My ministry of cooking, canning, growing, and sharing!

My ministry of cooking, canning, growing, and sharing!

Three years ago we bought a small farm with ten acres. The property had a mucky creek on the South side that was covered in raspberry brambles and poison ivy. The back six acres were so overgrown that I couldn't make it half way through the first pasture. There was mud, 10 foot tall weeds, about ten million ground hogs, and a house with "fabulous" 80's wall paper on EVERY surface. I looked at this property and my mind was spinning with possibilities of what I could grow, raise, and even forage off this little plot of land. My husbands mind, who was standing in nearly the exact same spot, was spinning with the thought of how much work he had ahead of him.

From my Farm to my Kitchen is a way for me to share my stories, recipes, failures, and successes. It is a way for me to tell you how sharing with others has opened the flood gates for abundant blessings, new friendships, and great lessons.

We have fought to "take back" parts of our property that had been swallowed by willows and scrub trees. My husband has suffered the wrath of the evil wood emperor, Sir Poison Ivy and our five children have worked tirelessly to help with chores like, "go get Mommy some basil" or I KNOW there's a Morel out there, GO FIND IT!

Please enjoy this glorious adventure with our family. Learn the lessons that I stumbled over, take the great recipes that I share and leave the miserable ones. I am hoping to write each day but you never know if the kitchen or the laundry monster will get me!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cottage Cheese

For YEARS I have heard this story from my Mom about Dry Curd Cottage Cheese.  By the time she is done telling me this story (and I've heard it DOZENS of times) I am licking my lips, trying to figure out how I can find some.  I've been to cheese shops, small Artisans, the internet, and even asked a few farmers where I can get some. NO LUCK!

Now I've mentioned that I get milk from a great friend each week and that I've been making cheese.  I have also been unsuccessfully trying to make Cottage Cheese for the past month.  I've accidentally made ricotta, mozzarella curds, and some freaky looking cheddarish cheese.  I am determined to re-create the childhood sensation that my Mother so fondly speaks of.  

I've tried a recipe that calls for vinegar, one that calls for buttermilk, and one that calls for extreme heat.  All have failed or tasted like vinegar.  I was going over all of these recipes when I decided to try something different.  I put the milk out at room temperature for about 8 hours with 5 drops of rennet.  I checked it and sure enough, I had curd.  Now the tricky part of cottage cheese is finding that perfect moment when the curd is not too soft and not too tough.  If it is too soft then you might as well use it as a ricotta.  If it is too tough then it's like chewing on miniature pieces of squeaky mozzarella.

I broke up the curd and bathed it in slightly warm water for about half an hour.  After it looked fairly firm, I drained it and soaked it again for about 5 minutes in slightly warmer water. (100-110 degrees)  I drained it again and rinsed it in cold water.  A little salt and, WHOOT WHOOT, Dry Curd Cottage Cheese.  I was so pleased with myself that I made more.  And more...and more :)

So now my Mom has about 4 pounds and I have 2.  Yep!  It was a eureka MOMENT! 

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