The Challenge: Dairy Products

Felt a little like the dairy princess yesterday. I decided to make cottage cheese and yogurt. Started off with powdered milk in both recipes. Thanks to a generous gift from Jonathan a few weeks ago I have a nice supply of dry milk. The funny thing is that I was sure I had plenty beforehand but he insisted on giving me extra. Smart guy!!

The cottage cheese was needed for pierogi filling. I am teaching “My Mother’s Polish Kitchen” through SELREC at Brush High School on Wednesday night.  I have a  book on cheese making but the cottage cheese recipes all needed ingredients I didn’t have. Luckily I remembered seeing Alton Brown make easy cottage cheese. Found his recipe which only required skim milk, vinegar and salt- well heavy cream- but that is sort of optional. It worked out perfectly. I little firmer than regular cottage cheese- but I like it better. Here is the link :

My friend, Pam Calvey, asked what I was going to do about dairy while I was not going to the store. I replied that I had canned milk, dried milk, cheese and would be fine. I forgot to mention to her that I also had a pretty big carton of Greek yogurt. I bought it at Costco so you know it’s big. Still I looked at the yogurt the other day and realized its expiration date was coming up. Also, once opened it is supposed to be used in 6 days or so. I thought I had better try to make some or I would soon be out. Spurred on by the success of the cottage cheese I felt confident.

The yogurt is still in production as I am writing this. I have all sorts of recipes for making it at home. I no longer have a yogurt maker but I have made it without one before.

To make yogurt at home you need milk- you can use soy milk- and you need yogurt with active cultures.  The milk is warmed and then cooled and then some yogurt is stirred in. It then has to go through and incubation period.  Now the process is a little more precise that that- but you get the general idea. I have several recipes using a crock pot so I decided to give it a try.

I should have awakened to yogurt this morning- more like Kefir. All hope is not lost. Turned crock pot to warm for 30 minutes- turned off- covered it with a towel and let it be. Last peek revealed a product that has thickened considerably and with any luck will be yogurt soon. If it works- and I expect it will I can look forward to fresh cottage cheese and fresh yogurt whenever I want it without a trip to the store.


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