long time (took me about 24 hours to cook it down).  As it simmers, the

water (non-scientific term, but y'all know what I mean, you know you do

<g>) slowly steams away, and the milk sugars carmelize.  The stuff gets

thicker and thicker, so, especially at the end, you really have to watch

to make sure it doesn't burn or scorch.  If you get it to a soft fudge

consistency, you can pour/spoon it into a bowl or whatever, and it will

continue to stiffen as it cools.  If you want it softer, take it off the

heat before it gets quite as thick.

 

--Maire

 

 

From: Bronwynmgn at aol.com

Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2001 07:50:20 EDT

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] New Cheese

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

chirhart_1 at netzero.net writes:

> Chirhart adds:Yes you can but you will need to add calcium chloride.Add 1/4

> tsp. for every two gal.of milk

> >

> > On the subject, since I managed to miss the cheesemaking classes at

> > Pennsic--can I make decent cheese with pasteurized, homogenized milk, or

> > should I search out a source of raw milk?

 

Hmm.  I made perfectly good cheese from Pennsic milk and lemon juice, and

have done it at home several times since using pasteurized homogenized milk

and various vinegars or lemon juice, with never a drop of calcium chloride

anywhere near it.  Heck, I don't even know where to get the stuff!  I don't

know what it does with the cheese, but you certainly do not need to add it to

make cheese.

 

Brangwayna Morgan

 

 

Date: Sat, 01 Sep 2001 08:00:45 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] New Cheese

 

Bronwynmgn at aol.com wrote:

> Hmm.  I made perfectly good cheese from Pennsic milk and lemon juice, and

> have done it at home several times since using pasteurized homogenized milk

> and various vinegars or lemon juice, with never a drop of calcium chloride

> anywhere near it.  Heck, I don't even know where to get the stuff!  I don't

> know what it does with the cheese, but you certainly do not need to add it to

> make cheese.

 

Obviously you didn't need it, but others may, according to conditions.

 

What it does, essentially, is to help break down the emulsion of the

butterfat into the milk, effectively de-homogenizing it, making for

firmer curds that haven't been "shortened" by fats.

 

Adamantius

 

 

From: "chirhart_1" <chirhart_1 at netzero.net>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] New Cheese

Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2001 13:32:03 -0400

 

Hi . When I wrote of the calcium chloride this was only if you are to make

hard cheeses from pasteurized milk. You are right about bag cheese.You do

not need it for that but please don't discount it altogether.Before you tell

some one you don't need it check it out. Makes you look good. And the world

is a better place ..

 

Chirhart

 

 

From: "chirhart_1" <chirhart_1 at netzero.net>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] New Cheese

Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2001 17:04:43 -0400

 

It will not set!

 

From: "Elizabeth A Heckert" <spynnere at juno.com>

>      It sounds as if the calcium chloride works both on the

> pasteurization and the homgenaity of the milk??  It sounds as if you were

> to get pasteurized and non-homgenized milk you would have  good results

> with a new cheese if you didn't use the calcium chloride.

>

>      What would happen if you would try to make a hard cheese with

> pasteurized, non-homgenized milk without using the calcium chloride?

>

>      Elizabeth

 

 

Date: Sat, 01 Sep 2001 19:33:05 -0600

From: Sue Clemenger <mooncat at in-tch.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] New Cheese

 

Glenda Robinson wrote:

> Any ideas as to what to do with the whey? Cheesemaking.com suggests baking

> bread, but there's probably a few other great suggestions out there to share

> with your fellow cooks.

 

Depending on how you made the cheese in the first place (i.e., with

something acid-based, or with rennet), you could make gjetost or mjetost

(sp?) with your whey.  Or, if your whey is really fresh, you can make

ricotta cheese from it.

I think you can also put the whey in soups, but I'd do it in something

where the color doesn't make too much of a difference--the last time I

paid attention to the color of the whey after I made cheese, it was the

_nastiest_ pale yellowy-green color.

 

--Maire

 

 

From: Tollhase1 at aol.com

Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2001 22:06:31 EDT

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] more cheesy attempts

 

> !  I don't

> know what it does with the cheese, but you certainly do not need to add it

> to make cheese.

 

Also be very careful not to scorch the milk.  Tried to rig up a double boiler

to heat the milk indirectly to make the lemon cheese.  Boy was it a glorious

failure.  Tomorrow I will try again with a different configuration.  I did

notice that I was using two different methods and had a 5 degree difference

between the two.  By sorching the milk, it prevents the curds from

seperating (question/ statement?)

 

My second batch of cheese was a quasi success.  It tastes good, but the

texture for the cheese was all wrong.  Sort of ended up like a feta

consistency.  Did I overwork the cheese?

 

Frederich

 

 

From: Tollhase1 at aol.com

Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2001 22:16:07 EDT

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Hard Cheese

 

> What would happen if you would try to make a hard cheese with

> pasteurized, non-homgenized milk without using the calcium chloride?

>

>      Elizabeth

 

It is my understanding that you would loose a lot of the curds as they would

not separate the same way. The cheese would not be as firm as a typical hard

cheese.  I add a citric acid powder and a vegetable rennet to my cheese.  But

I am not anywhere ready to try hard cheese.  At least my family likes my

mistakes so far.

 

Frederich

 

 

Date: Sat, 01 Sep 2001 22:50:40 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] New Cheese

 

Glenda Robinson wrote:

> Any ideas as to what to do with the whey? Cheesemaking.com suggests baking

> bread, but there's probably a few other great suggestions out there to share

> with your fellow cooks.

 

It's been used in Scandinavia as a pickling medium, when soured. When

just a bit tangy, it's a surprisingly refreshing drink, chilled. Oh, and

don't forget to simmer it and skim off the ricotta that floats to the

top (re-cooked, hence the name, of a completely period cheese, even if

it is rarely made this way on an industrial scale).

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sat, 01 Sep 2001 23:16:38 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] New Cheese

 

Elizabeth A Heckert wrote:

>      It sounds as if the calcium chloride works both on the

> pasteurization and the homgenaity of the milk??  It sounds as if you were

> to get pasteurized and non-homgenized milk you would have  good results

> with a new cheese if you didn't use the calcium chloride.

 

The calcium chloride doesn't really address the pasteurization issue, AFAIK.

 

>      What would happen if you would try to make a hard cheese with

> pasteurized, non-homgenized milk without using the calcium chloride?

 

Cheese, ideally. If it is pasteurized, you might need to introduce some

kind of bacterial starter culture; some even use a spoonful of yogurt or

buttermilk for that.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sat, 01 Sep 2001 23:23:09 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] New Cheese

 

Glenda Robinson wrote:

> Any ideas as to what to do with the whey? Cheesemaking.com suggests baking

> bread, but there's probably a few other great suggestions out there to share

> with your fellow cooks.

 

Traditionally it was fed to pigs, because pigs love it

and grow very big when fed on it. It's nutritious, but the

taste is best described as insipid, say Alan Davidson.

It also is used in recipes as the liquid used in scones

But then again another thing to do with it is to make

"Whey Curd Cheese" which calls for a ratio of 1 part whey

to 2 parts milk. Heat the whey slowly until surface looks

frothy. Just before it boils.... Pour in the milk and continue

to heat for another 5 minutes or so. Don't boil it, so mind the

heat. Lift pan off from the heat if you must.  When it starts

to curdle, remove from heat and let it sit undisturbed for

1 - 2 hours. Then spoon the curds in a cheesecloth lined

colander. Leave to drain for another 2 hours. Salt to taste

and store in a tub in the refrigerator.

Recipe is from a neat book called Soft Cheese Craft and Other

Recipes for the Aspiring Dairymaid by Mary Ann Pike. Whittet

Books, Surrey, UK. 1982.

 

Johnna Holloway

 

 

From: "chirhart_1" <chirhart_1 at netzero.net>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] New Cheese

Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2001 01:55:58 -0400

 

From: <LadyAngustias at aol.com>

> > you could make gjetost or mjetost

> > (sp?) with your whey.  Or, if your whey is really fresh, you can make

> > ricotta cheese from it.

>

> Recipe please

 

Chirhart Adds:

 

2 gallons or more whey .Fresh! At this time you can add a pint of cream or 1 qt.milk (makes more cheese) heat to 200o. When the temp is reached put in

1/2 cup vinigar let curds form take from heat. Line a colander with cheese

cloth not pourious kind! Let drain for a couple hours. Pour into bowl add

a little salt, some spice if you like and add a little cream if you want it most

injoy.( Does not make tons but is relaxing)

 

Chirhart

 

 

From: "Brian L. Rygg or Laura Barbee-Rygg" <rygbee at montana.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Sca-cooks digest, Vol 1 #524 - 18 msgs

Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2001 19:06:51 -0600

 

> Any ideas as to what to do with the whey?

 

Fruit dipped in whey will not turn brown and it's safe for the citric acid

sensitive crowd.

 

Raoghnailt

 

 

Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 14:44:16 -0500

From: "C M Bucheger" <cmbucheger at mail.wireweb.net>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Cheese Making

 

Recently there was some discussion about cheese making and some of the additives that are required, specifically the calcium- something or another that someone asserted that without, the curds would not come if using homogenized milk.  I was a little puzzled by this as I've made a couple of batches of cheese using unhomogenized and homogenized milk from a local nonhormones-and-other-additives dairy and also a regular gallon of milk from the local HEB, using yorgurt and/or lemon juice as a curdling agent and got about the same results.  Curds were not especially big, but they were there and I had cheese.

 

Still I was ready to try cheese using "real" rennet, so I ordered a kit from cheesemaking.com and made a batch following Markham's receipt with a gallon of milk from HEB.  It was not good.  After waiting an hour for curds and not getting any I added some more of the rennet.  I think I almost had curds at this point.  I drained the curds and got a ball of soft cheese that was half the size I had gotten from a half gallon of milk.

