As we learned this month, many dairy products are among the easiest foods to make yourself; and reading Home Dairy by Ashley English inspired us to make some “basics” that we usually buy. Yogurt, butter, fresh cheeses like paneer, ice cream, and ricotta all contain the simplest of ingredients, and require only the simplest of procedures to create. The book gives succinct instructions and helpful photos for a wide range of dairy products, as well as some recipes using your homemade delicacies. Everyone who tried had success; and to prove how easy it is, we even made butter at our meeting. If anyone had wandered into the library’s meeting room that day they might have wondered why a bunch of people were sitting in a circle shaking jars of white liquid– but that’s all there is to making butter out of heavy cream! Freshly made butter really does taste…..fresh; ditto for homemade yogurt, ice cream, and just about anything else you can think of. Store-bought dairy products are certainly good, but if you have the time and inclination, making it yourself kicks it up a notch. And it’s pretty cool, and fun, to know how to do it yourself. Home Dairy lays it out so simply that you’ll wonder why you never tried it before. And for those who want to attempt something more complex, the author gives detailed information on making aged cheeses, complete with instructions for a DIY cheese press. Just in case you need a new hobby!
Recipes that group members tried included yogurt, paneer, and ice cream. Most of us did not care for the ice cream recipe– it was made with only heavy cream (no milk or half-and-half) and was therefore too dense and coated the mouth in an unpleasant way. The flavors (ginger peach and strawberry balsamic) were delicious, though! The yogurt and paneer were easy and successful, needing only milk and store-bought yogurt or lemon juice to produce. One deterrent to trying some of the cheeses was the need to buy specialty items such as rennet, calcium chloride, or various cheese cultures. One group member told us she’d had luck buying these supplies at Beer & Wine Hobby in Woburn. And of course you can buy items online: beer-wine.com; cheesemaking.com; or amazon.com. There are undoubtedly others as well.
So….I like yogurt. A lot! I eat it almost every day for breakfast, and now that I know how to make it myself, I can make it just the way I want it, and save money too! If you’re a fan of yogurt, and want to know more about its history and uses past and present, as well as explore recipes that use yogurt in lots of different ways, then check out:
This recently-published title is beautifully photographed and loaded with recipes that any yogurt-lover will enjoy. From appetizers to main dishes to frozen yogurt, this book has it all, and it’s all delicious!