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Cheese a good food source for Survival

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posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 05:24 PM
Cheese a great way to keep milk.

I wrote a few months back about some of the skills I think we should all be learning as survival skills. Others are doing threads on firearms and shooting which is good since I’m not very skilled in that area, so I decided to do a short discussion on the advantages of cheese as a survival skill.

In the last year I have converted about 100 gallons of milk into cheese of various types. I have found that mould ripen cheeses are too finicky for me to want to use them as a way to store milk during a SHTF scenario. Therefore I think the best way to store milk long term is to use a hard cheese. From my experiments I have found that brine soaked cheeses keep best. My opinion is that cheese making is something you do if you have set up a semi permanent camp, not something done on the move.

Many different animals make milk that can be used to make cheese such as Cows, sheep, goats, water buffalo, horses etc.

You will need a starter, which is a basically a friendly bacteria to curdle the milk. Once you start making cheese you can use a piece of your old cheese as the starter. This is why I suggest that you keep a few small pouches of starter in you BOB for the future.

The other item you need is some sort of Rennet, currently I use either plant or calf rennet. I am trying to learn how to make my own vegetable rennet. You can purchase these from cheese making stores or you can make your own. Here is the way it used to be done 100 years ago.

Calf rennet:
Slaughter a calf or kid, drain milk from stomach, clean stomach. Replace milk and tie off stomach adding a small piece of cheese to the milk. Hang in a cool place for a day or two. I have never tried this method, but by adding the old cheese piece you are getting a rennet and a starter in one go.

Vegetable Rennet:
The following plants can be used as a rennet (coagulant) if you do not have a calf or do not want to slaughter one.
- Leaves of the butterwort plant
- Nettles from the stinging nettle plant
- Yarrow
- Mallow
- Knapweed
- Bark from a fig tree

I have personally only tried stinging nettle. Some people complain that vegetable rennet gives a slightly bitter taste to hard cheeses. I have never noticed this. I currently get my nettle from a health food store in liquid gel caps which I cut open to get the liquid out of.

You can make a press using a number 10 can (which we all will have from our food stuff). Remove one end and save it. Clean the can and then punch small ¼” or 1/8” holes on the bottom. The holes should be about 30% of the bottoms surface. Take the top removed end and sand the edges so they are not sharp. Cut six circles of clean cheese cloth (not the cheap stuff sold as cheese cloth in hardware stores), or you can use old cotton pillowcases. Clean before use again.

Here is my recipe for parmesan; I have adapted it from one in ‘Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll’.

Start with pasteurized milk (either done at home or store bought) you need about 2 gallons. I recommend learning to make cheese initially with store bought milk then when you have learned enough to be consistent switch to fresh milk.

1) Heat the milk to 90F in a stainless pot (please do not use Teflon coated pots).
2) Add the starter, I use thermophilic starter. Or you can use a small ½” x ½” piece of a previous cheese dissolved in ½ cup of water or you can use whey from the previous day’s cheese.
3) If you have it you can add Lipase powder for a stronger taste at this point. When SHTF I doubt my supply will last long.
4) Keep it covered and at 90F for 30 minutes.
5) Mix about ½ teaspoon of nettle extract or 1 teaspoon of calf rennet into a ¼ cup of non chlorinated water.
6) Stir rennet into milk.
7) Stir gently for 2 minutes.
8) Cover the milk and keep it at 90F for another 30 minutes.
9) Remove lid and using a very sharp knife cut the curd that has formed. It shut cut cleanly like crème Caramel does.
10) Cut all the curd into ¼” cubes. You will need to use a slotted spoon to stir the cubes up so that you get access to the uncut parts on the bottom.
11) Slowly raise the temperature to 125F at a rate of about 5F per 7-10 minutes.
12) Stir slowly the whole time you raise the temperature.
13) Let the curds rest for 5 minutes at 125F.
14) Boil water and sterilize your press and circles of cloth and a coffee mug.
15) Take a large bowl and place a smaller one upside down in the middle. Place your press on the smaller bowl. Place one circle of fabric in the bottom.
16) Using a slotted spoon with small slots slowly remove curds and place them in your press on top of the fabric circle. You should be left with a pot of whey.
17) Once all the curds are in the press place another fabric circle on top then the metal lid.
18) Take one of your empty plastic milk jugs and wash it out. Using a funnel fill it 1/3 full of whey.
19) Place a coffee mug that has been sterilized and place it on top of the press, now place the 1/3 full jug on top of that. (The jug is a convientant weight) lit it sit for 20 minutes. Whey should be leaking into the large bowl.
20) Remove the jug from the press and fill it 2/3rds full.
21) Take the cheese out of the press remove the fabric and put a new fabric in the bottom of the press. Flip the cheese gently and replace in press. Put another new fabric on top and replace lid, mug and fuller jug. I also like to drain the whey out of the large bowl at this stage. Let it sit for 2 hours. If the cheese sinks too deep you may need to replace the mug with something longer like a thick walled glass.
22) Again remove jug and mug. Fill jug full.
23) Take the cheese out of the press remove the fabric and put a new fabric in the bottom of the press. Flip the cheese gently and replace in press. Put another new fabric on top and replace lid, mug and full jug. I also like to drain the whey out of the large bowl again at this stage. Let it sit for 12 hours. I tend to replace the milk jug of whey with one of water at this stage as I use all of my whey and if you let it sit out the additional 12 hours you will need to toss it.

posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 05:31 PM
24) Take all remaining whey and place in the other milk jug in the fridge. The whey can be saved in a fridge or cool place for up to 2-3 days. You can use 2 cups of it as the starter for another batch of cheese and this is done in Italy commercially. The whey can be used as a protein drink. I also use it in French bread in place of the water and it makes very rich bread that is very tasty and has added protein, this is popular commercially in France. Others I have talked to feed it to there hogs as it makes them gain weight faster and gives a creamier taste to the bacon you get from them.
25) In you clean pot, take a gallon of water and bring to a boil. Once it boils add non iodized salt to it until no more stays in suspension. Allow water to cool to room temperature. If you use iodized salt it will make the cheese taste off
26) Take your cheese out of the mold and remove the fabric from it.
27) Place the cheese in the water solution for 24 hours remembering to flip it every six hours or so.
28) Remove cheese from salt solution and pat dry. Save the salt solution for your next cheese as it takes less salt to keep re-using the same solution.
29) Place the cheese on a wooden cutting board in a cool place of about 55F temperature where pests will not get it. You need the humidity to be 85% or so, I use a bowl of water on the shelf beside the cheese.
30) Each day for the next 2 months, take the cheese of the wooden board and flip it and place it on a different board. You can then clean the first one and use it the next day again after it dries completely.
31) After the 2 months you can flip it weekly.
32) If any mould appears on the surface you can use some of the salt solution and a small cloth to remove it without hurting the cheese.
33) The original recipe called for lightly coating the cheese with olive oil after 2 months. I no longer do this as I like my cheese that extra bit hard.
34) Let the cheese age a total of at least 10 months before eating.
35) Grate and serve on your noodle dish of choice.

I have and recommend the following books
Home Cheese Making – By Ricki Carroll; ISBN 978-1-58017-464-0
Making Artisan Cheese – By Tim Smith; ISBN 978-1-59253-197-4
And that’s how you make cheese! – By Shane Sokol; ISBN0-595-17709-3

I’ve listed them in the order I bought them. I personally think that both of the first two are the better ones for learning with. The book by Sokol is pricey and while it has interesting recipes it is also the shortest and the hardest to understand.

Lastly where to buy supplies:
I’ve used all of these and all have been easy to deal with and none have shafted me so in my mind they all work. I like to order different items from each as there is a huge difference in there prices on some items.

posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 08:27 PM
thanks, interesting post. good to see this here

posted on Sep, 5 2009 @ 07:50 PM
I try and keep a fair amount of cheese in the pipeline. I take cheese into work and it disappears in minutes so I know it's popular, either that or my co-workers are all starving. I find making cheese takes enough brain power that I don't think about other stuff and it helps me relax, Starting a batch after supper helps me get ready for bed

A good hard cheese will keep in your pack a lot longer than a carton of milk will.

posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 10:47 AM
Great presentation on cheese Exile. S&F

Using cheese wax you can store cheese up to 25 yrs.

Here is an article called"Cheese Wax Will Save Us all"

Cheese wax will save us all

[edit on 7-9-2009 by The Utopian Penguin]

posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 10:59 AM
Wow, S&F,

Thank you for sharing your cheese making with us. I had considered getting a milking goat. I didnt think I had time to milk it twice a day but would in a crisis.

Goats eat less than a milking cow and take up less room. I may check around for one. Ibe seen them as cheap as 50 bucks at one time.

I copied the directions. thanks again!!

posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 11:11 AM
But cheese is so fattening! After a couple of weeks of eating cheese your combats wont fit, you'll need more camo paint to cover up your jowls and wont be able to hide behind thin trees or run away from hostiles.
Perhaps you should have shown how to make Low fat cheese!!?

posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 11:30 AM
The plant, yellow bedstraw, serves the same function as rennet. Good to know about the other plants, too. Thanks for that.

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 10:25 AM

Originally posted by The Utopian Penguin
Using cheese wax you can store cheese up to 25 yrs.

[edit on 7-9-2009 by The Utopian Penguin]

I've done waxed cheeses too. You can re-use the wax many times. Walmart had little crock pots about 5" across for $5 a while ago so I picked up three (one for each color of cheese I use). The issue with cheese wax is unless you have stock piles you may not find it after a SHTF situation.

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 10:33 AM
On the thought of low fat cheese

No thanks, given my climate I figure an extra 20 lbs will help keep me warm in the very cold winters. If you want to freeze so you can stand behind little trees be my guest.

I need to figure out something uselful to do with thistles as they grow naturally all around my property and other than being sharp enought to go through gloves and having a root ssytem deeper than a carrot I haven't found a use for them yet.

I didn't know about yellow bedstraw being used as a rennet.