 

So it seems to me, using the vegtable rennet does require this additional additive to make cheese using homogenized milk, while other curdling agents may not.

 

Alexandria

 

 

From: "Randy Goldberg MD" <goldberg at bestweb.net>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Ember Day Tart grene cheese

Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2002 06:26:01 -0500

 

> Have you thought to make your own "soft cheese?"  A cheese made from yogurt

> is soft & unripened.  Or running the whole she-bang of obtaining  {raw}

> unhomogenized milk, and a starter {rennet?} use a book on "how to" from the

> Library.  If not an older cookbook from your own collection.   I found a

> cool chapter in a cookbook that lurked from my Sweetie's collection about

> stockpiling your own foods.   The most complicated tool is a temperature

> gauge.

 

Easier yet - take a gallon of milk and a quart of buttermilk. Heat together,

and keep it between 180-195 degrees F. The acid will coagulate the proteins

and you will have (ta-da) made your own ricotta! This technique comes from

"Michael Chiarello's Napa" series on PBS. He says any acid will do.

 

Avraham

 

 

From: "Randy Goldberg MD" <goldberg at bestweb.net>

To: "sca-cooks" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2002 06:39:10 -0500

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Ricotta

 

I have a correction to the Michael Chiarello ricotta recipe (I finally got

into the website to get the real instructions).

 

Arrange 6 or more layers of cheesecloth in a colander in the sink. Use a

wide surface area so that the curds will cool down quickly.

 

In a large nonreactive saucepan, pour 1 gallon milk and 1 quart buttermilk.

Heat over high heat and stir with a rubber spatula, making sure to cover the

whole bottom of the pan. Stir occasionally until the mixture is warm, then

stop stirring. As milk heats, the curds will begin to rise and clump on the

surface. As they begin to form, take the spatula and gently scrape the

bottom of the pan to release any curds from the bottom. Be careful, the

curds will scorch easily.

 

When milk reaches 175 F, the curds and whey separate. The whey looks like

skim milk versus a mass of thick white curds. Immediately remove from heat.

Working from the side of the pot, ladle whey through through prepared

cheesecloth. Go slowly so as not to break up curds. Finally, ladle all of

the curds into the cloth. Lift the sides of the cloth to let the liquid

drain.You can pick up the corners and tie them over a faucet to continue to

drain. Resist the temptation to press on curds.You will only lose solids

through the cloth. Discard the whey and pack the cheese into sealed

containers. Refrigerate and use within 1 week.

 

 

Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2003 18:17:05 -0600

From: Sue Clemenger <mooncat at in-tch.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese Question

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

I make Queso Blanco with vinegar.  I take a gallon of whole milk

(sometimes with an additional pint of heavy cream), and heat it to 180

degrees Fahrenheit, where I "hold" it for a few minutes.  I then take it

off the heat, and carefully stir in a quarter to a third of a cup of

real cider vinegar.  It'll curdle fairly fast. At this point, I pour it

carefully into a cheesecloth or muslin-lined sieve (same one I use for

pasta, actually), and let most of the whey drain out.  While it's still

softish, I can add herbs, flavorings, salt, etc.  I then tie up the

corners of the cloth, like a hobo kerchief, and hang the whole thing to

drip over the sink overnight.  Each gallon of milk will make a couple of

pounds of fresh cheese.

I've only tried the lemon version a couple of times, and found it too

tart for ordinary purposes, but YMMV, of course.

--maire

 

Barbara Benson wrote:

> That sounds wonderful, could you be more specific in the technique that you

> are referring to. I have never tried to make cheese (it is on the GREAT LIST

> OF THINGS TO LEARN, but I haven' gotten to it yet;)

>

> Serena

>

>> Generys> I agree that it would be a soft cheese. you could always take that

>> literally, however, and do the "cream separated with lemon juice or vinegar

>> and drained" trick (I've been playing with this lately. it's yummy stuff,

>> and really easy, and best of all, much cheaper than decent farmers cheese.)

 

 

Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2003 19:34:23 +1000 (EST)

From: tracey sawyer <tfsawyer at yahoo.com.au>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Sca-cooks Digest, Vol 1, Issue 3544

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

I have a really easy cottage cheese recipe - well it's actually crowdie  

which is a cream cheese ...

 

2 litres milk

600 ml  cream

Salt to taste

Herbs (optional)

 

Allow your milk to ripen (that is turn sour and begin to thicken) (say

36 hrs depending on the weather - it was autumn in Australia, so mid  

teens Celcius)

 

Add the cream, leave another 12 hours

 

Put into a cheesecloth and drain (I tied it to my rolling pin which I

balanced on a bucket).  Drain off the whey (don't waste it, you can use  

it in bread making or mix it in with your chooks food - they love it)

 

When it stops dripping (say 12 -24 hours) add a bit of salt, taste it,

add a bit more, taste it - until it tastes right.

 

Plain it is delicious on toast with jam

 

I added garlic and mustard seed to 1/3 of mine - Mmmm! very nice on  

bikkies... and I added mixed herbs to another 1/3 which was also  

tasty... experiment with other flavours.

 

IT IS DEAD EASY - and takes about 30 minutes spread over a week!!!.

 

Luv, Lowry

 

   Lady Lowry ferch Gwynwynwyn ap Llewelyn   mka: Tracey Sawyer

 

 

Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2003 10:18:59 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: cheese (was digest)

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

On Sunday, June 22, 2003, at 10:13  AM, Barbara Benson wrote:

> That sounds great, just one question - what's a Chook? ;)

> -Serena

>

>> Luv, Lowry> Put into a cheesecloth and drain (I tied it to my rolling

>> pin which I balanced on a bucket).  Drain off the whey (don't waste it,

> you can use it in bread making or mix it in with your chooks food - they love

> it)

 

Ozzie/NZ/parts of UK slang for chicken.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2003 10:32:13 -0400

From: "a5foil" <a5foil at ix.netcom.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese Question

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

What I would recommend is that you try the recipe with several  

different kinds of soft cheese and see what works best. The last time I  

needed a soft cheese, I tested home-made vinegar cheese, ricotta, cream  

cheese, cottage cheese run through a blender, mascarpone, and quark.  

Each one gave a different result.

 

Lemon and vinegar cheese are easy to make. If you use too much or too

strong an acid they can turn out sour, and the lemon cheese has a  

definite lemon taste which won't work in some recipes. Also if you get

the milk too hot the cheese can go chewy.

 

You can use the whey in baking, and for this purpose it freezes well.

It does change the texture of the bread a bit but it's an easy way to

make a sort of mock sour dough.

 

If you're really interested in making cheese, look for a copy of "Home  

Cheese Making" by Ricki Carroll or her earlier book "Cheesemaking Made  

Easy." Also check out cheese cultures and cheesemaking supplies at New  

England Cheesemaking Supply (Ricki's company) at www.cheesemaking.com

Their direct-set cultures are extremely easy to use. There are other  

suppliers but this is the one I use.

 

Cynara

 

 

Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2003 13:48:03 -0400

From: "Generys ferch Ednuyed" <generys at blazemail.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Cheese Question

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

This was on the Medieval Encampments list a few weeks ago. Basically, you just take whole milk, or half-and-half (I haven't tried half and half,  but it ought to produce more cheese than straight milk...), and heat it on  the stove until it gets to about 160-180 degrees.  Remove from the heat,  and add lemon juice or vinegar until it separates - for 1/2 gallon of milk yesterday, I used about 1/4 cup of lemon juice, but don't be afraid of adding too much - it drains away with the whey.  You'll **see** when  you've added enough - the separation will be dramatic.  Once it separates,  drain it through a muslin-lined colander (don't use cheesecloth, this is a rather small-curd cheese and you lose a lot in the weave of the cheesecloth if  you do).  Let drain for a while, squeezing it in the muslin once it cools  enough to handle. You get a creamy cheese, with a distinct "lemony" flavor  and a somewhat grainy texture.  Not sure how it tastes if you do it with vinegar...though I've been told the vinegar version can taste a little  odd to the modern palate.

 

For those of you who like Andalusian, this tastes WONDERFUL when you use it

as the base cheese for the "Zabarbada" in Duke Cariadoc's

Miscellany...though personally when I made this I cut back on the

onions and cilantro a LOT.

 

Generys

 

 

Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2003 14:01:30 -0400

From: "Avraham haRofeh of Sudentur" <goldbergr1 at cox.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese Question

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> You get a creamy cheese, with a distinct "lemony" flavor and a

> somewhat grainy texture.

 

I'm told if you toss it into your Kitchen-Aid for a few minutes at a

Medium speed with the paddle, it gets creamier and less grainy.

 

Avraham

*******************************************************

Reb Avraham haRofeh of Sudentur

      (mka Randy Goldberg MD)

 

 

Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2003 12:05:24 -0600

From: Sue Clemenger <mooncat at in-tch.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese Question

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

I use about 1/4 to 1/3 cup vinegar for a whole gallon of milk.  I cannot

"taste" the vinegar in the finished product, which, if you let it hang

overnight, makes a nice, firm curd--almost like a loaf of cheese.  The

original recipe says it's useful for cooking, stir-frying, etc. because

it doesn't melt, but I haven't yet tried it in that fashion.

I've thought (when I have time, which *isn't* right now!) of trying

other liquids to see if I can get a similar curd.  ISTR some period

recipes that precipitate the curd with ale.....

 

--maire

 

 

Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2003 14:14:06 -0400

From: "Generys ferch Ednuyed" <generys at blazemail.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Cheese Question

To: <mooncat at in-tch.com>, "'Cooks within the SCA'"

      <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

The lemon version does melt, though that may be because I didn't hang it

overnight - which is good, since I'm using to make "cheese goo", lol.  I

will definitely have to try the vinegar version, though, thanks!

