Tuesday, August 2, 2011
This times two is how many bars of soap I have made in the past few days --- nine batches to be exact -- or 54 bars. Each is scented for the fall or Christmas holidays. Some of it will need a little trimming around the edges, but for now, it is done and drying.
With the humidity, it is tough to get the soap to dry well. So, I moved my drying rack upstairs and have a fan on in the room. That will do nothing for the humidity, but it does get the air moving a little to help it out.
Today I started on a new adventure. I want to get my dairy license so that I can start selling cheese. Without the license, I can't and I just won't bend the rules for anyone --- even though I am tempted sometimes! So, I have been to the Health Department and talked with them for quite a while. Seems I won't need a commercial kitchen license to make cheese, just the dairy one. That will certainly, I hope, make it more doable. And, since I will never milk more than four or five does, I will fall under different regulations. Brenda, at Granny's Best, inspired me to give it a go. Of course, she does it on a much larger scale than I!
Have you tried to make homemade cheese? It is quite simple. Really.
Simple Homemade Cheese
1 gallon whole milk (skim won't work! You need the fat!)
1 pinch salt
1 large lemon, juiced
Pour the milk into a large pot, and stir in a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching on the bottom of the pot.
When the milk begins to boil (small bubbles will first appear at the edges), turn off the heat. Stir lemon juice into the milk, and the milk will curdle. You may need to wait 5 or 10 minutes.
Line a sieve or colander with a cheesecloth, and pour the milk through the cloth to catch the curds. What is left in the cheesecloth is the Farmer's Cheese. The liquid is the whey. Some people keep the whey and drink it, but I give it to the hens. They love it, and me, when they have it!
Gather the cloth around the cheese, and squeeze out as much of the whey as you can. Wrap in plastic, or place in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator.
You can season this with almost any herb mixture. How about some of that pesto?? Or, maybe some garlic and onion chopped for a dip? Or chili peppers? Or just plain? You can't go wrong with it! I promise!