Goats, I've thought of getting one too. To make it work you should have access to a male to "refresh" the female every year. Male goats stink as they have a musk gland. So in a SHTF situation a goat will only give you milk for at most 10 months till she dries up and need a male. So you either need a male too or you need a supply of goat semen and the tools to AI her.

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 11:31 PM
Cottage Cheese:

1 gallon clabbered milk (soured milk that's lumpy)
Set on hearth or in oven after a meal has been cooked (leave the oven door slightly ajar). Turn frequently and cut curds into squares, stirring gently until as warm as a finger can bear. When whey shows all around the curd, pour into a coarse bag and hang to drain in a cool place 3-4 hours (or overnight). Remove from bag, chop coarsely, add salt, pepper, and sweet cream. Some mash thoroughly with cream; others add sugar, cream and nutmeg instead of salt and pepper.

1 quart milk
1/2C. dry milk
2T. yogurt with live culture
Heat milk in double boiler to 185 degrees (milk will start to froth). Cool to 110 while warming starter to room temp. Add dry milk to help it thicken the yogurt. Add starter. Pour yogurt in clean jars and cover tightly. Keep at 100 degrees for 3 days to culture it. Will keep for 1-2 weeks. If using it as another starter, use within 5-7 days for best results. Whey-a thin, yellow liquid will form on top. You can pour it off or stir it in.

Sour Cream:

1 pint of heavy sweet cream
2T. apple cider vinegar
1T. lemon juice
1t. salt
Pour cream into a deep bowl and sprinkle on the vinegar, lemon juice and salt. Stir lightly and set aside in a warm place for one hour or until curdled and thickened. Beat vigorously until stiff and smooth.

[edit on 9-9-2009 by whitewave]

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 11:47 PM
reply to post by exile1981

There's a lot of good info online about thistles. Some are medicinal and most are edible. Here's a few links to get you started.



[edit on 8-9-2009 by whitewave]

[edit on 9-9-2009 by whitewave]

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 11:54 PM
This is a good thread and I am sure helpful for many but for the 40 percent of us who are lactose intolerant and have no source of goat milk, except at great expense in markets where it can be found, it really doesn't work.

If you have a good source for the other milk sources, it would be great.

posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 12:00 AM
Goat milk comes in powdered form and in cans, if that helps.

I'm embarrassed to ask since I'm a nurse and should probably know but, if you're lactose intolerant, doesn't that mean all forms of milk?

posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 12:15 AM
reply to post by whitewave

Hi, don't be embarrassed, I'm a nurse too and wouldn't know if it wasn't me. I know I can eat goat cheese is all. Don't know the difference otherwise. No lactose in goat cheese? For milk, I use Soy in coffee.

posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 10:25 AM
If heat makes your cheese rubbery, wrap it well and leave it in a cool stream.

For long trips, sew a one week portion in cheesecloth and immerse in melted wax.

Cheese mold can be avoided by wiping the cheese with a vinegar (or baking soda)-soaked clean cloth.

posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 07:40 PM

Originally posted by liveandlearn
Hi, don't be embarrassed, I'm a nurse too and wouldn't know if it wasn't me. I know I can eat goat cheese is all. Don't know the difference otherwise. No lactose in goat cheese? For milk, I use Soy in coffee.

I'm also lactose intolerant. Goat milk is good for drinking (no lactose), but old aged cheeses have little or no lactose as it breaks down during the aging. That is part of the reason for making my own cheese I can age it and make it lactose free

posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 10:43 PM
reply to post by exile1981

I feel all edumacated now. Actually, that's very good to know. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and insight.

Hopefully, for anyone taking MAO inhibitors, your doctor has told you to avoid aged cheeses and meats (and wine) but if not, they don't mix well. For the rest of us...bon appetit!

posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 05:37 PM
I finished aging a batch of parmesian 4 months ago and have since moved it to the fridge. We finlly grate a small amount each week for the family pasta night. Each of the three wheels was about 1 gallon of milk. So far the first wheel has lasted 4 months and is half gone. If you grate up a whole wheel it works out cheaper than the stuff in the plastic shake container from the store. I have no lactose reaction to it and the kids who were a little afraid to try it at first have started asking for "daddy cheese" in place of "shakey cheese" (what they call the store bought stuff).

I left a small piece out on the counter and it took over a month to start to turn. It was uncoated and without preservatives of any kind.

One thing to be careful about is that they recommend that pregnant women do not eat homemade short cheese (the stuff made in 1-2 days like cream cheese) as the live bacteria can be aa concern. Though it's the same live bacteria found in store bought yogurt so...

posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 01:54 PM
My mom and I have already started looking at cheap farm land to have goats on to raise for milk and cheese. Once you had really good, creamy goat yogurt, you are hooked!

It's a dream of mine. And if it does get bad, I will have a great product to barter!

A note on lactose intolerence, consider drinking Kefir. It puts the good germs (i think) in your stomach to break down the milk sugars that originally make you upset. I had a friend take a shot worth a day, and she eats tons of dairy products with no problem now. Lactose intolerence can come from when you antibiotics that clean you of bad and good germs.

Also, don't be to quick to judge unpasteurized cheeses. It often taste better, and has more nurtients.

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