While many of my friends were away at the cheesemakers festival in Vermont this weekend, I was home writing and cooking. As much as I would have liked to go, I had some commitments that I couldn’t break. To assuage my cheese consuming envy somewhat, I woke up yesterday morning and decided to make some cheese. I had buttermilk in the house (I use it for biscuits and waffles all the time) and whole milk and those are the only two ingredients needed for a basic ricotta.
I had less than a quart of milk and didn’t feel like running to the store at 7:00 AM so I pared the recipe down to 1/2 a cup of buttermilk and 2 cups of whole milk. Making it was a breeze. I simply poured the buttermilk and whole milk into a pan and heated it slowly to about 180 degrees. The curds and the whey separated. I then carefully poured everything into a flour sack towel lined strainer with a bowl below to catch the whey.
Once the curds had drained, I twisted the edges of the cloth to make a neat little cake out of the cheese and continued to let it drain for a bit. The result was a delicate flavoured cheese that was both crumbly and creamy.
I divided the disk of soft cheese in half and added chopped squash blossoms, salt, lemon zest, and a drizzle of wonderful olive oil that was a gift from friends Rob and Laura aka The Two Palaverers. Next, I make a sweet mix with blueberry honey and a few port soaked berries on top. I had to stop nibbling at both dishes long enough to take photos but they did serve as an excellent breakfast. Sitting in my garden, sipping tea and feasting on just made cheese and toasted semolina bread, home seemed a lovely place to be.