New Things: Make Cheese

Ever year I make a list of new things I want to try.  Some of them are difficult and weird, some are surprisingly boring.  You can read about my previous adventures here.

It is an embarrassingly well-documented fact that I’m obsessed with cheese.  I pretty frequently eat shredded Parmesan directly out of the bag till I give myself a stomach ache.  And then I vow never to do it again and don’t allow myself to have any cheese in the house since I “can’t be trusted around it.”I’d always put cheese making under the heading of “Culinary Things That Are Too Hard For Me” (along with recipes involving thermometers or bone removal) but did you know that making homemade cheese is almost as easy as making spaghetti?  Yes.

My super lovely friend Kate (of Lovelorn Unicorn fame) and her hubby helped me make it one cold Sunday night while I was still in New Zealand.  We used a variation of this recipe:

1 qt. whole milk
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
2 t. coarse sea salt

1-2 t. fresh thyme, minced
1 t. lemon zest
fresh cracked pepper


Olive oil1. Line a colander with a cotton handkerchief or some cheese cloth; put your colander over a bowl.2. Combine milk, buttermilk and salt in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until mixture has separated into white curds and translucent whey, about 8 minutes.

3. Dump your clumpy milk into your lined strainer and let the whey drain out. Twist the cheese cloth to squeeze out some (not all!) of the whey and form a satisfyingly solid little round ball of fresh cheese.

4. Unwrap your cheese, top with olive oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper and serve with french bread.

5. Say “Suck it, Martha Stewart!” (optional)

You guys, this seriously takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish!  I’m going to use this as my go-to Impressive Dinner Party Thing from now on!

Have you ever made cheese?  What’s the toughest recipe you’ve ever undertaken?

Welcome to Yes & Yes!

Want to spend your time, money, and energy on purpose? I'll show you how.

You might also like…

New Thing: Forage For Mushrooms

New Thing: Forage For Mushrooms

What's hard to find, super valuable, and tastes heavenly with scrambled eggs? If you guessed a. the right romantic partner b. a really good pair of leather boots c. morel mushrooms you are correct. Every year, I make a list of new things to try and I've been wanting...

read more
New Thing: Be In My Life

New Thing: Be In My Life

Every year I make a list of new things to try. These New Things are a pretty predictable mix of physical challenges, weird foods, and books/movies that everyone-other-than-me is familiar with. But this year, I’m trying something different. Something that’s, honestly,...

read more
New Thing: Read East of Eden

New Thing: Read East of Eden

I always thought that I hated Steinbeck. His books seemed to be a never-ending parade of men and farms and depression and desperation. I remember dragging myself through Grapes of Wrath in 11th grade English, staring into the middle distance with bone-shaking boredom...

read more


  1. Vixel

    Oh WOW, I'm ridiculously addicted to cheese, I *must* try that! Immediately!

  2. Katie, Interrobangs Anonymous

    My dude and I are long-time cheese makers – in fact, my first Christmas present to him was a "make your own mozzarella cheese" kit!

    My favorites to make are: ricotta, buttermilk cheese, lemon cheese, kefir cheese, and mozzarella.

  3. Kate @

    Yay cheese! T'was a pleasure to cook up a storm with you. I made this again recently and can confirm it still rules.

  4. Stephanie

    This sounds almost too good to be true…I too LOVE cheese…maybe everyone can post all of their cheese recipes..cannot wait to try this~THANK YOU! 🙂

  5. LynnieBee

    I'm just getting into cheesemaking too!!! So far I've only made yogurt cheese, which is incredibly easy and dang good, but I can't wait to give another type a try! Go You!!!

  6. Erin

    I'm officially inspired. Made my first homemade tomato sauce today with fresh-picked maters and basil from my own backyard.

    I shall now follow in your footsteps.

  7. goshery

    My bookclub read Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle in which the author and her family spent a year eating only foods they grew or someone within a certain number of miles from their home grew. In the book she talked a lot about making cheese and she included recipes. The night we met to discuss the book we made mozarella cheese using one of her recipes. It was easy and oh, so good!

  8. Tilly Mix

    How brilliant! So eager to try this now. Oh, and I believe that saying "Suck it, Martha Stewart" (or, in Brit-speak, "So there, Nigella Lawson!") is in fact utterly compulsory and vital to the process 🙂

    Hello, Sweetie

  9. Kristina Larson

    Wow, this does look easy! I didn't realize it would be such a short process. Off to find some cheesecloth!

  10. Meghan

    Dude, who knew it was so easy? This is going on my must try list.

  11. Today's Gift

    I'll have to try this because I love cheese as well! Does this stay more of a soft cheese like fresh mozzarella?

  12. laco

    making homemade cheese is on my list of 29 things to do while 29!! thank you for the recipe, this will be checked off my list soon. cheers, y'all!

  13. Gingerous

    OmgOmgOmg. Must do this. Does it keep well? The idea of being able to make my own cheese is all at once exhilarating and terrifying. I may never leave the house again.

  14. Anonymous

    I love making cheese! Cheddar is my favorite one to make, although mozzarella is loads of fun, it's sooo stretchy! The only hard part is to come by the fresh milk. It's illegal here to sell raw milk, but for a lot of the recipes you need raw milk.

  15. Anonymous

    Thanks again and belatedly for posting this–I am eating it as we speak, but probably would have never made it if it hadn't been for you making it sound so easy! mmmm my stomach thanks you.

Pin It on Pinterest