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eG Foodblog: placebo - The secret life of milk and cheese.


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placebo -

great blog!

i was at PCC on saturday and bought some beecher's butter - it was wonderful. very delicate, but cooks wonderfully.

i can't wait to see more of this terrific blog.

I love the butter. I've been grating black truffles into it as well to make truffle butter for gifts. Good butter appears to be usable as hard currency with good-food enthusiasts. The stuff does carmelize wonderfully too. I will never be able to go back to supermarket stick-butter again. I tried a goat butter (might even have been raw milk) at the Pike Place Creamery butter tasting a month ago or so and it was pretty amazing as well.

Now I need to make dinner and then get my posting caught up - I'm still a full day behind.

Bacon starts its life inside a piglet-shaped cocoon, in which it receives all the nutrients it needs to grow healthy and tasty.

-baconwhores.com

Bacon, the Food of Joy....

-Sarah Vowell

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For the last year or so I've been a cheese-maker here in Seattle.  THis came kinda out of the blue for me

Cheesemaking out of the blue, huh? :blink:

I'm very much enjoying your blog. My home cheesemaking has been quite successful, except I'm having difficulty transitioning to hard cheeses. I've had great luck with the chevre kit from New England cheesemaking-- the hardest part is finding goat milk that is not ultrapasteurized. I'm taking a break from cheesemaking while I'm pregnant, for fear of giving myself Listeria, but planning to get back into it after the end of the year. One of the best things was making bread and pizza dough with the whey. Does Beecher use the whey?

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Cheesemaking out of the blue, huh? :blink: 

I'm very much enjoying your blog.  My home cheesemaking has been quite successful, except I'm having difficulty transitioning to hard cheeses.  I've had great luck with the chevre kit from New England cheesemaking-- the hardest part is finding goat milk that is not ultrapasteurized.  I'm taking a break from cheesemaking while I'm pregnant, for fear of giving myself Listeria, but planning to get back into it after the end of the year.  One of the best things was making bread and pizza dough with the whey.  Does Beecher use the whey?

Yup, out of the blue. I was unable to find goat milk that was not ultrapasteurized when I used the kit. It still made ok cheese, just a bit bland. Made a great ricotta substitute in a couple of lasagnas, though (as attested by an Italian friend who is very picky about her lasagna). Listeria should be easily avoidable as long as you keep everything clean and sanitary and away from the drains. I will happily attempt to answer questions with regard to issues you run into with home cheesemaking. I'm hoping at some point soonish to do a bunch of home cheesemaking experiments so as to be able to teach some, and ideally make it a little different from what's in the already well-established books on the subject.

We don't do anything with the whey right now as we have no way to chill it nor is it practical for someone to try and get a tanker type truck into pike place around mid-day when we drain the curds. That said, the brewmaster at the downtown Seattle branch of the Rock Bottom brewery has made a stout with our whey (which apparently has a lot of history as the whey adds more nutrition to the beer - primarily protein). Likewise, we made a couple of wheels of cheese with a reduction of some of a porter of his. The cheese was very bready - I almost wanted it to have caraway seeds in it. More such experiments will likely be forthcoming.

Bacon starts its life inside a piglet-shaped cocoon, in which it receives all the nutrients it needs to grow healthy and tasty.

-baconwhores.com

Bacon, the Food of Joy....

-Sarah Vowell

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Placebo,Very kind of you to answe some home cheesemaking questions

I also purchased the home kit from a firm in Geogia with disastrous results my first question is-Does the milk have to be raw?i followed the directions to a T and it never did fom,i figure the ultra pasteuization seperated the fat enough that they could,nt form properly,i also might have jumped the gun by attempting mozzarela first(they recommmend trying the chevre-any help would be appreciated

Dave s

P.S. good blog :biggrin:

"Food is our common ground,a universal experience"

James Beard

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Placebo,Very kind of you to answe some home cheesemaking questions

