Cheesemaking Without Benefit of Mail Order – Part 2


Post by community member:

In a previous post, Cheesemaking Without Benefit of Mail Order, I shared some information from a “back-to-basics” out-of-print cheesemaking manual. In this post, I’m sharing some of the soft cheese recipes.


Fresh Curds: Printable

The simplest cheese grandmother might have made would be fresh curds. These are made by setting fresh milk in the sun until the curd separates. Drain for a few minutes and enjoy!

Sweet Cheese: Printable

Bring 1 gallon of milk to a boil. Cool to lukewarm and add 1 pint of buttermilk and 3 well beaten eggs. Stir gently for 1 minute, then let set until a firm clabber forms. Drain in a cloth bag until firm. It will be ready to eat in 12 hours.

Cheese Spread (Grandmother’s “Velveeta”): Printable

Allow 2 1/2 gallons of milk to sour until thick. Heat slowly until hot to the touch but do not boil. Hold at this temperature until the curds and whey separate. Strain through a cheesecloth and allow the curds to cool a little, then crumble with your hands. Let this sit at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

To the crumbled curds add 2 teaspoons of soda and mix with your hands. Let sit 30 minutes. Add 1 ½ cups of warm milk, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1/3 cup of butter. Set over boiling water and heat to the boiling point, stirring vigorously. Add 1 cup cream or milk, a little at a time, stirring after each addition. Cook until smooth. Stir occasionally until cold. Makes 1 1/2 quarts of cheese spread.

Dutch Cheese: Printable

Set a pan of curdled milk on the back of a wood-burning stove and heat very slowly until the curd is separated from the whey. Drain whey and put curds in a cloth bag and drain for 24 hours. Chop the ball of curds and pound smooth with a potato masher. Add cream, butter, salt, and pepper to taste. Make into small balls or press in a dish and slice to serve.

German Cheese: Printable

Put 2 gallons of clabbered milk in an iron pot over low heat and bring to 180 degrees F in 45 minutes. Drain whey in a colander. When curds are cool enough to handle, press with your hands to extract the remaining whey. The warmer you work this the better. Put the drained curds in a dish and add 2 teaspoons of soda and 1 teaspoon of salt, working in well with your hands. Press with your hands to form a loaf. Let it sit for 1 hour, when it will have risen and be ready to slice. It will keep several days in a cool place. If too crumbly, it may have been heated too much or pressed too long. If it is soft and sticky, then it was not heated or pressed enough.

Krautt Cheese: Printable

Krautt is made by clabbering skimmed milk, adding salt, then hanging the curd in a cloth bag to drain. It is sometimes pressed for 1 to 2 hours. The curds are then formed into small balls by hand. The balls are dried in the sun all afternoon, then stored in the refrigerator. It is best eaten within a week.

Schmierkase: Printable

Pour 4 quarts of boiling water into 4 quarts of thick, sour milk. Let it stand for a moment, then drain in a bag overnight. When ready to serve, beat well, season with salt and pepper, and add cream to taste. Serve as spoon cheese or as cheese balls.

I would imagine that health officials would raise an eyebrow or two at the recipes that include eggs.

Shelley blogs at Twiggity Nigerian Dwarf goats.

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  1. lisabetholson says:

    Well, I’ve had so much trouble making velveeta for DH that I have to at least try this recipe. I have been all over the internet looking for a new one to try.
    Thank you for this post.

  2. TeaCup says:

    This is wonderful, thanks! I expect I’ll use this post quite often.

    You do have a typo though in the Cheese Spread, “Stain through a cheesecloth and” it took me quite a while to figure out why my editor kept going back there….

    Thanks again!


  3. Shelley says:

    Sorry about the typo in Grandmother’s Velveeta. The third line should read STRAIN through a cheesecloth… I need a spell checker that reads minds.

  4. Pete says:

    Please let me know when you get that spell checker!

    Meanwhile, it is always sooo much fun to read through old instructions. Sometimes it’s just funny, but there are always jewels in there that we can really use.


  5. murphala says:

    Thank you! It was a lot of fun to read through these. I can’t try them because I don’t have access to fresh raw milk (yet…) Setting a gallon of store-bought milk in the sun to clabber would end up a rancid mess, I’m afraid. Reading the directions reminded me of all the cookbooks I have from my mother and grandmother. Some of the dough recipes call for things like “a glass of warm milk” and “two large scoops of flour”. The inexactness always makes me laugh, but I’m about as bad when I cook. If anyone tries these cheeses, I’d love to hear about how it turns out. Thanks again for posting this!

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