I promised more info on raw milk in my last post and helping me to deliver is the one and only Sally Fallon. You may know her as the iconoclast author of Nourishing Traditions in which she takes on the “diet dictocrats,” or from her work with the Weston A. Price foundation (www.westonaprice.org) Her work on the Real Milk campaign has been equally as tireless and important for the contribution to real health. Check out their site for more information on the campaign, how you can get involved in your community, and the wonders of raw milk.
Raw milk should always be from a sustainable, grass fed dairy where the animals treated with love and respect. Not only will this make you feel good, but the treatment of the animals and sanitation is imperative to the health of the milk. Raw milk is full of enzymes, antibodies, and many people who are allergic to dairy find they can enjoy raw milk and other fermented milk products!
Read more about the benefits of raw milk here.
Another great article called 15 Things Pasteurization Kills.
Now to the fun part: cheese making!
1. Start with raw milk, for this I used 1.5 gallons goat milk with 1 cup homemade cow buttermilk culture. Allow both to come to room temperature (55-70 degrees F) to active culture.
2. Place 5 drops rennet in a shot glass with some water. Stir in rennet water to the combined milk and buttermilk culture in a large pot or bowl. Allow to sit overnight.
3. By now you’ve awoken, like little Miss Muffet, to your curds and whey. Take a knife and gently cut the curd into strips one direction leaving 3/4″ between rows, turn the pot 45 degrees and repeat, effectively cutting small squared of the curd to increase surface area.
4. Using and slotted spoon transfer the curds to a strained lined with cheese cloth in the sink. You can weight down your straining cheese with a plate and jar on top to make it go faster. After a couple hours your cheese should be adequately dried and you are ready to flavor it.
5. Remove curd from cheese cloth and mix in 1 tablespoon good sea salt. Now you can mix whatever herbs and spices you like into the curd. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination and the ingredients on hand.
I made Dill/Chive, Tarragon/Parsely, Garlic/Basil and one giant mixed herb and flower log for a party.
This cheese freezes well. I got about 1.5 pounds of cheese from the 1.5 gallons of milk.