I also purchased the home kit from a firm in Geogia with disastrous results my first question is-Does the milk have to be raw?i followed the directions to a T and it never did fom,i figure the ultra pasteuization seperated the fat enough that they could,nt form properly,i also might have jumped the gun by attempting mozzarela first(they recommmend trying the chevre-any help would be appreciated

                                                    Dave s

                      P.S. good blog :biggrin:

Well, the problem with ultrapasteurization is that once you get above about 167 degrees it starts to denature the proteins. This will make it a lot harder to build a good fat-protein-water matrix in the cheese which means the texture will suffer. Additionally, once you get into that temperature range (and UP is done at a higher temp than that by a fair amount) there's a pronounced cooked flavor that can get into the milk. The milk doesn;t need to be raw but it should not be ultra-pasteurized. Mozz is a good starter cheese as it's usually just acid-curdled - no mucking around with cultures. Chevre is an easy started because you just set it, let it sit and then drain it. I'd need to know more details to be able to be able to say more than that.

Bacon starts its life inside a piglet-shaped cocoon, in which it receives all the nutrients it needs to grow healthy and tasty.

-baconwhores.com

Bacon, the Food of Joy....

-Sarah Vowell

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I will happily attempt to answer questions with regard to  issues you run into with home cheesemaking. I'm hoping at some point soonish to do a bunch of home cheesemaking experiments so as to be able to teach some, and ideally make it a little different from what's in the already well-established books on the subject.

Hmm, sounds like an eGCI course is in the offing? :cool:

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For those of you meeting Amir for the 1st time through this Blog, he really is as serious about what he does as he sounds, but he's also a delight to be with. It was great to share lunch at Salumi.

Judy Amster

Cookbook Specialist and Consultant

amsterjudy@gmail.com

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I just wanted to add a last note to your blog, Placebo. Yesterday I strolled down to Beecher's on my lunch hour, and bought a container of the butter.

Wow, it is just amazingly delicious. I had some broccoli rabe that I steamed slightly, then put did a light saute with just the butter and some kosher salt. I had to gobble up the whole bunch of it and have since become a convert! :wub:

...I am someone who has never bought "gourmet" butter before. Just the usual Land o' the Lakes and such.

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I will happily attempt to answer questions with regard to  issues you run into with home cheesemaking. I'm hoping at some point soonish to do a bunch of home cheesemaking experiments so as to be able to teach some, and ideally make it a little different from what's in the already well-established books on the subject.

Thank you very much, that would be wonderful! This blog is quite an inspiration-- I'll have to put in an order for some fresh cultures and rennet! I second the request for an EGCI course, although teaching home cheesemaking might be a bit of a busman's holiday for you!

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I don't know how I missed this blog earlier. Placebo, thanks for showing the behind the scenes work at Beecher's. I had been wishing someone would make fresh butter here for years and Beecher's made me so happy when they started. I also love the Blank Slate. Thanks for making such great products and doing the blog.

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Quick update folks, before we close down this installment...

Next week, beginning on Monday, 20 December and running for slightly longer than a normal Foodblog installment, we return to the wilds of Canada but this time seen through the eyes of a domestic goddess who describes her kitchen cupboards as "an ode to Tupperware". She has a couple of interesting experiments in store for us, as well as a cooking lesson on how to make a pot of gumbo Canadian style, no offense to Mayhaw Man. :raz::blink::biggrin:

Following this installment, beginning Wednesday, 29 December, we take a trip to southeast Asia, wherein our Foodblogger will be taking in the local sights in Thailand and possibly Cambodia.

The two bloggers we had scheduled for this and last week will have their appearances in January.

Thanks for being patient with us as we sort out some behind-the-scenes kinks.

Soba

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We haven't heard from placebo lately??? Still around??

Technically this blog is over. We've left the topic unlocked to help keep the blog fires burning a little bit because of our unfortunate cancellations. The holidays are tough, but Soba has promised some really great stuff spilling into next year, so it will more than make up for it.

{All pat Soba on the back for the often thankless job he does guiding this ship. And don't forget to drop him a note if you are interested in seeing what it takes to do one of these eventually...}

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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