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Great Cookbooks for Families: The Home Creamery

Reviewed by Katy Killilea

Creamery Cover StoreyI would like to grab you to suggest you try this sour cream we made. But since I can’t, I will just recommend this book. The Home Creamery walks you through making your own butter, yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, ricotta, and more. This is an attractive, neat paperback book with thoughtfully selected fonts and precise drawings, similar to those used in Cooks’ Illustrated. It also includes recipes that require lots of the cheeses and yogurts you’ll be producing. Which is handy, because once you get going, you will probably want to make a lot.

The chemistry of your home dairy gets more complicated when you venture beyond sour cream and yogurt, but I think most people will be motivated to try ricotta and mozzarella once they savor the great result of the sour cream formula. These are “easy” as far as cheeses go, but you will need a bit more equipment.

Sour cream is easy. In fact, it is easier than toast. Children can join in the tiny bit of effort required, and they will be proud of the result. Everyone will ooh and ahh over it. It’s the perfect weekend project, because it takes at least forty-eight hours. Five minutes of preparation, and 23 hours and 55 minutes of waiting in suspense. Then twenty-four more hours of refrigeration for the sour cream and eager anticipation for you. So if you start on Friday afternoon, you’ll have your own sour cream for Sunday dinner. Doesn’t that sound sweet and old fashioned?

Homemade Sour Cream, Method 1 (from The Home Creamery)

Ingredients:Cream Pour Recipe Tips.Com
1 pint light cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cultured buttermilk*
(If the ingredients are too cold, this may not work.)

From the author: “Homemade sour cream can be kept in the refrigerator for an entire month, and it will get thicker and thicker and better and better during that time.”

1. Place the cream in a medium bowl.
2. Stir in the buttermilk and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
3. Leave the mixture on the counter for 24 hours. It will be as thick as custard. Stir to blend. Refrigerate at least 24 hours before using.

*Notes from Katy: You need the buttermilk that comes in a carton–not the kind that happens in the jar when you’ve been shaking heavy cream to make butter. And the cream should not be the “UHT” pasteurized type–normal pasteurized cream (or unpasteurized if you have your own cow) works best.

The details:

The Home Creamery by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley
2008 Storey Publishing
$16.95

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