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Somewhat dry but easy-to-follow guide to the mysterious world of homemade dairy products.
The latest addition to English's Homemade Living series (Keeping Bees with Ashley English, 2011, etc.) joins the ranks of countless new titles that invite readers to forego the suburban supermarkets for their kitchens instead. After a brief overview of the deliciously active role of dairy throughout human history, the author jumps right in to the tools of the trade. Readers unfamiliar with mesophilic cultures and curd knives need not fear; the English's spirited, encouraging tone will soon have readers believing that they, too, can produce the cheddar they so eagerly reach for in the refrigerated aisle. "I love the self sufficiency and empowerment I feel when I take a humble gallon of milk and create something entirely different. It's...part science, and part magic," home cheesemaker Claudia tells the author in one of the many sidebars that appear in the manual. These inserts, often biographies of other members of the DIY dairy revolution, could have upped the entertainment value of the book had they been peppered with clever anecdotes and quips on the challenges of making your own cheese. But English is no slouch at demystifying the intricacies of home dairy; from the simplicities of churning out your own delectable butter to pressing your very first gouda, the author covers it all in clean, unpretentious, step-by-step instruction.
Excellent for those looking to take a slight step off the grid.
Posted July 2, 2011
Like the other books in the Homemade Living series, Home Dairy is beautiful and incredibly informative, aiming to bring yet another aspect of a homemade life within easy reach of the average aspiring homesteader. Ashley English covers history, techniques and equipment, and shares over 40 recipes for making all kinds of dairy goodness like cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream and body care products.
The photos and design are a feast for the eyes, and the instructions and recipes are as straightforward as can be. Browsing through Home Dairy for the 3rd or 4th time, I was seized with that same uncontrollable hunger I've felt every time I've flipped this book's pages. I decided to make butter. It was easy, fast and delicious!! I can't wait to try some of her other recipes. I think it may be time to dust off the ice cream maker!
Last Christmas, I got my husband two essential books on cheese-making and I should have just waited for this book to come out instead. It covers all the basics and then some to tackle your dairy-making ambitions including a variety of both simple and impressive cheeses. There are even plans for a DIY cheese press! Home Dairy is a great addition to our cookbook and homesteading library. I am antsy to see what's next in the Homemade Living series!
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