 

Generys

 

 

Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2003 11:37:56 -0700 (PDT)

From: robert frazier <robertblacksmith at yahoo.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Cheese Question

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

the vinegar verson i use when i make "palak paneer"

indian-style fresh cheese and spanish. i put a weight

on it over night(a lg. soup can works).

 

 

Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2003 15:03:04 -0500 (CDT)

From: "Pixel, Goddess and Queen" <pixel at hundred-acre-wood.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese Question

To: mooncat at in-tch.com, Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

On Sat, 21 Jun 2003, Sue Clemenger wrote:

> I make Queso Blanco with vinegar.  I take a gallon of whole milk

> (sometimes with an additional pint of heavy cream), and heat it to 180

> degrees Fahrenheit, where I "hold" it for a few minutes.  I then take

> it off the heat, and carefully stir in a quarter to a third of a cup of

> real cider vinegar.  It'll curdle fairly fast. At this point, I pour it

> carefully into a cheesecloth or muslin-lined sieve (same one I use for

 

I found that flour-sack towels are *perfect* or mostly so, for making

cheese. They drain beautifully and are usually large enough that you can

do the hobo thing with ease. And they come already hemmed. :-)

 

The ones from Wal-Mart were ok, the ones from Bed, Bath, and Beyond were

better, but more expensive.

 

Margaret

 

 

From: Heather Murray <margaret at easaraighexpunge.orgorganizethis>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Making feta

Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 12:26:14 GMT

 

Charlene Charette wrote:

> Heather Murray wrote:

>> OK, so I'm making feta. Second night this week I've simultaneously made

>> two batches at once, using a gallon in each batch, doing all the steps

>> at once.

>>

>> So can somebody tell me why one gallon of each of these batches turns

>> to milk silt, instead of forming proper curds? Literally these gallons

>> are from the same farm that sells only unpasteurized. The failure *is*

>> occuring in the same pot, but I used *exactly* this pot to make

>> previous successful batches of chevre and (beginning of August), a

>> small monterrey jack (using goats' milk, again).

>>

>> It's very frustrating. Someone? Anyone?

>>

>> Margaret Northwode

>

> Does this help?

> http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Cheese/clean_break/Problem_getting_a_clean_break.html

>

> --Perronnelle

 

Thank you - I'd found that last night after I'd posted. There's still

not a whole lot of useful *reason* why stuff from the same farm kept in

the same condition should act so wishy-washy, though. I threw it out as

soon as I'd gone to check the break. Perhaps if I'd kept it and let it

sit overnight, it would have worked up, but somehow I doubt it. It

didn't have the look of milk working on cheese (and the culture for both

was from the same packet).

 

Margaret N.

 

 

From: Heather Murray <margaret at easaraighexpunge.orgorganizethis>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Making feta

Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 22:31:15 GMT

 

georg wrote:

> Heather Murray wrote:

>> Thank you - I'd found that last night after I'd posted. There's still

>> not a whole lot of useful *reason* why stuff from the same farm kept

>> in the same condition should act so wishy-washy, though. I threw it

>> out as soon as I'd gone to check the break. Perhaps if I'd kept it and

>> let it sit overnight, it would have worked up, but somehow I doubt it.

>> It didn't have the look of milk working on cheese (and the culture for

>> both was from the same packet).

>>

>> Margaret N.

>

> Were you splitting the packet between batches? Perhaps the one batch did

> not get enough culture. It's also possible that your temperatures were

> not consistent between batches.

>

> My husband has made two batches of cheddar on the same day using

> everything exactly the same. He consistently screws up the second batch

> because of his alcohol level increasing as the day progresses- so his

> timing and temperatures are off, though he'll swear he did it all the

> same. I'm sure it's not your problem, but it may give you something to

> think about. Tiredness also affects judgement, as will your distractions.

>

> -georg

>

 

Yes, but the first time each pot got a packet - and with this, my last

packet, I measured so that each one got some. The good ones from each

batch made up equally well.

 

Eh, well.

 

Margaret N.

 

 

Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2005 17:12:16 -0500

From: Wildecelery at aol.com

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Cheese/Cheese-curd making

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

I took a class on period bag cheeses at Pennsic, several years ago.    

The  handout I have does not say anything about heating or boiling the  

vinegar.

 

Basics:

Heat milk(or milk/cream mixture) until "uncomfortable to the touch",  

but not boiling

Add vinegar 1/3 c at a time until  it starts to separate

Drain through a cloth-lined colander

Tie up corners and let drip

 

Notes:

1) I use a plain cotton handkerchief as a "liner" most of the time.

2)I have found that you get a milder flavor using white wine vinegar,  

cider vinegar is ok  and plain white vinegar is passable, though  

sometimes strong

3) If you want to add herbs for flavor, I found this easiest to do while  

pouring the separated mixture into the strainer, as opposed to trying  

to "knead" herbs into the finidhes spread or cheese

4) if left to drip overnight, or  more than 5 hours, the cheese mass  

hardens into a still somewhat spreadable, but more solid ball which can  

be sliced or crumbled

 

-Ardenia

 

 

Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2005 15:32:29 -0800 (PST)

From: Carole Smith <renaissancespirit2 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Cheese/Cheese-curd making

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

If the souring agent is lemon juice, you get still another flavor.   It  

is advisable to heat the milk to kill off funky spores, etc.

 

Cordelia Toser

 

Wildecelery at aol.com wrote:

I took a class on period bag cheeses at Pennsic, several years ago. The  

handout I have does not say anything about heating or boiling the  

vinegar.

 

 

Date: Thu, 5 May 2005 16:54:54 -0700 (PDT)

From: smcclune at earthlink.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Cheesecloth, was Re: Paneer

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Carole Smith <renaissancespirit2 at yahoo.com>

 

Note: For the cloth bag  I folded a plain-weave kitchen towel in half

and sewed up the "sides".  The cheesecloth I can buy at the store is

useless for this because the curds are quite small and the cheesecloth

is very loosely woven.

<<<

 

Agreed -- the stuff sold in most American supermarkets at "cheesecloth"

is all but useless, especially for making cheese!

 

However ... I get the GOOD stuff from Williams-Sonoma:

 

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/ and search for "cheesecloth".

 

It has worked well with even the finest-curded cheeses I've made.

 

Alternatively, a nice fine piece of linen or muslin (washed, of course,

to remove any sizing from it) ought to work just fine, too.

 

:)

 

Arwen

Caerthe, Outlands

(Denver, CO)

 

 

Date: Thu, 05 May 2005 20:53:51 -0400

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheesecloth, was Re: Paneer

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

smcclune at earthlink.net wrote:

> Agreed -- the stuff sold in most American supermarkets at

> "cheesecloth" is all but useless, especially for making cheese!

 

The supermarket kind of cheesecloth is so named because it's the stuff

that hard cheese is wrapped in for aging.  I generally use muslin,

either from the fabric store, or sheets from the thrift shop

(well-washed and sanitized).  I've also used "flour sacking" kitchen

towels from Walmart.

 

> Arwen

> Caerthe, Outlands

> (Denver, CO)

--

Brighid ni Chiarain

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Mon, 9 May 2005 09:39:58 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Cheesecloth

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Actually the type of cheesecloth sold in grocery

stores would be avoided by miles by any serious

cheesemaker.  The kind of cheesecloth that's used to

wrap cheeses, like bandaged cheddars, for long-term

aging are industrial cheesecloths.  If you have an

opportunity to try a bandaged cheddar in a reputable

cheese shop ask to see the cheesecloth that's used on

the cheeses, it's extremely sturdy and durable.  I buy

mine by the bolt from my local hippy fabric store, but

then I use lots and lots of it when I teach classes

and make my own cheeses.

 

I also use linen tea-towels and have been known to use

a clean pillowcase in a pinch.

 

Eibhlin the cheese-geek

 

 

Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 06:30:06 -0700 (PDT)

From: "Cathy Harding" <charding at nwlink.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Rennet

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

I get rennet in dry or liquid form (the dry tablets are easier to store

at events) from cheesemaking.com or leeners.com (and all sorts of other

cheesy supplies).

 

Maeva in An Tir

 

 

Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 10:24:48 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Junket

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

>>>

Thanks for the clarification on this!  It definitely sounds like

Something I want to test out at home before trying it on

others...

 

It just occurred to me, too, that using animal rennet the junket might

Make it not-vegetarian, right?  Also, does the mix of milk and a meat-derived

product make it not kosher, either?  I'm not against trying the recipe, I

just want to be sure about how many of the diners can

eat it.

 

Vittoria

<<<

 

Yes, it definitely makes it non-kosher.  You

can substitute the veal-based rennet with a

vegetarian-based (which makes it kosher), which works

well unless you intend on aging it for long periods of

time.  For some reason the veggie type adds a bitter

flavor to the paste in some cheeses at the 12-14 month

point.  There is a recipe for making almond-milk

cheese (that I haven't tried) in Das Buoch von Guoter

Spise, recipe #71 "A cheese of almonds" which might be

substituted as well.

 

Eibhlin

 

 

Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 21:35:03 -0400

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Junket

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius wrote:

> I'd try making a batch, maybe according to a modern recipe (you can

> even buy commercial junket tablets, which supply a weaker form of

> rennet than that used for cheeses), just to become familiar with the

> process before you decide what to do in the end. Me, I'd just make it

> at the event, in the morning, and serve it in the evening.

 

Not that it's relevant in this case, but I have successfully made soft

cheese using junket tablets.  One tablet per gallon of milk will produce

a cheese as firm as Neufchatel or chevre, depending on how long it's

drained.

