Monday, October 12, 2009

Who'da thunk it?

"Cheese is nutritious food made mostly from the milk of cows but also other mammals, including sheep, goats, buffalo, reindeer, camels and yaks. Around 4000 years ago people started to breed animals and process their milk. That's when the cheese was born." (excerpt from

Yes, I did !

I needed some Farmer Cheese for a recipe I had, and I used to be able to find it once in a while in the supermarket. Lately, though, Farmer's Cheese must be out of fashion. So I had to take matters into my own hands. Again.

With my bff, the internet, I found many recipes to make my own Farmer Cheese.

Who knew? Who knew you could make cheese? Not me.

The above photo shows what it looks like when it's finished. Pretty cool.

Here's the recipe. (from

Farmer's cheese is made from basic kitchen ingredients. It is common on dairies, yet it is sometimes considered a gourmet cheese. If made from goat's milk, it is known as chevre. The French call it fromage blanc or white cheese. This cheese can be used as you would use cream cheese or cottage cheese.

Difficulty: Easy

Things You'll Need:

  • 2 quarts Whole Milk
  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp. White Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Colander or Strainer
  • Clean Cheesecloth
  • Heavy Pot
  • Large Pot or Bowl
  • Storage Container with Lid
  1. Step1

    Put 2 quarts of milk in a large pot and bring it to 180 degrees over low heat, stirring frequently.

  2. Step2

    Add 2 cups of buttermilk and stir, then add the vinegar and stir. Turn off the heat and stir slowly until the mixture starts to separate. (This is what's called the curds and the whey. The whey is the watery stuff.)

  3. Step3

    Let it sit for 10 minutes. Do not disturb the mixture during this time. While waiting, line a colander with at least two layers of cheesecloth. (Who knew that cheesecloth was used for making cheese!)

  4. Step4

    Using a large spoon or ladle, put the curds (the solids) into the cheesecloth-lined colander.

  5. Step5

    Let the curds drain for at least an hour. Occasionally gather up the cheesecloth around the cheese to apply some pressure to the cheese to help it drain. You can also tie the cheese up in the cheesecloth to keep pressure on it.

  6. Step6

    Transfer the cheese to a storage container, add salt to taste, and store covered in the refrigerator for up to five days.(actually will last a little longer...But it's usually gobbled up by then.)

  7. It was soooo easy !! Try it!
  • Sweeten with sugar or flavor with fresh herbs. Use as a sweet breakfast alternative to yogurt or spread on bread or toast. Add berries for a tasty dessert. (spreads better when it's warm.)
I wanted to make a nice spread for snacking.

(Snack*ing: verb. 1.) An essential activity, scheduled every couple of hours, involving placing delicious food inside your oral cavity.
2.) A ritual to avoid death and/or boredom, whichever comes first.

So I used this recipe to achieve the above picture.

Farmer's Cheese with Honey, Raisins, Cinnamon and Toasted Walnuts

Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman

Warm cheese is a comfort food if ever there was one. If it hadn't occurred to you, just think of Mac and Cheese and you should be on the same page with me.

Prep Time:
5 min
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time:
18 min
4 to 6 servings


  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 pound farmer's cheese
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • A couple dashes cinnamon
  • A couple pinches salt
  • Crackers or bread, for serving


Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Lay walnuts on baking sheet. Roast and shake once or twice to insure even toasting. Roast until a shade darker and aromatic, about 15 minutes.

Remove walnuts and set aside to cool.

Turn the oven to broil.

Place farmer's cheese in large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and the toasted walnuts. Mix thoroughly. Transfer mixture to a small baking dish (aluminum disposable is fine).

Place under broiler until brown and bubbly on top, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve hot or at room temperature with crackers of any kind or slices of crusty bread.

Apparently, using something called Rennet, you can actually make your own mozzarella cheese!

Cottage Cheese and Ricotta are similar to farmers cheese. Cottage Cheese isn't drained as much.

You end up with a ton of what's called WHEY left over. You can drink it or use it in recipes.

I found a recipe for bread using Whey. Any recipe where you use milk, you can use up the Whey.

I made 3 loaves of bread this weekend using 4 C of the whey.

It's really quite amazing what a person can do. Even me.

And a-whey we go......