HomeFood and RecipesBusy Autumn Days

Busy Autumn Days

We have now, officially, moved into Autumn.  The sun is rising later each day & setting sooner.  I wish we’d turn the clock back & then LEAVE it alone!I’ve been a busy little bee this week.

There’s an on-line spinning event I participate in, Spin-together.  We spin our fiber, ply it & document the resulting yardage.  Photos & totals from around the world are complied.  We spinner can produce a lot of yarn in one week!  My total was 1930 yards of singles, 378 yards of a 3-ply yarn & 398 yards of a 2-ply yarn.

But, being on a homestead means there are other daily chores that need to be done.  Feed chickens, walking dogs, laundry, grocery shopping, making cottage.  Yes, that’s another project I had this week.  I made cottage cheese.

It’s really not difficult.  I got the farm fresh milk at American Made General store in Pocahontas.  This was my first time in this store.  The size of the store was amazing!  The variety of good was also amazing.  I was checking out the freezer/dairy section when I came upon milk from Ozark Mountain Creamery, LLC – Local*Natural*Fresh

The reference book I used was Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll.

I got my starter culture, rennet & other cheesmaking supplies from New England Cheese Making Co.

The steps for making small curd cottage are simple.  First, you bring your milk to room temperature, 72 degrees F or so.  You pour your milk into a stainless steel pot (used for cheesemaking ONLY). Add the starter culture.

Stir well, cover & set aside to allow the curd to form.  This batch sat for 24 hours.

Milk and starter culture.
Cheese curds cut.

After 24 hours, I sliced the curd.  

Then I put it on the stove & heated it to 112F.  This cooks the curd & separates the whey.

Keep the pot on the heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

(Photo: Cheese curds cooked to set.) 

Bag used to capture curds and drain whey.

Once the curds are formed and firm, scoop them into a mesh bag resting in a collider.

Curds hanging to complete draining process.

Then hang the bag to complete the draining process.

I allowed the bag to hang about 6 hours.  Then I added cheese salt (about 1 tablespoon for 1 gallon of milk) & the spices I desired.  In this instance I used italian seasoning.  Then, scoop the cheese into a container & put it in the refrigerator.

The other chore I had this week?? I chopped up & dehydrated an oyster mushroom blump we found on a stump near our workshop.I use Audubon field guide to mushrooms.  I discovered there were 2 mushroom that looked very similar.  The oyster mushroom & the angle wing mushroom. Both are considered to be choice mushrooms.  What’s the difference?  The angle wing grows on dead conifers.  The oyster grows on hardwoods.  This is a hickory stump… so this is an oyster mushroom “colony”.

Oyster mushroom blump.

I washed & chopped up the mushrooms, then I put them in the dehydrator over night.  My yield was 1 quart & 1 pint of dried mushrooms.

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