--

Brighid ni Chiarain

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2005 10:07:49 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: What leaves are good for wrapping cheese?

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Nettle, fig, grape, and chestnut are all types that

are in use today - but there are a few others that I

can't think of at the moment.  You do need to be very

careful about how they are treated before applying

them to the cheeses as they can harbor listeria and

other pathogens.  The best way to handle them is to

boil them in a mixture of water and liquor - like

brandy.  You could also use a brine boil, but this

tends to crystalize on the leaf and make it dry and

brittle.  Boil them for a minimum of 3 minutes, I tend

to do mine for about 15 - but be careful to make sure

they don't start to show signs of disintigration.  The

leaves will probably not want to stay on very well, so

you may need to tie the wrapped cheese around with

twine or drive a toothpick through it.

 

Happy cheesemaking,

Eibhlin the cheese-geek

 

 

Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2005 18:13:22 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

      <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Digby Help Needed

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

On Jun 11, 2005, at 3:03 PM, Mairi Ceilidh wrote:

 

> Thank You, Master Adamantuis!!!  What a wonderful article.  Do you have any

> suggestions, other than "DON'T!" for making a large amount of slipcote (say

> enough for 200+ servings)?

>

> Mairi Ceilidh

 

Well, I'd bear in mind that it's still a _fairly_ fresh cheese, and

not very acidic, so the usual caveats about drainage, temperature and

being easy to spoil would probably apply here. The last time I was

part of an attempt to make a really large one (what, Brekke, about

five pounds?) it went quite moldy and had to be thrown away before it

could dry sufficiently on the outside to preserve the interior, so

I'd be really careful about following Digby's instruction not to make

it too thick! (I forget whether he says to make it no thicker than a

finger, or a half-inch, or what.) IOW, maintain a surface-area-to-

mass ratio that is known to work.

 

OTOH, the cheese that failed was being made and stored in a different

location than the one in which the cheese the article is written

about was (if that makes any sense), so there may have been issues

with steam heat, air currents or the lack thereof, humidity, etc.

 

In re making it in large quantities, bear in mind that you'll

probably be dealing with curds from maybe 13 gallons of milk (if my

rough math is correct) to give everybody maybe an ounce of cheese.

You're probably going to have problems with cheeses aging at

different rates and qualities. You might pull it off if you have some

kind of very clean, dedicated shelving (like a clean, steel utility

shelf in a cool, dry garage, maybe with a fan to circulate air?) If I

were mad enough to do such a thing (and age may have imparted wisdom

in my case -- I'll let you know), I'd set aside a weekend and do it

in at least four batches, with one mold/basket per cheese. That way

you can start a second batch while the curds from the first batch are

draining, and the finished cheeses will be no more than a day apart

in age when you're all done.

 

You might find nice, inexpensive little baskets in a craft store for

less than a dollar each, and you can scald them in boiling water,

line them with muslin, and use them to drain and shape your cheeses.

Slightly larger plastic ones live at restaurant supply houses; they

use them to serve bread in places like your local pizzeria; plastic

ones may need to have a few extra holes punched in the bottom.

 

Buying a million little cheese kits from cheesemaker.com is probably

not a good idea ;-). I'd definitely start with one small one and work

my way up to large quantities slowly before buying all that

unhomogenized milk with your group's cash.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2005 15:16:11 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Cheese portions

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

> Thank You, Master Adamantuis!!!  What a wonderful

> article.  Do you have any

> suggestions, other than "DON'T!" for making a large

> amount of slipcote (say enough for 200+ servings)?

>

> Mairi Ceilidh

 

Cut small?!?!  :)  People will only eat about 2-3

ounces of cheese in a sitting, and depending on what

you serve with it they may even eat less.  If you

plate it to serve you'll be able to get away with less

as well, as you can control exactly how much each

person will be getting.  If you are planning on

serving plated servings to 200+ people I'd estimate

you'd need about two wheels of a size of a 3-kilo brie

(the large 14" diameter size).  If you are having a

buffet you're going to want about 25% more so that

there's enough for an attractive display and to make

up for the barbarians that will hack roughly at it.

;)  I sell artisanal cheese for a living so I do this

a *lot*.

 

You can make enough of the cheese ahead of time, but

do a test-run first so you can determine how much

waste you'll get when the "coat" slips off the cheese

and a good estimate of how many servings each will

make.  The more cream you use the higher a yield

you'll have too...

 

Eibhlin

 

 

Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2006 18:40:32 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

      <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Thoughts on cheesemaking

To: Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net>, Cooks within the SCA

      <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

On Apr 22, 2006, at 9:20 AM, Christiane wrote:

 

> I was talking with my dad the other day about Sicilian food,

> because we're going to Sicily in October. And we were talking about

> cheeses, and he mentioned casually that his Uncle Tony made dried,

> salted ricotta (ricotta salata).

>

> He simply boiled whey, added something to it to make it curdle

> (rennet?) and then put the curds into a beehive-shaped wicker

> basket lined with cheesecloth; he'd cover the basket with more

> cheesecloth, and then put something heavy on the cloth to press the

> curds. He'd leave it covered in the basement to age and dry.

 

I've made ricotta using both the old-fashioned-method, where it's a

by-product of other cheesemaking and you don't get a very high yield,

because you've already made mozarella (or whatever) with that milk,

and the new method, which is higher-yield, because all you get from

your milk is ricotta and whey. It almost sounds, from your

description above, that you're describing some kind of fusion of the

two methods, and I'm wondering if this is really how your Uncle Tony

made ricotta. Of course, he was there and I wasn't, but my experience

has been:

 

You bring milk to a given temperature and hold it for a while,

basically to pasteurize/semi-sterilize, it, and then you may or may

not want to innoculate the milk with a bacterial starter, like

yogurt, buttermilk, or any of several others. At some point you add

rennet or another coagulant, draw the whey off the curds and use them

to make cheese. Once you have whey, you don't have to add any

additional coagulants. You then take the whey and bring it back to a

simmer or a low boil, at which point the remaining proteins begin to

coagulate further into a slightly foamy raft of white curds (this is

the second cooking -- re cocta -- from which "ricotta" takes its

name). You skim these off the top and wait while more curds form on

top, and skim them off again, until no more foam arises. The stuff

you skimmed off and collected in a bowl or pot, is ricotta.

 

The more modern method involves adding rennet (and maybe a starter)

to milk, and getting tiny, soft curds. It's close enough to the other

stuff, and you get more of them, but no other cheese (I don't know,

maybe you can boil the whey as in the method above). It's also faster.

 

> I flipped open my copy of "Pomp and Sustenance," and found a photo

> of a dried, salted ricotta turned onto a plate. It held the shape

> of the cheese-making basket beside it. And I realized I was looking

> at a cheese like Uncle Tony used to make.

>

> I found this interesting quote about ricotta from a Clifford Wright

> essay:

>

>    "Two of the earliest mentions or depictions of ricotta are

> related to Sicily. Professor Santi Correnti, chairman of the

> history department of the University of Catania and a preeminent

> historian of Sicily, writes that during the reign of the Sicilian

> king Frederick II, in the early thirteenth century, the king and

> his hunting party came across the hut of a dairy farmer making

> ricotta and, being ravenous, asked for some. Frederick pulled out

> his bread loaf, poured the hot ricotta and whey on top and advised

> his retinue that cu' non mancia ccu' so' cucchiaru lassa tutto 'o

> zammataru (Those who don't eat with a spoon will leave all their

> ricotta behind)."

>

> Now I want to make ricotta salata. Off to research where to find a

> local purveyor of whey ...

>

> Gianotta

 

I suspect you might have an easier time finding a purveyor of

milk... ;-)

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2006 17:48:49 -0400

From: "Barbara Benson" <voxeight at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Thoughts on cheesemaking

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> Confusion here- when I make Paneer (i.e. fresh cheese from hot milk and

> lemon juice) the resultant liquid is pretty clear- not much in the way of

> solids to make ricotta (or any other sort of "2nd Use" cheese..)

> Have I omitted or included a step some where in the process?

> Pyro

 

Different cheeses have different yields. Fresh cheeses are very loose

and pretty much condense the vast majority of fats and protiens out of

the milk. You get much more, "milkyer" whey the harder the cheese you

are making. Mozzerella leaves a fair to middlin whey, but your best

wheys are by-products of the making of hard cheeses.

 

You would have to make a huge amount of Paneer to accumulate enough

whey to make ricotta worthwhile.

 

Serena da Riva

 

 

Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2006 15:33:38 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Thoughts on Cheesemaking (LONG)

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Ricotta is typically made from the whey byproduct of

making another cheese, and the whey needs to be no

more than 3 hours old.  Any older and the protein

structure begins to break down and lactic acid

formation is too progressed to give you good curd

formation.  The typical curd formation for ricotta is

very fine and delicate.

 

There are three ways to make ricotta:

 

1) from whey produced by a cheese that began with a

minimum of two gallons of milk (any less and it's not

worth the time as you'll get so little curd).

2) from whey produced by a cheese that began with a

minimum of two gallons of milk and then is fortified

with additional whole milk or cream for a higher

yield.

3) from whole milk and citric acid.

 

Rennet is not used in ricotta as the type of curd

formation that you are trying to attain is not the

jellied mass that you are typically try for with other

cheeses.  An acid coagulant is used instead; i.e.

vinegar, lemon juice, wine, fig juice, citric acid,

cardoon stamen tea, etc.  This pulls the protein

structure together in grainy clumps rather than what

rennet does, which jells the protein, fats, and other

solids together and keeps moisture trapped inside as

well.  The only way to get the extra moisture out is

by cutting (each cut edge expresses whey) or by

increasing the heat (which pulls the mass together

into a tighter and tighter clump expressing whey out

at the edges); these two methods are usually used

together depending on what kind of cheese you are

making.

