It was very important as a source of protein and fuel for the body. In those parts of the world milk often did curdle since there was no refrigeration. So necessity being the Mother of invention, it was made into cheese. Goat milk and sheep’s milk cheeses were the most common. Like we do today, soft cheese was made using cloth bags filled with soured milk. The liquid/whey drained and the curds/cheese were left in the bag. Hard cheeses were made from fermented soured milk whaqt was poured into molds in which it curdled and then hardened often by drying in the sun.
Tip: Keep hard cheeses from molding in the refrigerator
Wrap cheese in cheesecloth that has been dipped in vinegar and rung out well, and then in plastic wrap or foil. The vinegar provides an acid shield and it won’t make the cheese taste funny, but it will stop mold from forming.
With Thanksgiving coming up, I’ll be sharing some favorite do-ahead family recipes. Let’s start with appetizers!
JESSIE’S BAKED SWISS CHEESE & APRICOT DIP
Just the best appetizer for the holidays. Easy, nice & warm and no leftovers! You can make this ahead of time and simply bake it a bit longer. If the top browns too quickly before the dip is hot, just tent w/foil.
12 oz tub whipped cream cheese
1/2 jar of apricot preserves – half of an 18 oz jar
8 oz shredded Swiss Cheese – 2 cups
6 oz or so of Craisins -I usually add a bit more
Mix together, spread in a sprayed small casserole and bake 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees to melt cheese. Serve with crackers.