Spring 2012 True Natural Health Magazine – Your Questions Answered
By Roger French
QUESTION: I’m a 62-year-old woman who began staying at Hopewood Health Retreat at around age 20. I have lost my Hopewood recipe to make cottage cheese with lemon juice. Many recipes say to heat the milk (goats or cows) but I don’t recollect that being stated in the Hopewood recipe. I wonder if you still have the recipe?
Quite a coincidence that you should ask for that recipe, because I have just published it in the Autumn 2012 issue of this magazine, page 19. Here it is in more detail.
Cottage cheese is remarkably easy to make at home using this recipe:
Add about one cup lemon juice to two litres milk (cows or goats) at room temperature. Wait a few hours for it to clabber (clot); if this is too slow, more lemon juice can be added, but it depends how ‘lemony’ you want the cheese to taste. Strain off the whey through cheesecloth or a clean old tea towel. The semi-solid cheese is in the cloth. Delicious!
If the milk is cold, the reaction will be very slow. But don’t make the milk hot, let alone boil it, because this kills many delicate nutrients. Warm room temperature is all that is required for the chemical reaction to proceed efficiently; stirring helps too. It is intriguing to watch the curds forming promptly in the whey.
A simple technique for the draining process is to line a big basin with the tea towel or cheesecloth, pour in the curds and whey, then collect up the sides of the cloth to make a bag, and tie string around the top. Hang this above the basin so the whey can drain into it. After a few hours, the cheese will be in the bag. A short time for draining will give a moist cheese; a long time (such as overnight) will give a dry cheese. For a long drain time, the bag and basin will probably need to be in the fridge to prevent the cheese going off.
For a short drain time, a simple trick is to place a stick of wood or a rod on a table with one end protruding over the edge. Place a weight like a saucepan full of water on the other end. Hang the string and bag over the wood at the table edge and place the basin on the floor or on a chair under the bag. Simple trick, works so well!
Have fun making this delightful cheese!