 

Ricotta cheese was traditionally made with sheep milk

as that was the primary milking animal of the

mediterranean during period.  Goat's were used as well

but not as extensively, cow's are late period.  This

recipe can be made with any kind of milk but the

flavor, yeild, and consistancy will be different as

the chemical composition of the milks are very

different from each other.  Sheep is higher in fats

and will give you a higher yield, goat's production is

much lower and unless you have your own animals it's

hard to find good quality milk - plus, the milk is

typically mishandled giving it that strong

goaty/capric flavor note.

 

I'm going to give you three recipes that would all

work to make ricotta salata,;one beginning with whey,

one beginning with milk, and one for Ricotta Salata

specifically.  These recipes can both be found in

"Home Cheesemaking" by Ricki Carroll, a great book for

the beginning cheesemaker as it gives you recipes

based on time not on looks and pH values.  A good

website to check out is http://www.cheesemaking.com/ ,

which is Ricki's online store.  If you are planning on

getting into any more advanced cheesemaking I would

recommend a couple of different sites as you can get

these products much cheaper in bulk and (in some

cases) some products only by importing.

 

Whey Ricotta (the period way but the starter culture

would not have been used)

Ingredients:

2 gallons of fresh whey no more than 3 hours old

1 quart whole milk, for increased yield (optional)

1/4 cup cider vinegar or other acid

4 ounces prepared mesophilic starter, to improve

flavor (optional)

1/2 teaspoon Cheese salt or Kosher salt (optional)

Herbs (optional)

2 tablespoons light or heavy cream (optional)

 

Directions:

Pour the whey into a large pot.  Add the milk, if

desired.  Heat the mixture to 200 deg. F.  (From my

experience you need to continually stir your milk or

whey once it reaches 120 deg. F otherwise it will

scorch the bottom of your pot, add a burned flavor,

and discolor your final product)  While stirring, turn

off the heat and add the vinegar/acid.  You will

notice tiny white particles of precipitated albuminous

protein.  Carefully ladle the curds into a colander

lined with butter muslin or other tightly woven

fabric, the colander should be placed in the sink

prior to ladelling anything otherwise you'll have hot

whey everywhere.  Allow it to drain.  If desired, fold

in the mesophilic starter.  When the muslin is cool

enough to handle, tie the corners into a knot and hang

the bag over the sink or a pot to drain for several

hours.  When the cheese stops draining, untie the

muslin and place the cheese in a bowl.  Add the salt

and the herbs, if desired.  For a richer, moister

cheese, add a small amount of cream and stir.  Cover

the bowl and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Yield: 1-2 cups

 

Whole-milk Ricotta (the modern way for a higher yield)

Ingredients:

1 gallon whole milk

1 teaspoon citric acid

1 teaspoon Cheese salt or Kosher salt

1-2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)

Directions:

Combine the milk, citric acid, and salt and mix

thoroughly.  In a large pot, directly heat the milk to

185 - 195 deg. F (do not boil).  Once the temperature

is over 120 deg. F you need to stir constantly so that

it does not scorch.  As soon as the curds and whey

separate completely (don't leave the whey milky

because that means there are still solids suspended

that could become curd), turn off the heat.  Allow to

set undisturbed for 10 minutes.  Line a colander with

butter muslin or other finely woven cloth and place

the colander in the sink.  Carefully ladle the curds

into the colander.  Tie the corners of the muslin into

a knot and hang the bag to drain for 20-30 minutes or

until the cheese has reached the desired consistency.

The cheese is ready to eat immediately.  Store in a

covered container in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.

Yield: 1.5 - 2 pounds

 

Ricotta Salata

Ingredients:

1 recipe Whole-milk Ricotta (see above)

1 Tablespoon Cheese salt or Kosher salt

Directions:

Follow the recipe for Whole-milk Ricotta.  Remove the

ricotta from the bag, add the remaining salt and mix

well.  Press the cheese into a ricotta mold and put a

saucer with a light weight (1 pound or less) on top;

press for 1 hour.  I would recommend lining the mold

with cheesecloth (not the stuff from the grocery

store!) prior to putting the curds in.  Unmold the

cheese, re-dress in a clean/dry cheesecloth and return

to the mold. Press for another 12 hours.  Unmold the

cheese and lightly rub the surface with salt.  Cover

and refrigerate.  If you find that the cheese is still

crumbly and wet re-dress it in dry/clean cheesecloth

and return to the mold and refrigerate for 12 hours.

Turn the cheese and rub the surface with salt every

day for one week.  If any unwanted mold appears,

gently rub it off with cheesecloth dampened in salt

water.  Do not get the surface more than lightly

dampened with water, if it becomes more wet then pat

it dry with a piece of cheesecloth or paper towel.

Age the cheese in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks.

Yield: approximately 1/2 pound.

This cheese can also be smoked, and then it is called

Ricotta Affumicata.

 

Note: When you are aging this in the refrigerator you

want to make sure that the cheese is not filling the

inside of the container with moisture.  As cheeses age

they give off humidity, they don't really seep out

moisture but they will expirate the moisture.  If the

box is too tightly sealed the moisture will collect on

the surfaces and before you know it your cheese is

mouldering in a puddle of water, all the sides are wet

and you are growing Brevibacterium Linens (the

orange/red mold on a reblochon or munster) and black

cat's hair molds.  Neither of which you want.  They

are difficult to get rid of and your beautiful white

cheese is permanently colored a yucky blackish yellow

with streaks of orange.  I tend to age my cheeses on a

wooden sushi mat, inside a wooden box with a sliding

lid (it once contained a bottle of olive oil, to give

you an idea of size.  I also have several sizes of

wine boxes that I use, but if I need a size I don't

have I make a box out of cardboard).  The best thing

to age in is either a wooden box with a lid you can

leave partially open or a cardboard box that you can

loosely cover with another sheet of cardboard.  Don't

wrap the cheese in any form of plastic until it is dry

to the touch, and even then I'd put it in a large

Ziploc bag taking care to check it every day for

moisture collecting and mold growth.

 

I hope this helps, but if you have any questions feel

free to drop me a line offline.  I've probably run

into every problem in the book, and then some!  So I

can troubleshoot for you should you need it.  I both

make cheese and manage four cheese and charcuterie

counters professionally.

 

Eibhlin

 

********************************************************

 

Talked with Dad again, and it turns out that Uncle Tony was using milk,

and he may have been using rennet. Asked Dad if maybe it was white

vinegar, and he said probably not.

 

Now the best ricotta comes from sheeps' milk, and ricotta salata is

described as a sheep's milk cheese. So I wonder if you can make a proper

ricotta salata from cow's milk ...

 

I think I may start experimenting with store-bought ricotta and trying

to press and dry it in my refrigerator. Could be an interesting A&S

experiment.

 

Gianotta

 

 

Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2006 15:42:27 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Thoughts on Cheesemaking

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

********

Confusion here- when I make Paneer (i.e. fresh cheese from hot milk and

lemon juice) the resultant liquid is pretty clear- not much in the way of

solids to make ricotta (or any other sort of "2nd Use" cheese..)

Have I omitted or included a step some where in the process?

Pyro

********

 

Not at all, it's just that when an acid is used to

separate the curds from the whey it does a remarkably

good job at getting all or most of the solids out.  I

failed miserably time and time again at trying to make

Ricotta because I was using the whey from an acid

separated cheese.  Once I began using whey from a

Renneted cheese I no longer had those failures.  It

was funny, I thought there was something wrong with me

for several months that I couldn't make one of the

simplest of cheeses.

 

As an added note, don't try making any Mysost/Gjetost,

etc. from the whey of an acid separated cheese.  All

that work of cooking the whey down to a peanut butter

consistency and you had this nasty flavor from

whatever acid you used.  Blech!

 

Eibhlin

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 May 2006 10:45:02 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: figs and thistles

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

From: Aurelia Coritana <aurelia_coritana at yahoo.com>

>>>

Has anyone tried Columella's cheese using thistle extract or fig sap to

curdle the milk? I am about to give it a shot, just wondered what

wisdom there might be here about the process. I'm a bit intimidated, frankly.

 

Aurelia

<<<

 

I've not used fig sap but I have played with cardoons,

a plant of the thistle family.  The head looks like an

artichoke that is a bit rounder with spiky leaves and

a dense clump of very thin purple petals sticking up

from the top.  Remove the head from the stem and allow

to dry for a couple of days in a cool, dark place.

After it has dried some cut the head open in half from

petals to stem.  Remove the petals, they will be dusty

with pollen, and put in a saucepan.  Put enough water

in to cover and simmer on the stove making a tea.

Allow to cool and strain.  Use the tea in place of

rennet.  In order to test the strength take a 1/2 cup

of milk and add an 1/8 teaspoon of the tea, check

about every 10 minutes or so to see if it is beginning

to set-up.  At normal strength the tea should set one

gallon of milk about 40 minutes, you'll need to do

math to work out how much of the tea you would need to

get the right strength.

 

Eibhlin

 

 

Date: Tue, 16 May 2006 13:01:04 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: figs and thistles

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

The tea is made from the petals only, scoop them out

of the head and put them in the saucepan and then

cover with water.

 

Eibhlin

 

> Eibhlin,

>

>   Are you making the tea from the petals or from the

> other parts.  I'm a little confused.  Otherwise I

> think your directions are very clear.

>

>   Cordelia Toser

 

 

Date: Wed, 2 Aug 2006 17:36:37 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Raw Milk

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

<<< I have just found out about a supplier of organic raw milk not 20

minutes away from my office. The farm owner keeps a small herd of Jerseys.

