Yesterday, I made up the cheese culture as per the instructions. I did not have a vacuum flask big enough, except for one of those pump action dispenser type ones. Leave for 20 hours was the instruction, so this morning when I came downstairs, I found that the laws of Physics had siphoned half the liquid onto the worktop for me.
Undeterred, I reasoned that either the culture would work or it wouldn’t, and the only way to find out was to actually try to make some cheese. That required 5 litres of milk, which will make cheese or not. You can’t tell until you have tried. So in the spirit of New Year, New attitude, I proceeded to have a go. There was only semi-skimmed milk at the shop, but I followed the instructions to the letter, and now I’m just waiting to see if curds have formed. Obviously, when you read this you will know straight away, as soon as you can read the next line, but the 45 minute wait for me was in turn exciting and worrying. Would I waste 5 litres of milk? Would I have to make a new culture? Is it because I am not cultured myself? (Or so I’m told, when I worked at sea for the P&O I was told that my personnel file was marked NSPD, and on enquiry it was explained that that meant Not Suitable for Passenger Division.)
The instructions were explicit, cover and leave for 45 minutes, of course that means that I found it hard to resist having a look, but I did, and tension rose.
I have also found that you can’t take photos of milk curdling and make them interesting.
And……………….. It didn’t work, who knows what I did wrong, maybe it was the skimmed milk, maybe the culture, maybe something else. Any ideas welcomed.
In the spirit of going for broke, I thought that I might as well have a play with the milk, rather than just pour it away, so in my trusty recipe book I found a method using milk, heat and cider vinegar to make Haloumi.
And a few minutes later I have my answer.
As you can see, I have curds, which will now sit in the fridge for a day or so to ripen, but the initial taste is promising. I will e-mail the place where I got the culture and pick his brains; meanwhile I think I may have saved the day (and the milk)