Monday, June 16, 2014

Quilt and Cheese

Quilts and Cheese!  A strange combination, but it is what it is.

Inspired by Jenny Doan's Half-square triangle quilt.

 Ignore the wrinklies, please.  This is the flimsy on top of my bed, and it is not smoothed out.  Any real wonkiness will be quilted and crinkled out.  Yay, washing and drying quilts and getting quilty crinklies!

I liked doing this very much, but had trouble with my seams not nesting in certain spots.  Some of them were going in the same direction.  I have to work on my pressing. 

That's the quilt part of this post.  Here is the cheese part.

Home made ricotta cheese.  A soft, spreadable, creamy white cheese.  (Ignore the parts that look yellow.  It's my photography.  The real cheese is creamy white color).

I've been making paneer, a simple Indian cheese for decades.  Mindlessly easy to make.  Milk with lemon juice as a coagulant.  The other day I found  One-Hour Cheese: Ricotta, Mozzarella, Chèvre, Paneer--Even Burrata. Fresh and Simple Cheeses You Can Make in an Hour or Less! at the library and checked it out.  Holey Moley!  What a book.  Incredible photographs describing every step of making simple cheeses at home.  Not the kind that need to ripen, just the stuff you make and eat within an hour.  

So yesterday I tried a ricotta.  It looks crumbly, but isn't, even after being refrigerated for 18 hours.  It is creamy, spreads well, and is so delicious, I don't have the words to describe it.  The best soft cheese going.

I used lemon juice as my coagulant, but the process is different from making paneer, and I think that changes how the cheese comes out.

In paneer, you bring your milk to a boil.  Shut off the heat, and add in lemon juice.  You can substitute vinegar or lime juice, or even yogurt (which gives a lot of milk solids).  Strain it and let the whey drain off.  And there you have it:  a lovely crumbly cheese which you can then press to make nice firm shapes.

In the ricotta, you add the lemon juice to the milk before cooking it, and then you have a slow cook until it hits 190 degrees.  The curds form much slower than in paneer.  Drain, etc, etc.  It's an awesome cheese.  

I used 2 % milk.  Didn't want all the butterfat of whole milk, but wanted a certain creaminess that skim milk doesn't give.  A total of 6 cups of milk produced about 2 oz of cheese.  

I can see me experimenting with this cheese.  How about putting in a cheesecloth bag of rosemary, simmering it along in the cooking process, then removing it, this giving the cheese that gorgeous rosemary flavor.  Mmmm.  Yummy.

So that's it:  a quilt and a cheese.  Not half bad.


sophie said...

Your odd title, "quilts and cheese," made me look. I want to try making cheese ... I think I need to just decide to do it. Your quilt is looking great, too–can't wait to see it quilted.

Kitten With a Whiplash said...

My laugh for the day - as usual I was scrolling thru the pics before reading the text carefully, and when I got to the cheese pic, my first thought was "What the heck happened to that batting? Is is supposed to be like that???" I hope your cheese always turns out lovely like that, and your batting never crumbles.

Terri said...

I'd say double good. Thanks for the lessons. I'd love to try cheese making. My Dad worked in a WI factory as a young man coming home from WWII.


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