Monday

Homemade Cottage Cheese

One of the pleasures of having real milk is being able to make real cottage cheese with it. If I don't use it up before the next week's delivery, I set it aside for a day or two to sour. When the curd sets enough to pull away from the sides of the pan, I put it on the stove and heat it slowly until it's hot - not even close to simmering.

I'm sure there are thermometers and "recipes" for making it, but I've made it this way for years because that's how Mom made it. Raw milk is safe at any stage unless it turns pink, so I don't worry, but don't try this with pasteurized milk. Pasteurized milk doesn't sour, it rots. It's not safe at any stage except fresh (and then it's questionable).

Anyway, after it's heated and kept at that temperature for awhile - maybe 20 minutes - I "cut the curd" and then drain it.

I use a long knife and draw it through the curd first one way and then another, gently separating it into cubes of about 1 to 1 1/2 inches. Then I cover a colandar with a piece of cloth and pour the curds and whey into it. I bring up all four corners and fasten them together, then tie it to the manual can opener that hangs near the sink.

I put a bowl under it all to catch the whey and let it drain for an hour or more. Salt, pepper and a little cream finish it off and if you've never tasted real cottage cheese before, you may not even like it.  If you're used to the bland, uniform, commercially produced "cottage cheese," the real thing can be shocking.

If you ever get a chance to get raw milk, try it. You might want to hurry, since our government is now treating raw milk producers like terrorists.

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