Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Feta Cheese - made at home

I got the recipe from http://www.leeners.com/cheese-recipes-feta.html

Feta Cheese Recipe
Classic feta cheese is best when goat milk is used but a very good Feta can be produced from whole cows milk.
• 1 gallon whole milk (goat or cow)
• ½ teaspoon 30% calcium chloride solution dissolved in 2 Tbs. distilled water
• ¼ teaspoon Mesophilic starter culture
• 1/8 teaspoon mild lipase powder (recommended for cow’s milk)
• ½ tablet rennet dissolved in ¼ cup distilled water

1. Disolve lipase powder in 2 Tablespoons distilled water. Combine milk with calcium chloride and lipase powder in a 6 quart or larger pot. Gently stir milk and heat to 90° F. Remove pot from heat.

2. Sprinkle culture over milk surface and let rehydrate for 1 or 2 minutes. Gently and thoroughly stir culture into milk.

3. Note the time and add rennet by mixing it into milk with an up and down motion for about 1 minute. Monitor gel development. (See: Test for gel development)


  Cut curd into ½ inch pieces. It is okay if they are not perfect cubes. Let the curds heal for 5 minutes. (See: How to Cut Curd)

5. Maintaining a temperature of 90°F, stir the curds gently for 20 minutes. Allow the curds to settle for 10 minutes.
6. Drain the whey into the sink,( I collect my whey to make ricotta) keeping the curd back with your free hand.
7. Divide and scoop the curds into two small ricotta baskets or berry baskets (like the green pint–sized ones that strawberries come in).

8. Place one basket on top of the other and place on a tray to catch the whey. Press for 30 minutes. Remove the top basket, turn the cheese over in each of the baskets and switch baskets, placing bottom basket on the top this time. Press 30 minutes. Repeat this sequence 2 more times, allowing 1 full hour between switches this time (for a total of 3 hrs. of pressing).

9. Remove the cheese from the baskets and place them on a draining mat overnight at room temperature with cheesecloth loosely covering them.

10. Prepare a heavy brine solution of ½ gallon of water, 1 lb. flaked salt, 1½ teaspoons calcium chloride solution and 1 teaspoon vinegar. Heat and stir until salt is dissolved. Cover and allow to cool to room temperature until needed.

11. Next day, cut the Feta cheese into 1 ½” - 2” cubes and place into cooled brine. You can see below that I used the original milk cartons to store the whey in. I later made whey ricotta.

Place the brine into your aging refrigerator for 6 hours.

12. Meanwhile, prepare a pickling brine of 1 quart hot water, 3 oz. flaked salt, ¾ teaspoons calcium chloride solution and ½ teaspoon vinegar. Stir until dissolved and refrigerate at your aging temperature.
13. After 6 hours, remove the cheese from the heavy brine. It will have formed a firm rind.
14. Place blocks of cheese into a clean 1 quart jar and fill with the pickling brine to the top. Place a lid on and store in your aging refrigerator up to 1 year. The temperature for aging can be anywhere from your regular refrigerator up to 55°F.
15. If the cheese is exposed to air in the jar, it may mold. Just cut the mold off and make sure the cubes stay submerged in the

 pickling brine.

This is my first tutorial, If you have any questions, just ask, and I shall try to answer the best I can.

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