We have lots of milk again, since Molly calved, but we never had much time for cheese-making, so here are a few tips that you might find useful when you need to make cheese in a hurry.
Make one big cheese rather than several smaller ones
We realised that most of the time involved in cheese making is all the heating and stirring. We decided to make the largest possible cheese, using our 10 L and 7 L pots at the same time. When the curd was ready in both pots, I scooped it into our largest mold to make one giant cheese, then there was only one cheese to look after until it was ready to wax.
Save time fishing the spoon out of the pot by securing it to the handle with a twisty tie
You don't want to know how often this has been a problem!
Sterilise your pot just before you start, so you know its clean and you have a warm pot to heat the milk in
I sterilise the pot by putting a little water in the bottom, sitting it on the largest burner with the lid on, until it boils and the steam can sterilise the entire pot. Then I can just tip out the water and the pot is ready to use.
Preheat milk from the fridge in a sink of hot water while doing other chores
Its easy to ruin a pot of milk heating over a burner while you are efficiently multi-tasking (ie distracted), a double-boiler is ideal, but I don't have a big enough pot to double-boil the 10 L pot! The next best thing is to fill the 10 L pot with milk and sit it in the sink, and then fill the sink with hot water. In about 20 minutes the milk will be close to the cheese-making temperature (you could also use boiling water to get even closer) and the last few degrees can be added using the stove.
Use a digital timer will remind you when its time to do the next step
Cheese making involves so much waiting, I often get distracted on other tasks, but this little timer has saved me many times. Its great for making hard boiled eggs too!
Do you have any cheese making tips and tricks to add?
If you want to know more about house cows, my eBook is available for purchase on Scribd. Its only $4.99, and it includes lots of information about keeping a house cow in Australia. There's more details about the eBook on my house cow eBook blog. If you don't want to go through all the Scribd/paypal effort, just send me an email on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com and I can arrange to email it to you instead.
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