Yesterday after doing all the running around and chores I had made a goal. It started with my husband suggesting that we attend an Asatru Blot this month. Something that was being asked of us was to bring a dish to pass around for the feast. I can do potluck like no has ever potlucked before. It’s a huge southern tradition to get together with friends and family and pass around dishes that make up a HUGE meal. Then I read, ‘dish that has been harvested from either your garden or farmers market. Or meat that you have hunted or fish that you’ve caught for this event. Homemade baked goods from scratch are also welcome.’ Well…shit!
I just did a small experimental garden and even though fruits and vegetables grew there weren’t nearly enough ingredients to make an entire dish. My husband doesn’t hunt or fish so that is out of the question. Then I had an idea and after a little research into what the Norsemen ate I decided on making cheese and bread from scratch then add herbs from my garden. I sought out a dairy and was pretty lucky to find one on the outskirts of my town that sold by the gallon at a decent price. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty intimidated by using raw milk. Am I going to make something that will poison us all? NOPE!
I made sure and set up all my utensils and ingredients for the cheese. Then I got to work. Bring the milk to temperature, worrying about the milk scorching, stirring until I thought my elbow was going to break, and then WOW. Adding the lemon juice made me realize…I can do it! I was so proud that the pot of milk was doing what it was supposed to do. The recipe isn’t mine but what I found helped A LOT! I bounced between several how-to articles and decided on:
- A gallon of Raw Milk
- 2 TBSPs of fresh lemon juice
- 2 TBSPs of apple cider vinegar
Bring to temp and add acid. The method suggested was to turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes. WRONG. REMOVE FROM HEAT COMPLETELY! I added salt at the end when it should have been done during the drying process. But the final product, in the end, was AMAZING.
What to do with Whey? The leftover product from straining the cheese from the milky water is actual whey. I can’t believe people spend so much money to purchase this stuff. I could have sold it but instead, I decided that making Whey Bread would be more beneficial to the blot that we are attending. I wanted to practice ahead of time so I don’t appear so new. I found a recipe and ran to the store while the whey was to warm. This is where I was again intimidated. I make quick breads all the time that doesn’t call for active yeast. I had a HORRIBLE disaster in my younger years making bread and I haven’t used yeast since then…until yesterday.
The recipe told me to add warm whey to the yeast. I panicked and added some whey from a smaller batch that was cooled making it warm. This worked and ta-dah! Happy yeast! Even though the cheese and the bread were high in points…I still counted and ENJOYED what I had made and baked.
The batch of both cheese and bread that I’m going to make I’m going to dried basil from my garden (it wasn’t dry enough yesterday but will be by next week). So I will have made homemade cheese from raw milk (which by the way is from grass-fed cows and Whey bread (not wasting anything) seasoning with basil that I grew in my experimental garden.
Any other ideas for easy homemade cheeses? Hmm…I could make butter.