I decided to teach my lovely husband Kit, to cook. Granted, it is not entirely a lost cause - he’s able to make several dishes quite well using a recipe, but you know the saying - “man cannot live by curry alone” - or something like that.
I am determined that he will feel comfortable and confident in the kitchen. He’s less determined, maybe more resigned that I am on a bit of a mission and he’s got very good at going with the flow.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook for my family, indeed it is one of my greatest pleasures in life, making things for them to enjoy. I want my family to be able to fend for themselves if need be in the kitchen and be able to make nourishing, tasty food for themselves and the people
I know you are asking yourself…”what does all this have to do with farmers cheese? Surely she’s not getting him to make cheese from scratch? That is completely ridiculous if she is. What use is that going to be?
Let me backtrack a bit. Rather than tossing a recipe at him and sending him into the kitchen to fend for himself, to make things both interesting and supportive we decided that we would cook together once a week and make a dish from a different country each time. We figured this would expose him to lots of different cooking techniques and foods and it would be quite fun and educational for Isaac (our eight year old) as well.
We started this about 6 weeks ago and it’s already evolved into a three course meal which now involves my parents, my niece and our friend Jack. So it’s become an international dinner for eight on a weekly basis. Isaac picks the country each week by spinning the Globe with his eyes closed and planting his finger on a country. I suspect there is a bit of
peeking going on.
So far the country a week is working well. It’s meant a little hunting about for ingredients and making some things from scratch, like spice blends and so on. I had to make Sazon Goya for Columbia week along with a small bucket of dulce de leche (that was a real shame I can tell you!).
Then there was Nauru and that was a whole different kettle of fish, figuratively speaking of course. We had “traditional” Nauruan Chinese takeaways. Apparently if you come from Nauru you most likely don’t cook and although the population is roughly 9000 people there are 138 Chinese takeaways. It makes for interesting reading!
Making the cheese was related to our Polish week and making the most delicious no bake cheesecake topped with jiggly raspberry jelly. I personally think I deserved a medal for translating the recipe from
Google’s interpretation of a translation from Polish to English… but that’s another story.
The cheesecake needed some ”triple milled cheese”. That was as close as any of the recipes came to describing what was actually needed. Many of them just stated “bucket of cheese” or ”white cheese” or just “cheese”. After reading several recipes I deduced that the cheese that was needed was most likely quark. Quark is horribly expensive where I live and I was still not convinced that was what we actually needed.
It was Youtube and wikipedia to the rescue and a lovely lady called Ania who has a great instructional video on making Twarozek, which is what is used in cheesecakes in Poland. All you really need is her video - she does a great job and is very clear.
After checking it out on wikipedia it’s called by many names in different places. But no matter what you call it, to cut a long story short it was easy and delicious. Check out Ania’s video and give it a try.
Her recipe makes around 500 grams of cheese, which is about right for a cheesecake. Of course you can use it where you would use Ricotta or cottage cheese with a similar result. I can imagine this would be wonderful in a lasagne.
Your result should be creamy, fresh, tempting looking curds. We used the majority of it in the cheesecake and there was a tiny bit left over for me to spread on some homemade crackers with the last of the summer tomatoes.
Be brave, this is the perfect cheese to take your first leap into cheese making.
Our international dinner takes us to Mali this week and it’s looking like it’s going to be another interesting one.
Au revoir for now!