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Fundamentally, cheese is just coagulated milk. Skilled cheesemakers work with cultures and molds, brining, and aging to produce a wealth of cheeses. But if you want to make cheese the easiest possible way, here’s how:
1. Cook Heat whole milk slowly in a heavy pot, stirring often. (This takes about 30 minutes, so bring a book.)
2. Add acid Just as it boils, take it off the heat and drizzle in an acid (we grew lemons, so we used their juice).
3. Ta-da! Fat white curds―the cheese―form immediately, floating in a greenish whey. (Remember Little Miss Muffet?)
4. Drain Pour the curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander, pull the cloth up around the curds, twist, and squeeze out the whey. Add salt. Crumble on soup or salad, or press curds (try a plate and cans) until they’re solid.
Tip: Mix the curds with herbs or spices and try perforated molds for interesting shapes.