Thursday, March 3, 2011

A New Skill

We found a cheese making class close to home that was affordable, so we both decided to go.  The cheese we made was Queso Fresco and it turned out delicious.

We started with 4 cups of whole milk and 2 cups of Buttermilk in a stainless steel sauce pan which we heated slowly up to the right temperature.  To that we added a small amount of distilled water and a few drops of calcium chloride.  We dissolved a rennet tablet in another container of water and stirred that into the warm milk.  At this point we covered the pot and set it aside, off the heat, for the curd to form.   

This class was held in the instructors own kitchen. There were 6 of us, including the teacher.

While we waited our instructor fed us lunch. There was a really good soup - homemade of course - and french bread with freshly made butter with a hint of lemon. I wanted to pig out SO BAD.  It was hard to act like a lady and just have two slices of bread. :)

After about thirty minutes we had curds to cut. Here the teacher is demonstrating for us.

She had us cut them three different ways.

Again we had to let it rest, so in the meantime our instructor brought out an assortment of cheeses that she had made.  In all honesty her Feta cheese was the best I have ever tasted. Wow.  I was close to speechless. :)  In the center of the cheese in the above photo is a "cheese button". It was made of glass and the purpose of it is so people have something to hold on to while cutting off a piece of cheese instead of putting their finger on the cheese!  I have never heard of such a thing so I had to take a picture to share with you.

After the rest period was up we ladled our curds and whey into a cloth lined colander to drain.

Eventually the whey was squeezed out and all we had left was the curd!

We put our curds in a little plastic mold and then turned it out onto some plastic wrap and a paper plate.

We each had a nice round cheese to take home.

I, of course, bought a good supply of things I will need to try this at home.
I shared one of the rounds with my co-workers and Tim and I ate the other one.  It was quite yummy!

I don't know when I will try this again, but I suppose I'd better do it soon or I'll forget everything I learned. :)

Thanks for stopping by!