Monday, June 09, 2008

Make Cheese When the Fridge Freezes

When things go wrong, Babette-the-Cat tells me, make cheese from the curdled mess. This time, the refrigerator froze a top-shelf bottle of kefir, causing the butterfat to separate from the curds, which in turn separated from the whey. Thank heavens for mason jars and cheese cloth -- I would that there were such a convenient solution for my other woes. Or even a nice analogy. Let's see -- I suppose cheesemaking is rather like panning for gold, which is rather like solving pecuniary problems. In any event, I had the curds draining by my desk as I worked, and it smelled sweeter and sweeter the warmer the afternoon became. Perhaps I should market dairy-based room fresheners.

We have yet to see how butter chunks will affect the cheese. Probably they will separate entirely into a wee teaspoon of butter, and my strange little cheese shall be the less rich for it.

Update: The butter re-emulsified quite nicely with the curds this morning. Have a care when salting the curds, as it takes an hour or more for the saltiness to diffuse and permeate the cheese. Babette knew it for the cheese it was as soon as I took it from the fridge. No wonder she's such a plumpkin -- her brother's favorite food is wheatgrass, and I don't see him toting a bowling-ball belly around.

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