So I am on a mission to “make it myself”.
Anything that I can’t find, heard I cant find, or will be too expensive in Africa, I am determined to make it myself. And being the smart girl that I am… I am trying to make it myself here in the states, where I have ample internet, resources, etc.
I have heard that you can’t find ice cream in Uganda that hasn’t been melted and refrozen at least twice. Hence my adventures with Mint Ice Cream.
In other upsetting dairy news, cheese is a bit…..um….. well it’s available, but the best advice is to “trust your nose”.
I am not really comfortable forking out $6 on cheese that may or may not give my stomach cramps for 2 days.
So with that in mind, I have stepped into my adventures with cheese!
I am now a big pinterest fan and ran across a multitude of how to make cheese recipes. I got some cheese cloth, whole milk and lemon juice and turns out that’s all you need to make at least 3 different cheeses.
Cheese 1: Paneer
I started with making Paneer from this bloggers recipe.
It turned out perfectly!
The blogger, however, from the UK. Which means she does not obsess over every detail and every picture of every step like us Americans…. so if you use the recipe you just have to trust your instincts.
With most cheese 1 cup of milk = 1 ounce of cheese.
So 1 gallon of milk will make 1lb of cheese. Yay!
Cheese is made when boiled, acidified milk separates into curds and whey, Miss Muffet style. The curds are made into cheese and the whey is leftover.
What do you do with Whey?
1. Be a fitness nut about it and drink the whey because it will help you build muscle mass.
2. Make Ricotta! Turns out ricotta means re-cooked and that what you do with it.
Cheese 2: Ricotta
Here’s the Ricotta recipe.
I didn’t have a reusable coffee filter, but my genius husband suggested we cut up one of his old (clean) t-shirts that we have been trying to get rid of.
T-shirts are the new cheesecloth!
Cheese 3: Queso Fresco
I found out that I could make Queso Fresco and being the good Texas girl that I am… I had to do it.
All you need is whole milk, lemon juice, buttermilk and salt. Here’s the Queso Fresco recipe.
So I had all ingredients for my queso fresco except the buttermilk. You can make a substitute from vinegar and milk in 5 minutes… but I saw that if you had heavy whipping cream you can make actual buttermilk.
So… I poured my heavy whip into a jar with a good sealed lid (of course my nalgene) and then started shaking.
Shaking… thinking of awkward Shake Weight commercial…..shaking
Then the bottle gets totally white and I look in and realize that I just made whipped cream in a nalgene.
Nice! I’m saving that tidbit for my next camping trip.
So the recipe says to keep going and eventually it will clump up and the buttermilk will separate.
I hear a clump clump in my nalgene, open it up and SURPRISE! I accidentally made BUTTER!
I wasn’t even going for butter….. I was trying to make buttermilk…….
Buttermilk is what is leftover when you make butter….. Duh
*insert “Wow, I should have known better” face here*
The cheeses above are all “fresh soft cheese” and I figured “heck, if I can make all these, surely I can make the other hard cheeses too”.
Hard cheese ingredients are the same, except I’m supposed to get a hold of some rennet. (an extreme milk curdler)
**Keep in mind that I am trying to use ingredients that I can get in Uganda. So, I know I will not be able to buy rennet in Uganda so check out recipes on how to make it.
How to make Rennet:
Step1. Buy a freshly slaughtered calf’s stomach.
Step 2. Ewwwwwww. Put down the rennet recipe and back away from the hard cheeses.
So, no super fancy cheese making for this girl. I will still have to fork over the big bucks if I want to get my hands on some Parmesean.
But knowing how to make 3 cheeses and butter is pretty darn good.
Now I just need to find a goat guy or cow guy in Uganda to buy milk from….
Have you had any food making adventures?