>> Thursday, June 2, 2011
Check out my new blog at http://www.thetreeofrecipes.blogspot.com/.
So for the last year I have wanted to make my own cheese. I read that cream cheese was the easiest and you don't have to wait months to eat it....turns out it takes about 24-30 hours. Since I made my first batch of bagels yesterday (recipe below) I thought "when am I going to find a better time to do it!" So here is how I did it. Most of this was copied from the website I got the recipe from.
What I personally recommend is to buy culture that you add directly to your milk. These are called, “Direct Set Cultures”. I like this because I can decide to make cream cheese and not have to wait for buttermilk to culture.
I buy these cultures from Leeners http://leeners.com/ . They have good prices and are super to do business with. The type of culture needed for this cheese is called, Mesophilic-M. You can find this culture on this page: http://leeners.com/cheesesupply.html#mesophilic . You don’t need a lot: ¼ of a teaspoon will culture 1 gallon of milk. You will also need to purchase liquid rennet for my recipe. Rennet is used to set the cultured milk. You can find the rennet here: http://leeners.com/cheesesupply.html#Rennet
There are a few other miscellaneous, but important items you will need. One is a thermometer that is easy to read. You can purchase these at the grocery store in the cooking aisle or at a store such as Wal-Mart.
The other item you need is cheesecloth. I learned that I don’t actually need cheesecloth and that it is not really even the best material for the job. The very best material to use to drain your cream cheese is simply an old pillow case. You can call this stuff “case cloth”! I took an old pillow case and opened it up. I washed it with hot, soapy, bleach water to clean and disinfect it. This works great and will last you a long time.
You will also need a strong string to hang the cheese. Again I found through some trial and error that old shoestrings work the best. I washed the shoestrings right along with the pillow case in the hot, soapy bleach water before I used them.
1 gallon goat’s milk (I used a gallon of whole cow's milk from the grocery store)
¼ t. direct set mesophilic-m culture
2 T diluted rennet (add 1 drop of rennet to 5 T cool water)
In a large pot (I use a 6qt) add goat’s milk. Heat your milk to 80 degrees. Remove from heat and add the mesophilic-m culture and stir will. Add the rennet and stir. Cover the pan and let sit undisturbed at room temp for 12 to 18 hours.
After your time is up what you have in the pot should look like very thick yogurt. Now you will drain and drip your cheese.
So for the past few days I have been going through my cookbook and testing recipes that I have never had. I made Bagels this morning! It was a success!!!! Even ALEX is eating them and he hates bread....he can't be my child! I think I may have killed the yeast because they didn't rise but I also used a batch that has expired so not sure which...doesn't matter I guess if they taste good :) So here is the recipe and some pictures of what I did. I added a teaspoon of cinnamon but could have added more. You can always add raisins, chocolate or whatever else your heart desires :)
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. salt
2 T. margarine
2 teaspoons salt
4 T. white sugar
1 2/3 cups warm water
1 T. white sugar
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
About 5 cups of water for boiling the bagles
This Salsa recipe is very simple to do. It is a little sweeter than regular Salsa you buy at the store but it is rediculously good! Here it is! NO PRESSURE COOKER OR WATER BATH CANNER NEEDED!
14 cups chopped tomatoes (about 35 Roma Tomatoes)
4-6 Jalepenos chopped(depending on how much heat you like)
5 chopped onions
1 cup vinegar
2/3 cup sugar
8 teaspoons canning salt (I use regular table salt when I can't find canning salt and it hasn't been a problem)
6 teaspoons garlic salt
Put all of the chopped veggies into a pot and mix together. Add vinegar, sugar and both salts. Stir and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes. Before you start this process you should have the jars and lids sanitized and in hot water, ready for use. To do this, boil the lids (the flat round disc) on the stove and leave them in the hot water until you are ready to use them, the rings don't need to be hot. You can run the jars through the hottest setting of your dishwasher or let them sit in really hot water in your sink until ready to use. I use pint jars to can my Salsa but any size will do depending on the size of your family. Use your canning funnel to fill the jars one at a time and then wipe down the top of the jar with a damp cloth (to make sure you get a good seal) and put on the lid and ring, use your magnetic jar lifter to get the lids out of the hot water. (I mean to fill one whole jar at a time....not all the jars at once and then the lids...got that...the jars need to be hot as you fill them and taking them all out of the hot water at once will cool them off.) Turn the jars upside down on a towel and leave them there for 1/2 a day or so to cool. Remember to screw the lids on tight enough!!! This makes about 8 pints of salsa and can be stored with all of your other canning stuff on a shelf!
