The cheese makerer

BakerMonkey, Food & Drink, General, Reckons

After wasting my morning in the jury room at the Auckland District Court (not being drawn in the ballot, and having to hang around for three fucking hours while they clown-arsed around as if it was their first time ever running a jury) I decided the rest of the day would be well spent being creative, first on the list was something I’ve never done before – cheese making.

I decided to do a really simple one to begin with.

Ingredients are simple and easy to find, milk, vinegar, salt.  That’s it.  The recipe I found was a bit bigger than I wanted (eight litres of milk? no thanks), so here is the pared down version:

500ml milk.
3 teaspoons of white vinegar (normal malt vinegar might be okay as well).
1/4 teaspoon salt.

Heat the milk in a pot to about 90C (don’t let it boil, if it looks like it’s about to, pull it off the heat right away).
Milk on the stove.

Add vinegar to the milk.  Give it a gentle stir.
Immediately afer adding vinegar.

It’ll start to seperate right away.
The curd seperates from the whey very quickly.

Leave it to cool.  Doesn’t take too long from that heat.
Left to cool a while longer, it continues to seperate.

As you can see, the seperation is quite dramatic.
Well seperated and now ready to pour out.

Pour the curds and whey through a sieve.  Gently.
Poured through a sieve.

Mmmm, delicious whey.  Ok, not delicious really.  I tasted it, it’s a little bit sweet, quite weak flavoured.  Nothing too scary, but I wouldn’t want to drink it every day.
Yes I did taste it.  It's okay, weak and slightly sweet, but not great.

Curds!  Looks just like cottage cheese.  There’s a reason for that.  Add the salt to the curds, mix it in well.  Add more salt if you feel like it.  Do it to taste.
There's the stuff you want.

Time for the taste testing.
Just like a bought one.

Claire said it was very good.  I said it would do nicely piled into a couple of toated sandwiches with a bunch of chilli beans.  I was right.

I’m a better cook than you are.

BakerMonkey, Food & Drink, General, Reckons

I’m sorry if this comes as a surprise, but it’s a proven fact.

In fact, I’ve been a good cook since I was in my early teens.  I have creativity and attention to detail, as well as a quite highly educated palate.

Lately I’ve been playing the role of house-husband to Claire’s bread-winner.  This includes making up a delightful lunch for her every day.

Her lunch for tomorrow includes, along with a yogurt and a packet of jaffa cakes, a bowl of roasted vegetables (carrot, caramelised red onion, potato, and kumara), and a big moist slice of fresh baked banana bread.  Delicioso!

You might well think you’re a good cook, and possibly you are, but next to me you ain’t shit.

In other news, we went to the Chinese New Year thing at the showgrounds with Dylan, Melanie, and Harrison on the weekend, it was okay I guess.  I had some very nice (but quite greasy) noodles, grape juice, and very pedestrian chicken satays.  Oh, and a Chinese biscuit.  Unfortunately being a daytime even there was no opportunity for fireworks – which we really enjoyed when it was in Albert Park the last couple of years.

I just got the banana bread out of the oven, I think I’ve surprised even myself with how perfect it is.

Self-effacingly yours,
The Monkey