Wardeh Harmon (Gnowfglins) in southwestern Oregon makes sour cream for her family and soured (clabbered) milk for her chickens and dog from raw milk she gets from the family cow.
She writes, “We get around 4 gallons of milk per day from our Jersey cow. For our family, this is plenty to make cheese, butter, kefir, ice cream and more — plus we have some to share with friends AND some to clabber (spontaneously sour) for the chickens and dog. I figured out a really easy way to get both clabber for the chickens and sour cream for us, with hardly any work at all.”
This is a fresh cheese, similar to Indian paneer (except that it isn’t pressed or cut into cubes). This recipe makes a luscious, spreadable, fresh cheese.
Chef John of foodwishes demnostrates how he makes fromage blanc with milk, buttermilk, salt and lemon juice. He notes that the ingredient amounts are crucial — you can view his recipe with exact amounts here.
Labneh making is pretty straightforward and can be formed into balls and preserved in oil.
Mariam shows us how to make labneh, step by step:
Dede shows us how she makes plain labneh then flavors it:
The labneh I’ve had before (at a restaurant) was over-the-top in a good way rich and creamy, so may guess is how tasty it is is greatly affected by the yoghurt you use and the milk/cream it’s made with.
The labneh can be preserved in oil and in this way stored for months without refrigeration. To do so, the labneh is drained for longer and formed into balls (labneh makboos).
Evelyn write “This is an old-world recipe. It is really just drained, salted yoghurt, very easy to make and very easy to preserve. I guarantee that once you have made these and tasted how delicious they are, they will become a staple in your home.
The recipe proceeds pretty much like Dede and Mariam’s tutorials but instead of draining the yoghurt for 12 hours or overnight you drain the yoghurt for something like 24 hours, until you are able to form the yoghurt into balls, which you then chill in the fridge to firm up further. The balls are then put into a heat sterilized jar and covered with oil.
I assume that getting out as much water as possible is important in being able to preserve these balls – though the active yoghurt culture will also play its part.
Melody Kettle shows us how she makes cultured butter at home. She used Greek yoghurt to culture cream and then her hand mixer (first with whisk attachments and then with paddles) to “churn” the butter. She rinses the butter in ice water and then uses her hands (she could also have used butter paddles) to knead and squeeze the butter.
I’m guessing that the taste of the butter will vary depending on what you use to culture the cream.
In this video Kali Lilla makes unsalted butter and a flavored butter (garlic butter).
Kali Lilla makes her cultured butter in a blender (with a chilled blender chamber/cup). She also used yoghurt to culture her cream but says that the cream can culture on its own but that it will take longer without using the yoghurt as a starter. She saves the buttermilk she presses out of the yoghurt for other uses.
Kali Lilla mentions that the culturing of the cream helps make it easier to digest.
“Heres the cliché: Alex Hozven craved pickles when she was pregnant with her first son, 12 years ago. And the twist: She started her own pickling business. The Cultured Pickle Shop sells pickles ranging from classic sauerkrauts to unusual kimchees and Kombuchas—way beyond the sour dill. But its the experiments, like the mysterious nuka pot or pickled blood oranges, that really get Hozven excited. Theres plenty of zing, zest, pow in all her pickles, though.”
These are very easy to make yoghurts because you don’t have to mess around with warming milk or closely monitoring temperatures.
Instead, mesophilic yoghurts culture best at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and all you have to do to start them is to add the culture or already cultured yoghurt to milk and wait a few hours.
Really easy and all you have to do to keep things going is to feed the yoghurt with fresh milk or cream (these cultures love cream) periodically. They can be used to culture non-dairy milks also, but will also need to be fed dairy regularly to be kept healthy.
The mesophilic yoghurt cultures readily available online all come from the Nordic countries:
Viili which comes to us from Finland. Has a mild, creamy flavor and goopy texture (kind of like okra)
Piima, more of a buttermilk type of cultured product
Filmjolk, which has a cheesy flavor.
We’ve tried viili and piima and the viili won out. I keep a large crock, that I feed periodically in the fridge. It’s easy to keep going.
A Finnish friend of mine told me that her grandmother had a viili cabinet and I can see why, as the culturing is temperature sensitive and can be affected by drafts or even by higher room temperatures caused by cooking.
I’ve let mine go longer than I wanted/be out when the temperature was higher and got a thicker cottage cheese type culture (which we also liked). Our viili culture likes cream, sheep’s milk and full fat unhomogenized cow’s milk. It doesn’t perform so well with goat’s milk (the mixture stays runny).
Anyway, here is the CulturesforHealth video on viili (process is exactly the same for piima and filmjolk).
Cultures for Health is one of the sources for these cultures, but there are many others, including GEM Cultures. I shopped around and bought mine from Etsy.
Please let us know of your experiences with these cultures.
This is an easy process (another lacto-fermented pickle) and a good way to preserve your bounty if you have a lemon tree or to extend your lemon-eating period if you eat seasonally.
Re ingredients, at its simplest, you just need lemons (in Morocco a specific kind is used, but any kind will do), salt and a sterilized jar. In this video, Jules also adds green bay leaves for color and a bit of flavor.
She ferments them for several weeks and says that the preserved lemons will keep in the cupboard, sealed, for about one year. Once open, she stores the jars in the fridge.
Tara shows you what the finished product looks like (she adds spices to her lemons in the jar) and tells you how to use the preserved lemons (you discard the preserved pulp and use the rind cut up finely to flavor dishes) and what they go well with. She says the unopened jars will keep “practically forever, really.”
In this video, Diana Lehua shows us how to make a beet, carrot, ginger kraut. The kraut is a lacto-fermented food — so it’s made with salt and left to sit for a day or more to develop. Diana uses a plastic pickle press that forces the the grated vegetables down into the fermentation liquid and out of the air (where the fermentation bacteria won’t be active).
She doesn’t say if this recipe has a history, but it is a lot like Eastern and Central European fermented pickles. Lacto-fermented pickles have active cultures, don’t require canning and can be kept for stretches at cool temperatures. In both Europe and Korea where people make these kinds of pickles they are stored for months in ceramic crocks that let air circulate through the pickles and keep them cool. In Korea, they also bury their kimchee crocks to keep its temperature constant.
I haven’t made this recipe yet, but would probably add crushed garlic to it for more zing. I’d also rather make my fermented foods in glass over plastic and you can make recipes like this in glass by choosing the right size jar, packing it tightly and topping it up with brine if necessary.