Adventures in Cheese making

Last Saturday I went to a cheese making workshop were we learnt how to make feta, ricotta and and quarg cheeses!

Cheese making is fun but can be time consuming! it took all day to get to get the feta ready to go in the moulds so we could take it home. So in between feta making processes which took about 10-15 minutes each time followed by at least 1 hour waiting to do the next step. So to sill the waiting gaps we made what my teacher called milk products, which turned out to be the Ricotta cheese and Quarg.

Quarg (a type of cream cheese) is just milk with a certain type of bacteria added to it which is stirred together and then left in a hot water bath overnight to do it’s thing. Next morning you pour the jelly like milk into a collander lined with cloth so it can drain for 12 hours which leaves you with your Quarg curds which you whisk until they are combined and creamy. it’s very smooth and can have a slight sournes to it but it’s really nice on crackers. Obviously all that could be done at the workshop was mixing the bacteria into the milk, So I made a hot water bath in my esky when I got home.

The Finished Quarg

Ricotta is really easy and I will be making this at home for myself! it’s just milk heated to 90 degress celcius which then has vinegar added to it at a rate of 15-30 mls vinegar per litre of milk. Just gently stir in the vinegar until you stop seeing plain milk, let it rest for 5-10 minutes then pour it into a cloth lined colander and let it drain for an hour or so and presto you have cheese 🙂

My Ricotta

It was FANTASTIC and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, especially as learning to make cheese has been something I have wanted to do for a long time. So not only did I learn to make cheese I also made good on my promise to myself to actually go out and do the things I dream and make plans for rather than just thinking about them, which was inspired by this quote:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  ~  Mark Twain

So cheese making was pretty much a success,  I don’t know if all my cheeses turned out yet as the feta needs to sit in a brine solution for a couple of weeks before you start eating it so it can develop it’s best flavour, but I had fun and thtat’s what counts here.

So i’ll leave you with a picture of my feta being held hostage in its brine solution and wish you all a happy weekend!

Feta being held hostage