Last week, I found out that the nearly full gallon of whole milk in my fridge had gotten past the drinking stage. Yeah. The milk was sour. That brought back a bunch of memories that I think are fairly common even though I used to think we were the only family who ever had to worry about the milk being sour.
My mother used to use sour milk to make amazing pancakes. But there was a trick to knowing when the milk in the fridge was pancake milk and when it was good for drinking. I think the safest method was to wait for someone else to drink it first. (Thanks for making such good pancakes, Mom! I’ll leave it at that.)
A few months ago, a friend told me she made ricotta from gone-by milk. She always bought gallons of milk because it was less expensive than the half gallons, but they never finished the milk before it started to sour. I was intrigued with the idea of making ricotta, but I thought it must be a complicated, time consuming, special tools and whatever else process that I just wasn’t curious enough about to look up.
Yesterday, I decided to change that. And in the process of not too much bother, I changed that souring milk to cheese. Ricotta. I thought the almost gallon of milk would make a lotta ricotta, but it didn’t. There was just enough to make a noodleless lasagna for supper with about a cup and a half left over for eating with blueberries and strawberries.
I posted a picture of my breakfast on facebook and got a request from my sister-in-law for the recipe. In answering her, I realized I had just about written a blog post. So I’ll paste it here.
“I Googled it (homemade ricotta). This is the recipe I used. Except I didn’t follow the directions completely. (Big surprise!) I had about 3 quarts of milk and about a cup of half and half that I needed to use (just past drinkable stage). Boiled it with about a teaspoon of salt. Turned the heat down and added 1/3 c. lemon lime juice (I didn’t have enough lemon–and it was bottled. I didn’t have fresh lemons) and cooked it 2 minutes more. But it didn’t look like I thought it should and so I added some Bragg’s apple cider vinegar (1 or 2 Tablespoons) because my friend had said something about using vinegar to make ricotta. I finally could see the milk was curdled and took the next step of pouring the milk into a cloth lined colander over a large bowl. There was a lot of whey to pour off and not so much ricotta. I now understand why it’s pricey! The directions said to let it drain for an hour but I lost track of time and left it a little longer than that. The ricotta was quite dry but I made a great lasagna with it last night. And it was good with the blueberries this morning. Next time, I will be more careful with the timing on the draining. I think I’ll just use apple cider vinegar to start with, too. All that being said (or written), it’s super easy and I wish I’d tried it sooner!”
Can you picture that? Say cheese!
PS. I think this would make a good topping for chickpeazza.