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Don't Cry Over Overheated Milk! Farmers Cheese Anyone?

by Jerri

I was in a hurry. I thought, I've done this a million times, set the timer, and walked away from the stove to do another part of the yogurt project. My cow's milk was slowly warming over medium heat for a rebatch of Greek yogurt. It was only supposed to reach 160ºF, so 15 minutes in when steam was rising from the pot, I freaked. As the numbers on the thermometer rose beyond 160 and up into the 180s, I held back the tears, and remembered I had lemon juice. Lemon juice!


I poured the overheated milk into a bowl, grabbed the lemon juice, and as I dumped it in while stirring I thought, How much lemon juice do I need? I really should check the recipe. But I didn't. I just poured and stirred until it made curds. It took about 5 seconds to be ready.


I quickly found my butter muslin I had sewn into a bag for making nut milk, and put it into another bowl to begin the straining process.


I gathered it up and strained. Hope no one needs inside that cupboard today


This is known as an acid cheese since lemon juice was used (vinegar is another option) instead of an actual culture to do the fermenting. But in this hiccup, I was able to make a ricotta of sorts. I could have added a little salt to the curds before I strained it, as that leads to a harder cheese, but since I didn't check my recipe, this is what I got. By the way, when I finally checked the recipe, it said 1 quart milk + 1/8 cup vinegar, so I think I did ok in my panicked state. Whew! I peeled away the muslin and was happy!

I tried a bit of garlic salt on the side to dip it into, but unfortunately, it was just too crumbly (I strained too long).


However, see below for what I did to entice the resident teenage boy to eathomemade garlicky mayo + crumbly cheese curds = a sandwich dressing that led to not one, but two sandwiches!


Yum, yum, yum!

Now, back to yogurt making, but at a bit slower pace.