The challenge goes something like this: each week we choose a recipe to make from each chapter and post our results. Triumph or not, cooking from scratch has changed my life! I find that the more processed foods I take out of my family's diet the better we have started to feel. No, this is not a plug for any diet craze or 30 day to a Healthier you challenge but it does not hurt to feed your family wholesome (reads as unprocessed as possible) foods that is designed to nourish their bodies. I'm pretty sure my Cajun grandmother is somewhere in heaven looking at me making ricotta and in her best Cajun French accent saying "Pa bon jour Nancy, il l'a fait," meaning....for goodness sakes Nancy, just do it! So in the spirit of homesteading let the cooking begin!
So, I perused through Chapter 1 and decided that I needed my first recipe to be an easy, peasy lemon squeezy. After all, it is 9 p.m. on the last day of this week's challenge and I needed something that screamed Ta-dah done! I had made ricotta cheese many years ago but could not recall how to make it again....until now! You might be thinking how is making ricotta cheese easy? Well, it only uses three ingredients (1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/2 gallon whole milk and a pinch of sea salt). That's it. Sound too easy? Just wait to be dazzled!
Just some fresh lemon juice and a half gallon of whole milk and a good candy thermometer. I say.....a good candy thermometer because the one I used was probably in use back in the 1800s, a little difficult to read and a bit persnickety when trying to attach it to the side of the pot.
Okay, so I must admit I literally watched the pot for the entire 40-50 minutes while the temperature climbed up to 175 degrees. I had scorched many pots before and vowed my favorite Wolfgang Puck pot would not perish in my endeavor. Chernila's tip on taking an ice cube and letting it melt completely on low to start was utter brilliance on her part! No scorched pots here!
Interested in more of Alana Chernila's recipes...buy the book The Homemade Pantry!