A quick reminder: Today’s the last day to enter my contest – see the details above. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow.
As for the happy accident – well, I think it will be good thing. Time will tell.
A couple days ago I decided to make cottage cheese. It started by mixing a packet of direct-set mesophilic culture into a gallon of whole milk heated to 72 degrees. That sat on the counter, wrapped in towels, for 24 hours while I did things like write, organize the basement, wrap presents and sleep.
Yesterday I cut the coagulated mass into curds and heated them very gradually to 112 degrees. After half an hour at that temperature I should have been able to strain out the cottage cheese, give it a quick rinse, mix in a little cream, and sample the goodness.
But the curds were too custardy inside. I cooked them and cooked them, added a bit of rennet to encourage the process, and then even a few drops of apple cider vinegar. Finally, I gave up, strained the dang curds and put them in a cloth-lined cheese mold hoping to salvage a hard or semi-hard cheese.
I rigged up a press by perching a cast iron Dutch oven filled with bricks on top of the mold. More bricks increased the weight to about 30 pounds (50 would have been better) pressure. Again, it sat on the counter overnight.
This morning I unwrapped the tidy round above. The plan is to let it dry at room temperature for a few days, turning often until it forms a rind. Since it’s more or less farmers cheese, it should be ready to eat in a month or less.
Wonder how it will taste …