Homemade cheese is tasty


Photo by dfinnecy.

When I was a kid in the 70s, we had milk delivered by a milkman. We had a little white wooden Vitamilk box on the porch, and every few days the milkman would put a couple of bottles of milk in the box. To me, it seemed like magic. After a while, they stopped using glass bottles, and then they stopped delivering milk at all. Like much of the rest of America, we had to start buying our milk at the grocery store. This was a sad thing.

A few years ago, I was surprised to see that milk delivery still existed in the Seattle area. I contacted a local dairy to inquire about service. “Sorry,” they said, “we don’t deliver to Beacon Hill.” I was disappointed.

This year, though, I browsed around to the Smith Brothers Farms website and discovered that now they do deliver to Beacon Hill. Joy! I signed us up for regular delivery.

A week later, the milkman showed up and dropped off our delivery box with our first delivery. Like my childhood Vitamilk box, it is white. The milk inside, sadly, is not in glass bottles, but in cardboard cartons. But it is fresh and tasty.

The one problem, however, is that there is a minimum order of two half-gallons per week. We don’t always drink that much in a week; usually we have up to half a carton left over. I don’t want to be wasteful, so tonight I went looking for ways to make use of extra milk.

I found this. Homemade soft cheese (basically the same as paneer), made from milk and lemon juice. I took the leftover milk, heated it to 190F, added lemon juice, and was amazed to see that, yes, it works, and it tastes really, really good!

We ate some of the cheese in our dinner tacos (with pico de gallo), and will probably snack on the rest. It’s darned good, and I should have no trouble using up every drop of milk the milkman brings us from now on.

Next experiment: homemade yogurt!

(The photo here is not my cheese, but it looks just like the cheese I made. Thanks to dfinnecy on Flickr for making this photo available in Creative Commons.)

3 thoughts on “Homemade cheese is tasty

  1. What a great idea! Thanks for the tip.

    If it turns out that you end up with more cheese than you can use, milk can be frozen. Just pop the carton into the freezer and take it out to thaw the day before you need it. All it needs is a shake to redistribute the fat and it’s good as new.

  2. I have heard that. But wouldn’t it change the consistency a bit?

    I imagine it could be handy for cooking, though. I could freeze it in ice cube trays and then save the cubes of milk to cook with.

  3. You would think it would change the consistency, but it really doesn’t. Give it a good shake and it’s ready to go.

    I discovered this when we had a milk delivery service fo a while, with a minimum, just like yours. (Oh how I wish we could have that again!) I wish I’d know about the cheese thing then, too!

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