Saturday, December 18, 2010

How Do You Say Betty Homemaker in Russian?

For the past 6 months, my Russian roommate has been telling me about her mom's homemade cottage cheese. So when milk was on sale at the market, we finally got our act together and tested it out. 
As I experimented with buttermilk, cheescloth, and the creepy looking curd, I felt like some sort of mix between a scientist and an old fashioned babushka. When we were finally done curd-ing and cheescloth-ing, and I mixed my homemade cottage cheese with non-homemade jam from Trader Joe's, I had a feeling that back in the "old country" my ancestors were smiling at me. Creepy and charming all at once, I know.
Anyways, test out this recipe for homemade cottage cheese when you've got time to kill. It's an adventure in itself, and it makes something healthy and delicious the way it was made in the olden days. 

1 gallon milk, I used 1% ($3.10)
1 quart buttermilk ($1.29)
Cheesecloth ($3.79) 

The Grand Total: $8.18  for about 6 servings, or $1.36 per serving

In a crockpot, stir 1 quart of buttermilk into 1 gallon of milk. Let stand at room temperature 12 to 18 hours until set (clabbered). Cook the clabber at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes, until the whey separates from curds.

Wrap cheesecloth tightly over the top of a small bowl. Pour as much whey (liquid) as possible out of the crockpot and discard the whey. Then, place pieces of the clabber on the cheesecloth and gently push them down so that more of the liquid drains out into the bowl. Place the strained portions in a bowl and refrigerate. If you like it sweeter, add a little cream of jam.

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