Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Making Cheese from Powdered Milk

The end product is like a bit like a Queso blanco that is not salty

    I would like to welcome our newest members to Rational Preparedness: The Blog.   Please check out the link above which concerns, Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness, the book.  

 I will not mention names in order to preserve your privacy.  Thanks for joining and I hope this proves to be a useful site for you.

   When my husband and I sold the first farm we built up here, I was interested to hear what the new owner would do with the narrow disaster supply room we had built in the finished lower level there.  She proudly reported to me that it would be the "cheese storage room".  This was something I had not considered.  She planned to use our barn to house goats, milk them and make goat cheese. The Disaster Supply Room with shelves on three sides of the room would be an excellent cool dark place for her for cheese storage.
      I have never made cheese. In all honesty,  by the time I finish taking care of alpacas, horses, chickens, ducks, and dogs, including their immunizations, grooming and bathing, I am almost too tired to cook a meal, and this is with my husband helping.  As intrigued as I am by making cheese, I am stuck gently washing tons of brown eggs.
      I came across this recipe for making cheese using powdered milk in several places, and this has an appeal for many of us.  I now buy dry milk from Augason Farms in a freeze dried #10 can and so I don't have powdered milk to use up quite so often, but for those of us who do, this style of cheesemaking could help to constructively use up powdered dry milk before its expiration.
        This is not only a great way to recycle your aging powdered milk, but a great homeschooler activity for almost all ages, using adult supervision for the younger ones.

     You'll need

      Three cups of powdered milk

      Six cups of water

      One half cup plain white vinegar or one half cup lemon juice


       A collander with a large pot beneath it

      One pan with a lid

      A cooking thermometer

1.  Mix the powdered milk and the water in a saucepan on the stove until it dissolves.

2. Turn on the burner to a low to low medium heat.  It should be hot, but must not burn.  140F
    using your cooking thermometer is right.   (You can use a double-boiler if you fear scorching the mixture)

3. Then, when the mixture is good and hot. add EITHER Four tablespoons of lemon juice or pure white vinegar to the pot.  You will immediately see the curds separate from the whey.   (You can see I really enjoyed science experiments, more than cooking in my youth.)

4. Continue cooking as more curds will separate from the whey as you do.   Some references say that you can add a bit more lemon juice or vinegar as a catalyst to accelerate this process if you wish.  Cook until the curds are clearly defined from the whey liquid.   (Which might be another five minutes.)  Don't overcook or the curds will be tough.

5.  Then place your cheesecloth or a very clean cloth, if you don't have cheesecloth,  over your collander.   Place a large pot under your collander.  Pour the mixture into the collander, catching the curds in the cheesecloth, and the whey liquid below.

6. Use your sweet whey liquid in cooking a casserole tonight.  (I try not to waste anything.)  Great with egg noodles.  (The whey liquid can be used in cooking other things also.)

7. Then bring the ends of your cheesecloth up, twist the top of the cloth and press out all the liquid you can. Then remove the cheese, knead it and fashion it into a gentle round block.   At this point you can shake a little salt on it, or lite salt (if you need potassium but not sodium)   Others have also added finely chopped spinach or  herbs.

8. If you use lemon juice rather than vinegar, and double the lemon juice this recipe can be used in cannolis, or in cheesecake, or other delicacies which require cheese.

9.  Once you've done this a couple of times, it becomes quick, easy, and foolproof.  I had to do this a couple of times before it worked well.   This is called a paneer cheese.   It can be used plain in lasagna, one of my favorite foods.

  This IS a low fat cheese.  You can add a little fat, if you need to, by placing a teaspoon of olive oil in the mixture at the end while you are kneading and shaping your cheese.

If you would like to try your hand at ricotta:



An excellent website generally:


Ah, the power of cheese....

For those who are interested in a quick cottage cheese recipe, I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds interesting:


Quick Cottage Cheese

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2007

Prep Time:
10 min
Inactive Prep Time:
35 min
Cook Time:
5 min


about 2 cups


1 gallon pasteurized skim milk
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup half-and half-or heavy cream


Pour the skim milk into a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Heat to 120 degrees F. Remove from the heat and gently pour in the vinegar. Stir slowly for 1 to 2 minutes. The curd will separate from the whey. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a colander lined with a tea towel and allow to sit and drain for 5 minutes. Gather up the edges of the cloth and rinse under cold water for 3 to 5 minutes or until the curd is completely cooled, squeezing and moving the mixture the whole time. Once cooled, squeeze as dry as possible and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the salt and stir to combine, breaking up the curd into bite-size pieces as you go. If ready to serve immediately, stir in the half-and-half or heavy cream. If not, transfer to a sealable container and place in the refrigerator. Add the half and half or heavy cream just prior to serving.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/recipe_print/0,1946,FOOD_9936_36973_RECIPE-PRINT-FULL-PAGE-FORMATTER,00.html?oc=linkback


If we keep this up, I might never need to go to the store again.


Dani said...

Thanks - very useful to know and, as you say, an excellent way to use stale powdered milk :)

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks Dani,
The directions I have seen have said that we should use the powdered milk before it reaches its expiration. I remember throwing out some expired dried milk some time ago, that I had placed in a deep cupboard and forgotten.

lotta joy said...

I LOVE kitchen experiments, but isn't this cottage cheese?

Back in my hippy youth, I'd take my yogurt (homemade, of course) and tighten it in cheesecloth til it became . . . at my advanced age, I can't remember what I called it. You probably do.

BBC said...

I'm an old country hick that learned how to keep on keeping on a long time ago so don't need your book but did you know that back in the good old days that many folks used black powder as a seasoning? A few of the black powder members here have tried it but I think I'll pass on that.

JaneofVirginia said...

In most home recipes for cottage cheese they add some heavy cream. I have made kefir, but I am not sure what you can make from yogurt that way. I am not a yogurt fan, however I like a good cheese.

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks for posting. You should still consider my book because it contains important information on my specialty, which is disaster medical care and supplies to have on hand. I also discuss excatly which documents should be in your document evacuation kit, should you ever leave home, and never be able to return. I also discuss modern information such as lightning abatement, radon, etc.
I had not heard that black powder was used as a seasoning. I think I would pass too ! I like conventional herbs, and I am fond of ketchup !

BBC said...

" disaster medical care and supplies to have on hand."

Should include a gun, I've been kicking shit around on this rock going on to seventy years, if I get hurt bad this late in the game it may be a good time to get on to my next experience instead of being a hindrance to others. :-)

THIS MAN LIVES NEAR ME, I've followed his blog for a few years now. At times I post tips but I question why I would want to help save others, there's too many of us on this rock and I like more space to myself. :-)

Sometimes I'm fond of their stupidity even though it out numbers my genius. :-)

JaneofVirginia said...

Yes, especially in the US, it should include a gun.
The medical care is nice because it's nice to have the option of choosing what to do, and knowing what is possible. I am in Canada part time, where the total population is ten percent of the US (and they like it that way), and I would like to save my neighbors, especially with their national health. They may well need my help.
That is indeed an interesting blog. I will spend more time there when I finish picking clay out of my horse's hooves. (And people think I am always having fun) You should see the stack of laundry waiting for me.

lotta joy said...

I despise yogurt. But in my flower-child days, you were supposed to love it so I made my own, and didn't even like that either.

JaneofVirginia said...

I DETEST yogurt. I know it's healthy, but I just can't do it. I take probiotics instead.