Sunday, July 1, 2012

Back in the saddle

On May 25th 2012, I decided to get back into cheesemaking by making my favorite, rosemary feta.  I opened up my cheese notebook to discover that the last time I made cheese was September 8th 2010!  At the time I was about 4 weeks pregnant.  I took a break from cheesemaking because I did not have to time to devote to making cheese or driving 2 hours to get the milk.

This first attempt at cheesemaking after 20 months off was a total failure.  What I made was a milky slop that would not coagulate because my rennet and cultures were dead.  Rennet and cheese cultures do have expiration dates and they are not a joke.  Everything I had was expired but I wanted to see if there might be some viability.  I had a lot of supplies that had to be trashed, very sad.  I wish I had had the forethought to give it all to someone who would use them instead of letting it all go to waste.

I did learn to buy my rennet and cultures in smaller amounts.  Liquid rennet will last for a year in the refrigerator and most cultures will last about 2 years in the freezer.  I have since made some chevre, I should have let it drain longer.  I also made some rosemary feta but added to much salt to the brine so the texture was too soft.  But at least I am getting back into the swing of things.

I did make some cajeta which was a delicious success!  Sometimes I don’t know what to do with just 2 quarts of goat’s milk but now I do.  I think I will be giving everyone on my Christmas list a jar of this decadent caramel.  Another failure was this rosemary honey goat milk ice cream, I left out the strawberries.  The texture was icy and I had never seen one whole egg used in an ice cream recipe.  The recipe did not say to strain the mixture before turning but I did because the egg white left an unappetizing film.  I will keep attempting to recreate the delicious rosemary honey goat milk gelato from Capogiro and once I have it cracked, I will tell you all about it!  

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