Some of the easiest things you can do in the kitchen is make simple cheeses like yogurt, ricotta, and farm cheese both soft and firm. They take no special equipment and if you buy mik when it is on sale as the grocery store loss leader (sold below cost to bring in customers) you can really save money on cheese!
1 and a Half gallon pot
1 gallon whole milk
1/4 cup of vinegar
Fine cotton cloth (well washed old pillow case)
The easiest cheese fo all to make is a ricotta. Take one gallon of whole milk and heat to 200 degrees F. If you don't have the thermometer, just wait until the first few bubbles that indicate boiling (212F) is starting. The stir in 1/4 cup of vinegar. Stir briskly to mix and then remove from heat. Cover and let sit 15 minutes or so. A thick curd should have risen from the milk. It will float to the top. Line a colander with a piece of well washed old sheeting or other fine cotton yard goods. Pour the "ricotta in process" into the colander saving the whey --the clearish left over liquid. If the whey is still cloudy return it to the cook pot and add another 1/4 cup of vinegar. Heat to 200 degrees and wait for more curd to form. Let site 15 minute covered and pour this into the colander.
You now have ricotta cheese at half the price! Use in any recipe that calls for ricotta or cottage cheese.
What could be easier!
A slightly harder cheese to make is home made yogurt. You have to add active cultures and wait overnight, but this is still easy!
1 gallon skim milk
Cup of yogurt with ACTIVE CULTURES
several serilized jars
Sterile mixing spoon and jars by immersing them in boiling water.
Bring milk to 110 degrees F and add the cup of yogurt WITH ACTIVE CULTURES. Please read the label amd make sure this is active yogurt. It will say on the label. Mix well with sterilized stirring spoon. Pour into sterilized jars anc cap loosely. Hold at 100-110 degrees over night. Stoves with pilot lights hold this temperature. Other people put the jars in a warm water bath removed from heat and cover overnight.
But remember 100-110 Degrees are the magic numbers. Over 110 and the yogurt culture dies. Under this and it "sleeps." By morning you should have nice yogurt for breakfast!
SOFT FARM CHEESE
home made yogurt
fine straining cloth
Take the home made yogurt and pour into cloth lined colander. Let the water like stuff (whey) drain out. Now you have a nice soft cheese to use in any recipe that calls for cream cheese --at half the price and half the calories!
Home made ricotta
fine straining cloth
Pour the ricootta into the colander as in recipe above. While still hot pull up the sides of the cloth and wring until the cheese is a firm ball. Press it between two tipped plates to let any further whey drip off. You now have nice feta like cheese for salads, and tacos, etc.
For more cheese ideas see:
Fias Company Farm
Super home cheese making site.
For more advanced Hobby Cheese making:
For more ideas Check out these Frugal Living Books!
Complete Tightwad Gazzette
The Complete Tightwad Gazzette
Declare Your Finanacial Independence
Declare Your Financial Independence
Mary Hunt's Complete Cheapskate
You Can Afford to Stay Home With your Kids
You can Afford to stay Home WIth your Kids