Usually I'm not super motivated to go above and beyond when cooking/baking. I already bake bread often and I do cook pretty often. I just don't normally have the patience for spending a lot of time creating consumables. And with kids it's easier to stick with what works. We eat pretty healthily and simply. But lately, I must say, I have been cooking up a storm. A lot of times from scratch when before I'd never think to bother to do it.
For example, in the last couple weeks we made butter from cream, cream cheese from yogurt, and yogurt from milk. Drew now insists that all we need is a cow. I do look at the dairy aisle at the store with new eyes now. It seems to have mentally shrunk. I'm pretty sure having a cow is one of those things that is very simple and at the same time very complicated!
Here's a very fun video on making cream into butter. All you need is cream and a mason jar. Fun! And a very good science experiment for the kids. And a mini-work out for your arm. :)
Yogurt making is a little intense. I'm about to do it again tomorrow. Andrew was worried I'd make us all sick when he found me heating milk and all. He's also very freaked out about the sourdough starter I'm about to get. I think all alive things that you eat freak him out. He prefers his food dead! True, as he's a big meat eater. But (back from that tangent now) this is another awesome science experiment for the kids! Here's the super long version of how to make yogurt. It is actually easy to make. I just do it when I'm home all day... like when I'm doing school with the kids so I can check the milk's temp all day. I do not have the timing down yet. Frugally... I like turning a gallon of milk that costs $2.99, into 4 quarts of yogurt that I usually get for $2.33 each.
Cream cheese from yogurt is the easiest of all these. You won't believe how easy it is! And we like the taste. It tastes just slightly different from store bought (more fresh.) It's good as a veggie dip with spices or plain. Some day I'll probably make some sweet spreads out of it for bagels. So here's what you do... Put a strainer in a big bowl, put a cheesecloth in the strainer, put some yogurt in the cheesecloth, cover the bowl and all. Set it in the fridge overnight. In the morning you'll find whey in the bowl and delicious cream cheese in the cloth. I store it in a little container. This totally solves my problem of not having cream cheese around when I want it... and never using a full box of it... so the rest always goes bad. I threw the whey in a smoothie I was making though it did make it a little sour... I just added some honey to compensate. The whey has some good protein they say. Oh, and I didn't have any cheesecloth so I cleaned a scrap of thin fabric thoroughly. It worked fine.
Cheese. How we love cheese. Should I try to make it? Anyone with experience there? Is it worth it?