As I pointed out when chortling about my grocery purposes, part of the soup would be homemade ricotta! Well, my friends, the time has come to see if that will work. Somehow cheese seemed like a far away world only accessible by intensive CIA training, but I'll have you know it's as simple as throwing milk and acid into a pot. Well, the right kind of acid, obviously. In this case, we used a mild, mild pairing of whole milk + buttermilk, which worked out FABULOUSLY! I have created fluffy goodness-- soft and creamy with the slightest tang. I don't know what the exact yield was, but there's a LOT of cheese draining in my kitchen right now. Enough to last even me, eater of cheese, for a good long while (ie, a week). And, as ricotta at the store is usually so expensive, I was particularly thrilled. I think I need to present Tom with a comparison chart of how much money he would spend without me versus with me. Numbers appeal to the man.
I found the recipe here: http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/2006/01/homemade-ricotta.html but reworded it in Beverly lingo for your amusement.
1 gallon of whole milk
1 quart of buttermilk
This is your path to yumminess:
1) Pour the milks into a large, non-reactive pot and set to high.
2) Attach a thermometer to the side of the pot.
3) Line a colander with cheesecloth or coffee filters (cheesecloth is WAY better, but the filters will do in a pinch)
4) Stir the concoction. Stir stir stir. No burnt cheese for you!
5) When the thermometer reads 175-180, take the pot off the burner and transfer the curds to the colander. The curds will start forming around 165 degrees if your experience is like mine, but hold out for the 175.
6) Let drain until draining becomes light dripping and the cheese is cool enough to handle.
7) Gather edges of cheesecloth and secure to your faucet with the rubber band for continued drainage.
8) Pat yourself on the back. You are now a cheesemaker. Go feast.
whole milk: 1.99
Total for upwards of 2 pounds of ricotta: 2.48. Yeah buddy.