The Home Dairy


In my kitchen today–

Yogurt in the crock pot:

I made it with half light cream, half milk, so this is going to be some rich yogurt!

A quart jar half full of heavy cream, set out to ripen for butter-making this evening:

Another gouda in the brine:

And cookies in the oven, but that’s non-dairy-related.

Next up, I’m going to make some granola because this post made me want some yogurt and granola really bad.

For the cheesemakers out there, here’s another money-saving cheesemaking tip. I’m making smaller brines now. It saves on salt! I use a bowl that’s just big enough for the cheese to sit in comfortably. A smaller bath for the brine means I have to use less salt for the brine. The cheese is only going to absorb so much salt anyway, so I don’t like to waste the two pounds of salt needed to make a gallon-size brine. I also don’t have room to store the brine (and am perhaps too lazy), so I make smaller brines and make a fresh brine each time. Also, use kosher salt! You don’t have to use labeled cheese salt for cheeses and brines. Any non-iodized salt will do. It’s best to use a coarse salt so it doesn’t dissolve too quickly. Kosher salt is good.

Where I don’t pinch pennies in cheesemaking, by the way, is on the cheesecloth. I used to use reusable cheesecloth and wash it. I’ve stopped doing that and have switched to disposable cheesecloth. No matter how careful I am at washing and drying cheesecloth, I get lint. And lint gets on my cheese. And I don’t like picking lint off my hard cheese rinds. So, no more reusable cheesecloth. I use a fresh piece of disposable cheesecloth each time. (It’s also a timesaver, I’ve got to say, and I’m pretty busy, so taking “washing cheesecloth” off my list is a good thing.) Disposable cheesecloth is quite a bit cheaper, by the way, so it’s not too bad. (If you order bulk, which I do, it’s $3.95 per 5 yard package vs $5.95 per 2 yard package of reusable.) I’m all about making the best cheese I can. I’m not into lint.


  1. Tanya Miller says:

    UMMMY! I made 2 batches of Yogurt last week!! YUMMY!! :snoopy: :snoopy:

  2. Nancy K. says:

    Do you use all the cheese and yogurt that you’ll be making or do you plan on selling some?

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      lilac wolf, I’m sure there are all kinds of regulations, which is one of the reasons I’m not interested in that. Plus, I just do it for fun and for us. Selling it would turn it into a job and I don’t want to do that. I have plenty of jobs already, LOL. Cheese is for fun and to take care of our own needs and to share with friends and family.

  3. Pam M. says:

    Think I’m gonna have to try that crockpot yogurt idea out. I make mine in my yogurt maker but the problem is that the container that I have to use with it is hard to clean and it drives me insane! I agree that the disposable cheesecloth is way better. Too much hassle to use the reusable stuff.

  4. Gem says:

    MORE excellent ideas – YOU are my FAV Suzanne!

  5. Valerie says:

    Wonderful. I really want to try making yogurt. Everyday for breakfast I eat vanilla yogurt with berries and a small handful of granola. Delish.

  6. Yvonne says:

    BP and you go together so well!

  7. Leah's Mom says:

    Yes! I love the idea of making yogurt in the crock. Next time I make it I’m going to try it that way. I was using a 1/2 gal jar in the oven w/a 100 watt lightbulb (a desk lamp to be exact) in the oven to keep the temp. up. I like the idea of using the heat retained in the ceramic.

    Questions: Have you been making it in the crock for awhile or is this new to you? If you’ve been doing it for awhile, are your results consistent?


  8. Nic, SD says:

    I love me some dairy with a wicked, WICKED passion. Maybe, if I’m really really good, I’ll get to go to your kitchen when I die! I won’t haunt you!! You’ll just… occasionally have the sense of someone coveting your cheese, out in the cave.
    (Actually, if I ever get my schtuff together for one of your farm weekends, maybe I’ll get to see it before then 🙂 )

  9. mrkittysmom says:

    You should try Ina Garten’s Dried Cherry Coconut Granola recipe – easy as pie. Has almonds, dried cherries, coconut, oatmeal, some honey, some cinnamon, some oil, I had a pinch of salt and is perfectly wonderful. I made tons for Christmas presents – and got nothing but good reviews and requests for MORE!

  10. Ramona says:

    Another thing I’ve been wanting to try to make.

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