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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cottage Cheese: easy, breezy, homemade cheezy

Ohmuhgawsh, ohMUHgawsh, LIKE OH MUH GAWSH!!!!  (Pair these spaztic terms with the picture of me jumping up and down repeatedly and flailing in a bird-type fashion.)

DO YOU KNOW WHAT I JUST DID!?  I made cottage cheese!  WOOOO!

(For those of you who have already done this, thank you very much for just saying "So?" and scoffing with a scrunched up face.)

This is the first time I have made cottage cheese and I pretty much feel like some kind of Neil Armstrong rocket scientist.  However, even though I am filled to the top with utter glee, I must admit to you that it is about as complex as let's say...making lemonade or washing your own face.  But still, it's so fabulous.

Do you ever have those days when you're going to check off 200 things on your To-Do list before noon?  Today was that day for me.  I was on a Making Stuff Rampage.  

I made some kombuchabread, got some flip flops for the offspring, went to Big Orange Box Handyman Store to get a couple gallons of paint (rampage #2 beginning after writing this post), weeded the garden, washed the walls, and made the oh-so-not-rocket-sciencey cottage cheese.  BRING IT.  It is on like Donkey Kong, baby.

We went on a vay-cay-cay and left a half gallon of milk in the fridge and I was pained at the thought of throwing it out.  So, I did what any normal person would do in this case, which is, of course to Google "making cheese with old milk".  Had to be SOMETHING out there, eh?  Of course there was because Google has everything.  

I got all happy and thinking I might need to get out my Wonderwoman cape as I attempted this feat.  Now if you're wondering, yes, I will tell you how to do it, I'm just prolonging it as much as possible so you can be impressed with me for as long as I can stretch it - because f'realies, once you hear how to make it, you will be about 0% impressed with me and wonder why on earth I would even think of wearing a cape for such an occasion.

Okay, okay, I'll get to it.  So here are the complicated and complex instructions.  Ready?

You need:
1/2 gallon(ish) of old milk - old like "sour", not old like "has aliens climbing out of it" (I didn't Google what to do in that instance, sorry)
3 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar
a squinch of salt
a good pot
a candy thermometer
some cheesecloth
a strainer
hands or equivalent

(I was really trying to stretch it out and make it look long and complicated.)

What you do:

1.  Pour milk into pot.  Turn heat to medium.  For crying out loud, please get a gas stove.  I hate electric stoves.  No offense.  I still like you.  I'm just saying you're missing out.
2.  Clip thermometer onto pot.
3.  Stir randomly until milk reaches 180 degrees F.
4.  At 180 degrees, take off heat, pour in 3 tablespoons of vinegar.
5.  Stir more.  It will look so weird.  Possibly like aliens are crawling out of it.  It's all yellowy and clumpy and junk.
6.  Put your cheesecloth over the strainer (and I didn't pour the whey down the sink, I poured it over a bowl to save it).
7.  Pour clumpy alien milk concoction over the cheesecloth that is on the strainer.
8.  Squeeze out the liquid from your cheesecloth.  Scream "OW!" because you are burning your hands.  Think to yourself, "I wonder if I should have let this cool."
9.  Put the cheesy curds into a bowl or whatever you want to put it in.  Just not plastic.  I hate plastic as much as I hate electric stoves.  But do whatever you want.
10.  Poke them until they resemble the curd size you like.
11.  Sprinkle them with a squinch of salt.
12.  Pour fresh milk over them and stir to see if it looks like you could pass it off to your hubby as food he would recognize, namely, and hopefully, cottage cheese.
13.  You have done it.  Run screaming around the house, "I am the smartest woman ALIIIIIIIIIIIVE!" in full Billy Madison fashion. (As seen here:
14.  Put in fridge and eat it when you want to.  But I think within a week.  Unless you want more aliens climbing out of stuff.

So there you have it.  I told you it was hard.  Um...yeah.  Like I said, cape optional on this one.

You don't even need your own cottage to make it.  Amazing.

Well, I was so excited I had to come and run over here to tell you.  But now, gotta get on the ladder and paint the walls.

Peace, love and I'm hanging out with little Miss Muffett,
Ms. Daisy

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