 

Has anyone here used raw milk to make ricotta or other cheeses?

 

Gianotta >>>

 

Wonderful!  Yes, raw milk is the best source of milk

for any kind of cheesemaking.  You treat it the same

as you would pasteurized and the flavor should be much

more full and with more depth than with pasteurized.

All of the good yeasts and cultures that are found in

that local terroir will be there.

 

If you have been using calcium carbonate in your

pasteurized cheese batches you won't need to use it

for the raw.  The calcium carbonate causes the curd to

tighten up as pasteurization breaks down the protein

strands and makes the "clumping" during the rennetting

process weak giving you a softer (and more difficult

to handle) curd.  Raw milk has undamaged proteins and

so the coagulation from rennetting works better, no

need for calcium carbonate.

 

There are two important things to know.

1) You cannot sell any product made from raw milk

unless it has been aged a minimum of 60 days from the

milk being produced.

 

2) Have the farmer show you around their barn and

milking facility.  As with any operation, be it with

raw or pasteurized product, you want to be sure that

they are following clean and safe procedures.

 

Generally speaking those that milk animals for raw

milk are typically much cleaner than those who do not.

 

  You wouldn't believe how filthy a farm producing

pasteurized milk can be while still producing milk

within the federal guidelines for bacteria found in

milk.  Given the choice I would buy raw milk over

pasteurized any day.

 

If anyone wants to find a local source of raw milk

they can check out: http://www.realmilk.com/  Not all

states allow raw milk sales to the public, some don't

allow it at all and others permit it only for animals

- and that's only if the producer colors it blue.  So

you may be able to buy it, or not...  We can find it

if we go really far out of our way and don't mind

paying $20 a gallon.  We're hoping to start raising

goats next year.  *sigh*

 

Eibhlin

 

 

Date: Fri, 04 Aug 2006 12:54:51 -0500

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <dailleurs at liripipe.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Chocolate Milk at Pennsic, Raw Milk

      containers,   WASn Raw Milk at Pennsic

To: dailleurs at liripipe.com,     'Cooks within the SCA'

      <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>, 'Sharon Gordon' <gordonse at one.net>

 

On Fri Aug  4 11:31 , "Sharon Gordon"  sent:

> And that's good news about the raw milk and cheese opportunites. So would a

> very clean glazed ceramic, or glass vesse, (or stainless steel)l be the be

> the best containers to transport the raw milk in? And if you are making

> cheese is carrying it in an iced cooler a good idea too?

>

> Sharon

> gordonse at one.net

 

any sort of non reactive container works to transport milk....but  

cleanliness is the primary consideration. if

you're making cheese, you dont want to have the wrong bugs! plus it  

just tastes nasty...

 

on the farm we'd use stainless steel and glass. Pig milk (ie the  

stuff that we were just going to feed to the pigs

and chickens) could go into old plastic milk jugs (we never felt  

confident that we could get them as clean as we

could get stainless and glass which we could sterilize in the  

dishwasher)

 

if you know you're going to do this, I'd suggest washing out some  

glass bottles/jars with lids and running them

through the dishwasher to sterilize them. seal them and transport  

empty (the inside will be nice and clean and

that's the part you care about :))

 

now, if you're going to nab that mornings milk and immediately make  

cheese, whatever, that's your safest bet!

 

its all matter of limiting contamination, and then using it before  

the bugs already in there grow too many. Being

speedy works, but if that's not an option, using a cooler can help  

too. just be sure cooler water doesnt

contaminate the milk.

 

hope this helps! you do realise that you'll be there long enough to  

make some really fun cheeses, not just soft

ricotta, right? :)

 

--AM

 

 

Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2007 16:46:51 -0500

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <dailleurs at liripipe.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese fat?

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org, "Michael Gunter"

      <countgunthar at hotmail.com>

 

I dont know what cheese fat is (the opposite of whey?) but to dry  

things on reeds, I often will use

a bamboo or straw place mat placed on a cooling rack. the important  

thing is air circulation...

 

have fun! making cheese is a blast :)

 

-_AM

 

On Thu Aug 16 15:44 , "Michael Gunter"  sent:

 

> I am thinking of making a cheese as part of my upcoming

> Laurel's Prize Tourney display so I'm going through period

> sources of cheese recipes. What I'm looking at right now

> is Digby's "To Make Slipp-Coat Cheese".

>

> I've never made a fresh cheese beyond basic curd cheese

> so this is pretty new to me. Digby keeps referring to put

> the cheese in and out of "cheese fat". What is he referring

> to?

>

> Also, he suggests drying the cheese on reeds or some

> other padding to draw out the moisture. Any suggestions

> for a more modern substitute?

>

> Gunthar

 

 

Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2007 18:16:15 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese fat?

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

"Cheese fat" is an obsolete form of "cheese vat."

 

Bear

 

> I've never made a fresh cheese beyond basic curd cheese

> so this is pretty new to me. Digby keeps referring to put

> the cheese in and out of "cheese fat". What is he referring

> to?

>

> Gunthar

 

 

Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2007 19:31:15 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese fat?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

On Aug 16, 2007, at 5:44 PM, Michael Gunter wrote:

 

> I am thinking of making a cheese as part of my upcoming

> Laurel's Prize Tourney display so I'm going through period

> sources of cheese recipes. What I'm looking at right now

> is Digby's "To Make Slipp-Coat Cheese".

>

> I've never made a fresh cheese beyond basic curd cheese

> so this is pretty new to me. Digby keeps referring to put

> the cheese in and out of "cheese fat". What is he referring

> to?

 

"Cheese fat" or "a cheese fat", "the/your cheese fat"? I don't have

the recipe in front of me, but I STR Digby often uses the word "fat"

in place of what we'd call a vat: a deep wooden tub, in his brewing

recipes. Try plugging that in and see if it makes more sense...

 

> Also, he suggests drying the cheese on reeds or some

> other padding to draw out the moisture. Any suggestions

> for a more modern substitute?

 

I used a plastic basket specifically designed for draining cheeses,

but I've also used those small, cheap plastic baskets restaurant

supply stores sell for bread and such; they cost about a buck. Of

course, you could also walk on the wild side and try an actual small

basket, assuming any non-food-grade aspects will be balanced by

gravity (since the whey will be traveling down, for the most part, I

doubt too many toxins, if any, will mysteriously travel upward).

 

> I think Adamantius made this so he may have some pointers for me.

 

My own experience is that real muslin (washed free of any sizing)

works better than what they sell in stores as cheesecloth; it seems

to pull away from the cheese a little more cleanly. Since the object

is to drain and dry the cheese somewhat, and also keep it from

molding, one good idea that's worked well for me is to turn the

cheese every day, but also to unwrap (carefully), rinse and dry the

cloth, and re-wrap. If the cloth starts to get funky or smell weird,

you can always replace it with a clean cloth.

 

As Digby says, you probably don't want to make this too large or too

thick.

 

This actually can be inoculated with blue mold (and probably the

white rind stuff, as well), but it probably ceases to be Digby's

slipcote cheese, if you do.

 

> Or, anyone have some other sources for a quick cheese?

> I think Guter Spise has a few I need to check out.

>

> Gunthar

 

I STR both Plat and Markham have some good, simple recipes for

cheeses, and once again I need to look for my smudgy photocopy of

that 17th-century English dairy book. I could have sworn I got it

scanned and OCR'd, but I'm having trouble locating it now...

 

Adamantus

 

 

Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2007 21:16:15 -0600

From: "S CLEMENGER" <sclemenger at msn.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese fat?

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

It occurred to me, after my earlier post, that what might also work  

are those wicker "plates" meant to be used with picnic/paper plates....

 

--Maire

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2007 03:53:12 EDT

From: PKSARGE at aol.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] new to list, what do you eat & making cheese

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

Greetings to all from Mykael Halfdan (mka- Dennis Olson = pksarge), I reside

In Meridies, Shire of Thorngill, and am related (brother-in-law) to Mordonna

the Cook and share an interest in cooking and all things Medieval.

 

On making cheese: if you make your own yogurt using goat milk you will get a

really nice labna, the traditional (Balkan) way of storing it is to make it

into fist sized balls that fit into a glass jar and covering them with olive oil

-This does not work well with cheese made from cows milk it is not as firm

and breaks up- These cheeses are similar to "farmers" cheese, soft and

spreadable. I am going to try and slow smoke some with apple wood; it should dry out and form a nice skin-- I will post the results when done. (after the  

weather gets a bit cooler)

 

Mykael

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2007 06:25:54 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese fat? - LOOONNGG!

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

Hi, Gunther!

 

Wonderful project!  I've only made slipcoat cheese a

couple of times, mainly because I'm busy trying to

perfect other rinds at the moment.  Red smear, if

anyone's interested, the kind that's found on a true

munster or on a Pont l'Eveque.

 

However, here's what I got from my notes, and I've

included the recipe from Digby at the bottom of this

posting.  Yes, the cheese fat is the cheese "vat".

Laying the cheese back into the vat does two things,

it gives it a smooth finish and allows for different

sizes of cheeses so you don't have to have specific

tools on hand to make this.  As the stroakings are

used this is probably a late spring/early summer

cheese as that's when the milk fat is at it's highest.

  This cheese would be made from the extra cream that

wasn't needed for butter production or lamb/calf

raising.

 

As for using rennet, for this recipe you'd have to use

the real thing unless you can find junket in you local

grocery store.  Junket is a weaker version of rennet

and is used for custards (it makes a killer

pannacotta) and ice creams but Dr. Fankhauser has

developed recipes using junket to make hard cheeses as

well.

 

The recipe calls for treating the curd very carefully,

keeping the mass as whole as possible.  Not using your

hands but using your skimmer instead.  The general

rule is the larger the curd the more fluid the paste.

