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Deluxestogie Grow Log 2018

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deluxestogie

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This afternoon, I discovered that a newly opened gallon jug of milk was already beginning to turn, even though it is within date. I was forced to buy another. With the slightly "edgy" milk, I heated it to 86°F in a stainless bowl nested into a pot of hot tap water, then added a double dose (2 packets) of culture for Fromage Blanc. I doubled the dose, because the packets are ancient--like 10 years old. I don't even know if they're still viable, despite their being stored in the freezer. Maybe it will set.

Garden20181220_4089_FromageBlanc_packetLabel_400.jpg


Instead of the 12 hours of setting time, I'm aiming for 18 hours, since my kitchen temp is a few degrees below the recommended 72°F for setting. Maybe that will work. The stainless bowl with its lid are now festooned with oven mitts and dish towels, for insulation.

[A safer bet would have been to make yogurt from it. My yogurt cultures are not so old. But that requires initially raising the temp of the milk to 180°F, constantly stirring it while hunched over the steaming water bath that surrounds the bowl.]

Garden20181220_4088_FromageBlanc_drapedBowl_400.jpg


If it does set, I'll spoon the curds into a colander lined with a layer of butter muslin, then tie and hang the bag above the kitchen sink to drip for another 6 to 12 hours, until I have something the consistency of cream cheese. This gets salted, and transformed by garlic powder, dill weed, chives, oregano and black pepper.

Result A: If it works at all, then I should end up with about a 3/4 pound of spreadable, garlic and herb cheese, similar to Boursin, for the cost of $2.49. Boursin sells for ~$4+ for a tiny, two ounces. This will make any crackers (even those with bird seed, flax seed, millet and other "natural" crap on them) taste wonderful.

Result B: I pour the spoiled, un-set milk out in the garden.

Stay tuned for the end of this cheesy story. [Cue suspense music.]

Bob
 

Jitterbugdude

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Bob, A safer bet would have been kefir grains. If you want some let me know. You just toss a couple in with your milk and let it set out at room temp( no heating required) for about 24 hours.
 

deluxestogie

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ke·fir
/kəˈfir/
noun
  1. a sour-tasting drink make from cow's milk fermented with certain bacteria.
Hmmm. I already had a gallon of sour tasting cow's milk. But thanks for the offer. I have buttermilk culture packs in the freezer, but I only use buttermilk for making salad dressing. I guess I'm not a kefir person.

Bob
 

deluxestogie

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The Season(ing) Final Episode

Garden20181221_4091_freshlyLadledCurds_600.jpg


Eighteen hours of suspense happily produced dense curds. Rather than allow the whey to go into the sink drain, I placed a large bowl beneath the colander. The corners of the butter muslin were tied into a simple square knot, and hung on a bungee cord attached to a bracket anchored high above the sink for this purpose (installed over a decade ago).

Garden20181221_4092_hangingButterMuslin_600h.jpg


The dripping of whey always seems slow, so every hour or two, I check the time between each drip. When it's 30+ seconds between each drip, the curds are well consolidated, and can be taken down.

Garden20181221_4096_wheyDepartingCurds_600.jpg


I was wrong about the possible yield of "up to 3/4 pound". The collected whey came to a little over 2 quarts (of the original ~4 quarts). I weighed a large mixing bowl, then weighed the cheese. It came to a whopping 1-3/4 pounds of cheese. For my $2.49, I ended up with the equivalent of 14 of those tiny, foil-wrapped Boursin cheese packages.

Garden20181221_4099_cheese_unseasoned_600.jpg


I added kosher salt (to avoid the idodine from table salt, which can stain any carbs in the cheese blue), dill weed, black pepper, oregano and garlic powder. Then the cheese was mixed with a large spoon for about 5 minutes.

Garden20181221_4100_cheeseOnCrackers_500.jpg


I licked the spoon! The final, spreadable cheese made even these horrid, gluten-free crackeroids tasty. [They were bequeathed to me by someone departing on a long vacation.] Guess I have an excuse to buy a box or two of real crackers.

[Denouement: The two quarts of captured whey could have been further cooked (~180°F) until it precipitated ricotta, but its sweaty work, and the yield is always meager. So I poured all of the whey over the soil in the garden bed at the corner of my porch.]

Bob
 

fimbrew

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I just made about 6 pounds of cheese with ~6 yr old culture from the same vendor. This won't work with that culture because of the rennet in it . Let a cup or two of milk come to room temp then inoculate with culture then stir in after a few minutes. If should set in about 16-24 hrs. If it sets you just use it to make cheese of you can use half and add more milk to proopagate for your next cheese. Buttermilk is a mesophilic culture so you can use it for any cheese that uses that (which is most). You of course would have to add rennet.
 

deluxestogie

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The crazy thing about my several varieties of soft cheese cultures is that I purchased them not only a long time ago, but they were on-sale (like 2/3 off) at the time, because they were about to expire! Fortunately, there was no date to be found on any of the packaging. So they happily continue to live their sluggish lives in my freezer.

Bob
 

deluxestogie

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My mailbox (that tiny white dot near the road) has a visible flag that is lifted whenever the box has been opened. Today was one of those days when I was truly delighted to received no mail.

I don't know the record for annual rainfall here, but in 20 years of living in this house, 2018 has been the wettest year.

Bob
 

mwaller

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Stacked Basma Inspiration

I will kiln the open bags in my next kiln run. I estimate having 3 bags of Düzce similar to the one in the photo. I still don't know what this stuff tastes like.

Bob

Hi Bob -
Have you had a chance to sample the Duzce yet? I'm curious how yours turned out!
 
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