Posts tagged "cheese"

What can I reuse or recycle to make cheesemaking moulds?

Apologies for not posting yesterday – I was away on an “introduction to cheesemaking” course over the weekend and too tired to type yesterday ;)

I’ve been making super-easy cheeses like paneer for a few years now but before I committed to anything that needed months of effort/ageing, I wanted to learn some core skills from someone who knows what they’re doing. The course, through the Low Impact Living Initiative, was great for that and very very interesting – so now I have a burning desire to make all sorts of cheeses – and that requires moulds.

We saw a selection of stainless steel moulds and (food-grade) plastic ones – and someone else on the course mentioned they’d heard about moulds made from drainpipes. The course leader didn’t exactly advocate that but said that in theory, it would be fine — just drill holes in the rigid sides, making sure the outside of the hole was wider than the inside, and that there was no jagged bits of plastic left on the inside or outside of the holes.

So that got me thinking: what else could cheese moulds be made from? Any food-grade plastic packaging perfect for reusing? Or do any other household/kitchen utensils lend themselves to being used as cheese moulds – either as they are or with a bit of modification? Because it’s just for my consumption, I’m not bothered about them being pretty round cheeses.

If you make your own cheese, what do you use?

How can I reuse or recycle Parmesan cheese rinds?

Over on Twitter, scrapiana asked/thought aloud:

Parmesan rinds. Why am I keeping them? Dim recollection that Jamie Oliver has some use for them. Must find out soon or they’re for the bin.

Apparently, like broccoli stalks, it’s one of those things that some people ALWAYS cook and they don’t understand why the rest of us don’t use them all the time. What do you use them for? Away from the dinner plate, would they be ok to add to a bird feeder fat mix, or would they be too salty?

Away from parmesan, the biggest thing holding me back is when the rind feels a little fabric-y, like the cheesecloth is part of the rind. I presume – possibly wrongly – that that sort of rind isn’t edible – so what else can be done with it?

How can I use up or recycle whey from cheesemaking?

wheyIt was my birthday (the big 3-0) last Monday and because I’m wild and exciting, I decided I’d like to spend the day making cheese. I’m determined to get quickly confident with soft cheese so I can move onto hard cheese as soon as I’ve got a room they can be stored in for 12 months (*insert misc house-moving grumbles here*).

I planned it out carefully to make sure we used up everything as efficiently as possible – we started making butter and used the leftover buttermilk to make buttermilk cheese (which was interesting because it was slightly sour), and I’d planned to whey ricotta from the whey leftover from the paneer and lemon-flavoured soft cheese making but there just wasn’t enough milk solids left to do it justice.

What else could I do with the watery whey? I’ve heard it can be a good protein drink for bodybuilders or people who just want to, um, build up their bodies — I tried to give some to our poorly-sick cat to help her bulk up but she was more interested in the leftover cream.

As I said, I’d like to conquer cheeses so will be producing a few litres of this a week – any suggestions? Recipes? Other ideas?

How can I reuse or recycle round, wooden Camembert boxes?

Camembert boxOver on the suggestions page, the Eternal*Voyageur asked:

What could I do with those nice Camembert cheese boxes ?

They’re cute little wooden things and in our kitchen, most wooden boxes ended up reused as tea-bag caddies (we have a lot of teabags) – but I suspect these guys may be a little too … cheesy/ammonia-y for that.

Any suggestions for how to freshen up the boxes once the cheese has been eaten?

And what about other reuses?

(Photo by pdphoto

How can I reuse or recycle wax from cheese?

Wax coated cheeseWe’ve had an email from Natalie:

We’ve been buying little cheese from our local farmers’ market which are covered in wax like Edam or Babybell, except they’re all different colours.

Can we use the wax to make candles?

I’ve never made candles so I’m not 100% sure but my research (reading Wikipedia) tells me that cheese wax is typically paraffin wax and that can be used for candle making (although some people prefer to avoid it…)

Apparently it can also be used for sealing jars, bottles and the like so that might be an option if you make your own preserves or pickles.

Anyone else know anything more about making it into candles? And what about other reuses?