Country Living Series

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Answering a few comments....

Here are some answers to a few of the comments over various and sundry things:

Regarding cream cheese - I used the recipe found in the book "Home Cheese Making" my brother gave me for Christmas, specifically the recipe found on pg 85 (the cooked-curd method). Here it is:

- 2 qts light cream or half-and-half - heat to 86 degrees F
- Add 4 oz mesophilic starter (I have lots of this on hand for cheddar cheese)
- 3 drops liquid rennet diluted in 1/3 cup cool water - use ONE TEASPOON of this already very diluted rennet (which answers the question about whether cream cheese requires rennet)
- Set the cream in a warm spot (72 degrees or more) for 12 hours - a solid curd will form
- Heat two quarts of water to 170 degrees. Add enough of the hot water to the curd to raise its temp to 125 degrees. Pour the watery curd into a colander lined with (in my circumstances) a pillowcase (the book says cheesecloth, but I hate using cheesecloth - I keep two clean old pillowcases just for cheesemaking). Hang the bag/pillowcase over a bowl until it stops dripping (this takes a few hours).
- I added a mere 1/4 teaspoon of salt and it turned out just fine. Made only half a pound, though, and I need 1 1/2 lbs for a triple recipe of peanut butter pie, so I'll be making another double batch today for Tuesday's pie baking.

To the reader who expressed interest in whether there's a house for sale nearby because she likes the idea of our weekly neighborhood get-togethers (LOL) - well, not a house, but we have 20 acres of gorgeous land with a pond for sale! Email me if you're interested (patrice@patricelewis.com).

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