homemade ricotta

I finally got to one of K. Ruby Blume’s cheesemaking classes last week – offered by the Institute of Urban Homesteading, headquartered here in Oakland.  She is a great teacher and an inspiration for me.  Ever since I helped a friend make mozzarella many years back, I somehow knew making cheese was one of my callings.  And I have had many unfulfilled cheesemaking urges lately.  No longer!  This week I bought some cheesecloth from the Oak Barrel in Berkeley, and got to work making my first batch (well, second…) of lemon ricotta.  It is so simple to make: just heat up good whole milk and stir in lemon juice (in my case, giant ones from our friends’ tree – a wonderful part of living here in Oakland), wait for curds to form, strain off the whey, and you have cheese.  With garlic and some fresh herbs mixed in, it couldn’t be more delicious.  Mine was more dry, but you don’t have to strain it as long if you want more creamy cheese (or you can add some fresh cream – always makes everything creamier!). Here’s a similar recipe from Smitten Kitchen if you want to try it yourself.

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