Monday, July 4, 2011

Cream cheese

One of my little road blocks has been buying cream cheese. My kids love cream cheese on their bagels, which I can buy without any packaging, but for the past few months they could only put butter on them. The only option to buy cream cheese is in a plastic tub or wrapped in foil, so I've avoided it.

But now, they shall have their cream cheese.

When my youngest was in a Waldorf parent toddler group at Kinderhof, the teacher would always have her own cream cheese that she made and served when we made bread. It seemed so easy when she explained how to do it, but I never felt confident enough try the process myself. But lately, as you all know, I have been up to the challenge of making things on my own to avoid packaging.

So last night I was ready with my local yogurt from a glass jar and a cheese cloth (that's almost all you need). I doubled checked how to make cream cheese on Instuctables, a website that I stumbled across one day where you can learn how to make probably anything (I soon found out that it was started by an old high school friend - great job Eric!), and I went into the kitchen to set up.

I simply put some of the yogurt inside the cheese cloth (you can also use a thin dish towel), tied it up and hung it from something secure. I used a rubber band to tie up the cloth and then tied the bundle with a string that hung from the handle on my cabinet door in the kitchen. I put a bowl underneath it for the excess liquid to drip into and then I left.

I let it hang up for a little more than 12 hours, but you can do it for longer for a thicker consistency. Next time I will try to be patient enough to see what thicker might look like.


When I opened up the cheese cloth, it certainly wasn't wet anymore, but more of a solid cheese. It was very easy to remove from the cloth and put into a container.
I added a little salt to taste and served it up.
In the end, I am happy with this process. Next time I want to add some nice herbs or veggies. Maybe I will mix some bacon into a batch... or red onion and dill, which is my favorite.
The flavor does have a slightly sour yogurt-y taste, but it's still very good. I think if you picked a different yogurt than I did, you might not get that... but that's the kind of yogurt I used.

The other cool thing about this process is that my sister in law just loaned me a yogurt maker. My plan is to keep making yogurt so that I don't have to buy it, then to make cream cheese from the yogurt.

I am really liking the ability to make things for my family, things that we like to indulge in as well as things that we need, without the help of large corporations and their marketing and packaging.


1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I love making yogurt cheese. If you let it strain a little less, it makes a yummy sour cream alternative - really good with dill, salt and pepper over cucumbers. Here is the strainer I have, as an alternative to the cheese cloth:

    PS: If you like the yogurt maker, it's yours!