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Ask Jackie headline

Click here to ask Jackie a question!
Jackie Clay answers questions for BHM Subscribers & Customers
on any aspect of low-tech, self-reliant living.

Jackie Clay

Q and A: Making cottage cheese and canning bacon

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Making cottage cheese

I think a while back you gave your recipe for cottage cheese. I’ve checked the archives and your two books but can’t seem to find it. Would you share this recipe again?

Brad Barrie
Strong, Maine

Sure thing, Brad. It’s so easy and we use a lot of cottage cheese.

1 gallon fresh whole milk
1 cup cultured buttermilk
1/4 tsp. liquid rennet or equivalent
1/4 cup cool water

Warm milk to 90 degrees. (I put mine in a large pot, set in the kitchen sink full of hot water.) Mix liquid rennet into cool water. Stir the rennet mixture into milk and let sit for 4-5 hours. Cut the curds in 1/2 inch cubes each way. Let rest for half an hour.

Put the pot on the stove and slowly bring the temperature up to 115 degrees. Hold curds at 115 degrees for 30 minutes. Stir often to keep curds from matting together. After that time, check to see if curds are done by breaking some to see if the center is set or is still custard-like. You may have to cook a little longer if this is the case.

Drain curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander. When drained well, dip bag into warm water to rinse. Drain a few minutes, then rinse with cold water. Drain until it stops dripping — about half an hour.

Add salt to taste. If you want creamed cottage cheese, add cream or milk to achieve the desired consistency. Uncreamed cottage cheese is quite dry. Add chives or fruit for more flavor. — Jackie

Canning bacon

I have read Enola Gay’s article on canned bacon but I have no pressure cooker. I use the old fashion canner when I can so what would be the time for cooking the bacon in the canner? I used it when I can vegetables. Would it be the same timing frame with meats?

Tracey Jones

The article on canned bacon was not mine, but I sure do can bacon. But, sorry, you can’t safely can bacon or any other meat or vegetable in a boiling water bath canner. I know that folks did in the past, and some still do, but it isn’t safe and I can’t recommend it. — Jackie

3 Responses to “Q and A: Making cottage cheese and canning bacon”

  1. Anita Says:

    Hi, I’m sure you meant to mention that the cultured buttermilk, is in with the milk in your cottage cheese recipe. That’s how I would do it, but someone who doesn’t cook a lot may not know.

  2. jackie clay Says:


    Yep, I screwed up. You do add the buttermilk to the warmed milk when you stir in the rennet. Ooops. It happens!


  3. Brad Barrie Says:


    We made your cottage cheese today and have to say it’s the best we’ve had and a lot easier than most recipes. When you have time how about sharing some of your other cheese recipes. We have 2 milking Nubian goats and an abundance of milk. Just to let you know we added the buttermilk to the cold milk and it worked fine. Will have to try adding the buttermilk when we stir in the rennet.

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