Last week I cleaned out the fridge.
I don’t know about you, but that can be kind of scary. It’s generally not a question of if something is still ok to eat because we aren’t huge food wasters, it’s more of a what is it?
So many different foods look the same when they are stored in mason jars. Like yogurt, milk, cream, sourdough starter, and lard.
Luckily, our local dairy marks our yogurt with a “y”. Somehow I “lost” a quart of raw yogurt in the back of the fridge. By the time I found it, it had significantly seperated into a creamy chunks & whey.
It sounds kind of gross if you’re new to raw milk, cheese, & whey- but really it was perfect! I asked Stuart, the owner of the dairy what I should do with it, because I really didn’t want to throw it out..or even give it to the chickens if I didn’t have to. He told me his favorite way to “save” it was to make it into a soft, spreadable, herbed cheese to serve with crackers.
I know Stuart wouldn’t mind me sharing this, because I know he loves good quality food as much as myself & would hate to see something useful thrown out.
Garlic & Dill Spreadable Yogurt Cheese
1 Quart Raw Yogurt
Cheese cloth, like this
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed & minced
1 teaspoon dill (fresh if you have it)
Sea salt to taste
What to do:
Since my yogurt was very seperated, I laid the cloth into a bowl & poured the entire quart of yogurt/whey into the cloth. Then I “drew it up” & tied all 4 corners together so that the cloth can be hung up in order for all the whey to drip out. I’ve heard of hanging it from the handle of a kitchen cabinet & letting the whey drip into a bowl below, but I just ran a wooden spoon under the ties in the cheesecloth to stradle the top of my tea pitcher. I did this just before bed & let it drip all night long. In the morning the “cheese” had the consistency of soft cream cheese & all the whey had drained completely out.
Take your “cheese” and dump it into a bowl, mix in your minced garlic, dill & sea salt. Refridgerate for at least 2 hours to let the flavors meld together & for the cheese to “firm up”.
Don’t forget about the whey! You can store this in a mason jar in the fridge to use in soaking grains, rice, legumes & nuts as well as lactofermenting. There are so many uses for whey, so don’t throw it out!
After it’s spent it’s time in the fridge, bring it back out and serve with your favorite crackers. It should spread perfectly smooth & shouldn’t even break a cracker when trying to do so. Enjoy!
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