For example, brie is kept as whole as possible while

Parmigiano Reggiano is cut down too a rice size and

heated to a high temp.  The slipcoat cheese will be

more like a young brie in texture, springy and moist

but without being fluid as it gets in its older weeks.

 

As far as cheesecloth goes, don't use the garbage

that's available in the grocery stores under that

name.  That stuff's only good for kid's craft

projects.  The real thing is available online but just

resembles a slightly open weave cotton muslin.  Good

choices for cheesecloth that can be found around your

home are linen teatowels, scraps of unused muslin, and

pillowcases.

 

Pressing.  The easiest way is to put a plate on the

cheese and put a can or something on top of it.  As

your cloth gets soaked replace it with a clean, dry

one.  This is done because the whey acidifies as the

milk curds and the acidity from the whey can cause the

rind to stick to the cloth and peel off.  It's

important at this stage to keep the rind of the cheese

as smooth as possible as it's going to be aged for

more than a day or two.  Any cracks or folds in the

rind is a place for mold to grow and your cheese could

be destroyed by it.  The next step is to sprinkle the

rind with salt.  This hardens the rind and pulls out

more moisture allowing the cheese to age without going

off.  I tend to use Kosher but I've started playing

with the samples I picked up from the fancy food show,

a pink himalayan, and three smoked salts.  I won't

know what kind of flavor they impart for a few weeks

yet as I just finished the dry salting stage the other

day.  They're sitting on the shelves aging right now.

 

As for reeds, I tend to use sushi mats.  They work

well, are uniform in size and shape, and are easy to

clean.

 

So there you have my initial brain dump.  Let me know

if you run into any problems along the way, I've

probably dealt with most of them at one time or

another.

 

Eibhlin, Laurelled for cheesemaking and professional

cheesemonger

 

The recipe you are using:

 

TO MAKE SLIPP-COAT-CHEESE

 

Master Phillips his Method and proportions in making slippe-coat Cheese, are these. Take six wine quarts of stroakings, and two quarts of Cream; mingle these well together, and let them stand in a bowl, till they are cold. Then power upon them three pints of boiling fair water, and mingle them well together; then let them stand, till they are almost cold, colder then milk-warm. Then put to it a moderate quantity of Runnet, made with fair water (not whey, or any other thing then water; this is an important point), and let it stand till it come. Have a care not to break the Curds, nor ever to touch them with your hands, but only with your skimming dish. In due time lade the Curds with the dish, into a thin fine Napkin, held up by two persons, that the whey may run from them through the bunt of the Napkin, which you rowl gently about, that the Curds may dry without breaking. When the whey is well drained out, put the Curds as whole as you can into the Cheese-fat, upon a napkin, in the fat. Change the Napkin, and turn the Cheese every quarter of an hour, and less, for ten, twelve or fourteen times; that is, still as soon as you perceive the Napkin wet with the whay running from the Curds. Then press it with a half pound weight for two or three hours. Then add half a pound more for as long time, then another half pound for as long, and lastly another half pound, which is two pounds in all; which weight must never be exceeded. The next day, (when about twenty four hours are past in all) salt your Cheese moderately with white Salt, and then turn it but three or four times a day, and keep it in a cotton cloth, which will make it mellow and sweet, not rank, and will preserve the coat smooth. It may be ready to eat in about twelve days. Some lay it to ripen in dock-leaves, and it is not amiss; but that in rain they will be wet, which moulds the Cheese. Others in flat fit boxes of wood, turning them, as is said, three or four times a day. But a cotton cloth is best. This quantity is for a round large Cheese, of about the bigness of a sale ten peny Cheese, a good fingers-breadth thick. Long broad grass ripeneth them well, and sucketh out the moisture. Rushes are good also. They are hot, but dry not the moisture so well.

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 12:26:21 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese fat? - LOOONNGG!

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

**********From Gunther**********

I notice in the recipe that you barely touch the curds and

basically roll them around in the cloth. Will the curds stick

and form together? I would guess that's a partial reason

for the pressing and weights. To form the cheese and

press out as much moisture as possible.

 

**********My Response**********

If your pH level is right the curds will have no

problem meshing together.  If your pH level gets too

high then the curds will stick together too well and

will rip when you manipulate them.  If you follow the

steps in the right time you should have no problem.

When you rennet your milk you want to start checking

them for a clean curd break at about 20 minutes, it

may take as long as 45 minutes to set.  Once the curd

is properly set then they get ladled into your cloth

and you "rowel" them  If you find they aren't sticking

then you want to give them more time to set in the

cheese vat.  I would try a small amount at a time

rolled in a handkerchief, if they fall apart then they

aren't ready, if they begin to clump together then

they're ready.

 

**********from Gunther**********

Is the size of the vat important? Does this assist in

the shape of the cheese?

 

**********My response**********

The size of the vat isn't that important, as long as

you have enough room for the curds you're working

with.  I tend to use a 2 or 3 gallon stock pot when I

make cheese.  As this is a mold-less cheese, meaning

it doesn't use a hoop or draining basket, the size

doesn't really matter.

 

**********from Gunther**********

I was thinking of using unhomogenated milk and heavy cream.

Should I instead use half and half and heavy cream?

Half and Half substituting for the strokings?

 

**********My response**********

I would work with whole milk and heavy cream.  I would

add a pint of cream per gallon of milk.  I don't use

half and half as you can't usually get the same

quality of that as you can of milk and cream.  You may

have better luck with your milk suppliers.  I have to

go across the border into Pennsylvania to buy my raw

milk for cheese.  :(

 

***********from Gunther************

The recipe says "skimming plate" but is this a specialized

bit of equipment? I'm thinking something like a pierced

spoon or ladle. Maybe one of those large flat pierced

skimming spoons.

 

***********My response***********

Yes, that's it exactly.  It's like a flattened out

ladle with holes punched in it.  Probably my favorite

kitchen utensil.  :)

 

**********from Gunther**********

I was hoping to make a slightly harder cheese than

a brie. Something like an Edam in texture. But that

may take longer and be a bit more complicated than

a basic slip cheese.

 

**********My response**********

I think that you'll find the inside of the cheese will

have more of a mozzarella consistency, that's a

*fresh* mozzarella texture - not the deli kind.  If

you have a fresh ball of mozzarella you'll see that it

has a thin outer rind that's holding in a softer inner

paste.  It's essentially a very young slipcote type of

cheese.  If you leave a ball of fresh mozz out to air

dry for a few days it will get dryer and the texture

will harden - that's more like the consistency you're

going for.

 

**********from Gunther**********

Neat idea! And you can find sushi mats easily. Although

I also like the paper plate holders and will check the

..99 cent stores or Goodwill.

 

**********My response***********

I've never used wicker paper plate holders but will

caution you to make sure they're clean and that you

have some kind of barrier between your cheese and the

wicker.  They aren't made to actually touch food and

so they could be coated with a finish that's supposed

to make them look pretty but isn't exactly food

friendly.  You might be able to clean them but I don't

know how they'd hold up to that.

 

I know this all sounds terribly complicated, but it's

really not.  If you have any problems feel free to

give me a shout.  I've probably dealt with every

problem in the book at one point or another.  <G>

 

Eibhlin

 

 

Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2007 12:40:07 -0500

From: "Michael Gunter" <countgunthar at hotmail.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Cheese, a progress report

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

I started my Slip-Coat cheese this weekend. I would have preferred

to have started it earlier but I couldn't get the rennet and have a

full day in which to work on it before now.

 

I wound up using whole milk and heavy cream as the basis since the

"strokings" were to be higher in fat and the recipe actually states

that city slickers can use a mixture of milk and cream.

 

The milk and cream were mixed and sat out to around room temperature

then boiling water was added and this sat until it again reached room

temp. After this the rennet was added and here is where the problem

started. Nothing happened.  I waited and there was a bit of thickening

but nowhere near the proper congealing. I added more rennet and

waited. Nothing. More. Nothing. I finally did an old Farmer's Cheese

trick and added about a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar. That did the

trick and after about an hour the milk had developed very delicate curds.

These were gently transferred to a layer of muslin lining a collander in

the sink. The curds drained and were carefully squeezed of the whey for

several hours with the cloth being changed as it got saturated.

 

After a few hours a paper plate was sat on the cheese and a can of

vegetables added for weight. Another problem I had was that the cheese

was supposed to be kept in one piece and smooth but I could never

keep it in one piece when transferring it to the clean cloth. It's a  

little lumpy and broken in places.

 

The weight was gradually increased overnight and after around 24 hours

I salted it and placed it wrapped in cheesecloth between two sushi mats.

 

I was told the cheese would be pretty thin and runny like brie but this has

set rather firm and is more like queso blanco or even a mozzerella than brie.

The flavor is very light and delicate so I hope it absorbs a bit of salt and

ages with a developing flavor. Still, it's a pretty good cheese, especially

for a first effort and I'll be displaying it at Laurel's Prize Tourney next

weekend.

 

Gunthar

 

 

Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2007 11:10:30 -0700

From: "Rikke D. Giles" <rgiles at centurytel.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese, a progress report

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

On 09/04/2007 10:40:07 AM, Michael Gunter wrote:

 

> The milk and cream were mixed and sat out to around room temperature

> then boiling water was added and this sat until it again reached room

> temp. After this the rennet was added and here is where the problem

> started. Nothing happened.  I waited and there was a bit of

> thickening but nowhere near the proper congealing. I added more

> rennet and waited. Nothing. More. Nothing. I finally did an old

> Farmer's Cheese trick and added about a tablespoon of distilled white

> vinegar.