To make sure the jar sealed properly, make sure the middle of the lid is down. To tell the difference, take a lid that is not sealed and you can pop the middle up and down. A jar that is sealed should be suctioned down and not move. Check only after the jar has cooled. If it didn't seal then you can store it in the refrigerator and use it first. You should not be able to remove the lid with your own strength....unless you are much stronger than me :) The ring should unscrew easily but the lid should not come off without the help of something else :) Hope this made sense!
I went to ARC thrift store and found this piece. It came with a mirror too but I didn't need it for what I was going to use it for. It was $150 and they would only come off the price by $20. The guy then told me that it would be half off on Saturday....I waited until Saturday and it was still there!!!! I an estimating that it was built between 1850 and 1930...just from a little research I did. I bought some paint and new knobs and here is the before and after pics. Sorry I didn't build it but sometimes its cheaper to buy used and clean it up a little. It cost me a total of about $100 after paint and new hardware. I will order some glass to go on top soon.
So I have entered in a cake competition and have been busy creating cake stuff. I am so excited to make this cake! I REALLY want to get to building those kids chairs and I still might do it this week but cake takes priority until the 22nd. Wish me luck...I will post pictures soon!
Food Storage Rotation Shelves
Let me first say that I usually do things the hard way.....so if you figure out an easier way then please do it your way....this is just how I did it. My brain doesn't have an "easy" button :)
Just wanted to remind myself...and be held accountable to you to make plans for a pretty food storage shelf. I was even thinking about making it look and function like a kitchen cabinet....maybe even take a kitchen cabinet and transform it to be more functional in the kitchen....instead of the monstrosity that I built before. I get that most people don't have room for something so big so I am going to create something.....Stay tuned.....
I will eventually get to the chairs for the kids table...maybe even next....but my husband has requested that I build a TV stand for our bedroom. I am working on the plans now and will hopefully build something else this week...maybe next depending. He of course made the comment "If you don't feel like you are up to it or can't handle it then don't worry about it." Of course any of you who know Jeron, knows that this is a challenge and any of you who know me knows that you can't say stuff like that to me without me doing it...HELLO???? I am a stubborn, hard headed, independent woman who has to do almost everything that someone thinks I can't do....to my detriment sometimes :) Pictures to follow once I figure out the plans....it takes me 10 times longer than a normal person to come up with plans because my brain doesn't work that way. If I see it I can create it but if I have to come up with something original then it takes me awhile.....
Just a note that I made some Chocolate Chip Cookies yesterday and are the best I have EVER made. I just followed the directions on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip bag and added 1 package (3.5 oz I think) of Instant Vanilla Pudding...just the powder....and it was FABULOUS!!!!! You should try that next time you have the need to make cookies!
I wanted to build something where all of my electronics would have a home to charge. They were scattered all over my house and getting unplugged and tossed aside.....then, of course, lost. So this is what I came up with. It came from my head so it isn't the greatest thing but it works for me.
Things I learned while building this:
1. All wood putty is not created equal...did you know that there is putty that is non-sandable and that apparently never dries...of ALL the wood putty, this is the one I got. Not sure what is going to happen with that but we shall see.
2. There is a right and a wrong way to install hinges :)
3. Holes are not easy to cut.
4. Like cake decorating, having the proper tools is key to having a decent product.
5. I am definately an ameteur.
6. I should have used 1"x8"x8' boards....so if you are building this....don't do what I did!
OK, so I lied! My next project will be the Charging Station that I designed last night to hold all of our electronical devices....I have also added some open spaces for pens, paper and all of our random "take to work" stuff....wallet, keys, knife....ya know...the stuff that you have nowhere to put.
I will build it tomorrow and post pics as I go along. The wood has been bought so I will probably start bright and early. I am excited about this one and so is Jeron!
Chairs will be next...I promise!