 

If you are using store bought milk and cream, then they are either

pasteurized (the milk) or ultra-pasteurized (the cream and maybe the

milk), which means there's no lactobacilli in them to start the souring

of the milk which is needed before the rennet can work.   Letting them

sit out can start that souring process, but it's also possible that the

milk will get contaminated with bad stuff (since there is no good

bacteria in it to out-compete the bad bacteria) and go off.  Hence the

general rule that pasteurized milk rots, raw milk turns into

buttermilk/sour cream/pot cheese, etc etc.

 

I've been toying with the idea of doing the slip coat, mostly because I

want to see if I can make one that actually does slip its coat.  When

I do, I'll probably add a generic thermophilic starter to avoid having

the problem you had or I'll use raw milk.  Adding the vinegar was a

great way to get it sour, by the way.  You can also add lemon juice, or

use a starter like cultured buttermilk.

 

Aelianora de Wintringham,  sometimes cheese-wench

Barony of Dragon's Laire, An Tir

mka Rikke Giles, FoxDog Farm, Kingston WA

 

 

Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2007 09:16:43 +0930

From: "Craig Jones" <drakey at internode.on.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese, a progress report

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> The milk and cream were mixed and sat out to around room

> temperature then boiling water was added and this sat

> until it again reached room temp. After this the rennet

> was added and here is where the problem started. Nothing

> happened.  I waited and there was a bit of thickening but

> nowhere near the proper congealing. I added more rennet

> and waited. Nothing.

 

Usually rennet comes in a concentrated liquid which you have

to dilute. The trick is to use distilled water as tap water

(with the chlorine it contains) destroys the rennet,

although it sounds like a lack of acidity (see below).

 

> More. Nothing. I finally did an old

> Farmer's Cheese trick and added about a tablespoon of

> distilled white vinegar. That did the trick and after

> about an hour the milk had developed very delicate curds.

 

I was under the impression that for rennet to work properly,

there had to be some extra acidity in the milk (usually by

souring bacteria (usually lactobacillus) producing lactic

acid)?

 

Drakey - no accidents lately (apart from dropping a washing

machine on my foot).

 

 

Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2007 18:55:03 -0500

From: "Michael Gunter" <countgunthar at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese, a progress report

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

> Usually rennet comes in a concentrated liquid which you have

> to dilute. The trick is to use distilled water as tap water

> (with the chlorine it contains) destroys the rennet,

> although it sounds like a lack of acidity (see below).

 

I tried the dilute first with no response. Good call on the

tap water. That may have done something. Or the rennet was

also left out in the car all day so the non-refridgeration may

have caused it.

 

After a while I was using full strength to no effect.

 

> I was under the impression that for rennet to work properly,

> there had to be some extra acidity in the milk (usually by

> souring bacteria (usually lactobacillus) producing lactic

> acid)?

 

And this is probably why Adamantius used a yogurt starter

in his cheese for The Pilgrim's Picnic Basket.

 

> Drakey

 

Gunthar

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 14:44:06 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese, a progress report

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

Hi, Gunthar.

 

> The milk and cream were mixed and sat out to around room temperature

> then boiling water was added and this sat until it again reached room

> temp. After this the rennet was added and here is where the problem

> started. Nothing happened.  I waited and there was a bit of thickening

> but nowhere near the proper congealing. I added more rennet and

> waited. Nothing. More. Nothing. I finally did an old Farmer's Cheese

> trick and added about a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar. That did the

> trick and after about an hour the milk had developed very delicate curds.

 

You have run into a city-slicker problem, inconsistent

milk.  When I was using store-bought milk my rennet

would not work on the milk about 5 percent of the

time.  It's not because it's pasteurized or old,

rather what I and other attribute the non-coagulating

to is the use of antibiotics in the milk.  I've been

using raw milk since this past January and have not

experienced that problem.  Also, as the milk has been

pasteurized the curd set will be softer.  Generally

using a vinegar based coagulant will tighten them up a

bit more than a straight rennet-set will.  It sounds

to me like you had two problems working against you;

the lack of rennet set from something in the milk, and

the soft set from pasteurized milk.

 

> These were gently transferred to a layer of muslin lining a collander in

> the sink. The curds drained and were carefully squeezed of the whey for

> several hours with the cloth being changed as it got saturated.

>

> After a few hours a paper plate was sat on the

> cheese and a can of

> vegetables added for weight.

 

Here I would use a solid plate to help distribute the

weight more evenly.  I would also start playing a bit

with the amount of time the cheese sits in the cloth,

the longer it sits the more whey should be expelled

making it a bit easier to handle over time.

 

> I was told the cheese would be pretty thin and runny like brie but this has

> set rather firm and is more like queso blanco or even a mozzerella than brie.

 

You have achieved a texture of a young brie, before it

begins to age.  The paste should be pretty smooth with

very little curd formation and after a few weeks

develop a bit of elasticity.

 

> The flavor is very light and delicate so I hope it absorbs a bit of salt and

> ages with a developing flavor. Still, it's a pretty good cheese, especially

> for a first effort and I'll be displaying it at

> Laurel's Prize Tourney next weekend.

 

Excellent!!!

 

> Gunthar

 

Eibhlin

 

 

Date: Thu, 06 Sep 2007 09:58:44 +0930

From: "Craig Jones" <drakey at internode.on.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese, a progress report

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> You have run into a city-slicker problem, inconsistent

> milk.  When I was using store-bought milk my rennet

> would not work on the milk about 5 percent of the

> time.  It's not because it's pasteurized or old,

> rather what I and other attribute the non-coagulating

> to is the use of antibiotics in the milk.

 

I haven't seen that in Australia, but I guess I'm lucky as I

suspect milk additives and standards in Australia are much

higher. The issue I find is that homogenised (unpasturized

milk is illegal, and un-homogenised milk is hard to find

cheap and in bulk) leads to poor yields with rennet and

adding calcium chloride (I get it from my local Greek Bulk

food warehouse) does a great job at unhomogenising the

milk...

 

  I've been

> using raw milk since this past January and have not

> experienced that problem.  Also, as the milk has been

> pasteurized the curd set will be softer.  Generally

> using a vinegar based coagulant will tighten them up a

> bit more than a straight rennet-set will.  It sounds

> to me like you had two problems working against you;

> the lack of rennet set from something in the milk, and

> the soft set from pasteurized milk.

 

I'm thinking a lack of acidity (from either lactic acid or

acetic acid), leading to poor rennet action (most enzymes

are pH and temperature dependant)

 

> Here I would use a solid plate to help distribute the

> weight more evenly.  I would also start playing a bit

> with the amount of time the cheese sits in the cloth,

> the longer it sits the more whey should be expelled

> making it a bit easier to handle over time.

 

I use a piece of PVC pipe (with drilled holes) for the mould

and I press downwards with a perfect fitting piece of

plastic using a screw system to slowly increase the

pressure... Leads to a very aestetic looking piece of cheese

too :)

 

Welcome to the fun, filled world of the amateur cheesemaker

:)  The bit I find hard is stopping my cheese and brew

cultures from cross contaminating...

 

Drakey.

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 20:51:42 -0400

From: ranvaig at columbus.rr.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese, a progress report

To: drakey at internode.on.net,    Cooks within the SCA

      <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> The issue I find is that homogenised (unpasturized

> milk is illegal, and un-homogenised milk is hard to find

> cheap and in bulk) leads to poor yields with rennet and

> adding calcium chloride (I get it from my local Greek Bulk

> food warehouse) does a great job at unhomogenising the

> milk...

 

I'd like to expand on this a bit.

 

Homogenization is not the same as pasteurization. Pasteurization  

heats the milk to destroy bacteria, and is often required by law.  

Some people claim that the natural bacteria of raw milk are  

beneficial to cheese making, but I've never used it myself.

 

Homogenization breaks the fat into small particles so the cream will  

not separate, and also interferes in cheese making. I've found  

unhomogenized milk in health food stores here in the States, but like  

you say, it is more expensive and sometimes hard to find.

 

Ranvaig

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 22:36:53 -0700 (PDT)

From: Carole Smith <renaissancespirit2 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cheese, a progress report

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Michael Gunter <countgunthar at hotmail.com> wrote:>I was under the  

impression that for rennet to work properly,

> there had to be some extra acidity in the milk (usually by

> souring bacteria (usually lactobacillus) producing lactic

> acid)?

 

And this is probably why Adamantius used a yogurt starter

in his cheese for The Pilgrim's Picnic Basket.

 

Gunthar

I have occasionally (accidentally) found milk in the back of my  

refrigerator that's past the expiration date and have been able to  

get it to curdle a little just by gentle heating.  To complete the  

job of separating curds and whey I added a tiny bit of lemon juice  

(no rennet in the house that day).

 

So now I avoid buying really fresh milk for cheese making.

 

Cordelia Toser

 

 

Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2007 12:13:01 -0400

From: "Elise Fleming" <alysk at ix.netcom.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] I Didn't Know...

To: "sca-cooks at ansteorra.org" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Greetings!  I was just reading the tudorcook blog page and saw this:

 

> ......not because of anything he did, more the fact that milk today is

> separated from cream in a different manner to the Tudors. Today,

> our milk and cream are separated centrifugally, in the past good old

> gravity did the job....so what you say...well, our milk today has less

> fat in it than in the past and our cream more fat. This meant that when

> Robin came to curdle the milk to make a possett..make a styf poshotte

> of Ale; þan hang þe croddys þer-of in a pynne all he got was a few

> measly lumps floating in a lot of milk/whey.......my fault really as I should

> have ordered cream to mix with the milk to up the fat levels......

 

I never knew about a difference in separation - only that we homogenize

most of our milk today. I wonder what else is different today that would

make a big difference in the results of our cookery...

 

Alys Katharine

 

<the end>



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