Bored Enough To Make Cheese From Scratch? Mainers Can Help

Mainers were born for a pandemic. Self-isolation? Check. Domestic craftiness? Check. The ability to wrestle a moose into submission, should it come to that? Absolutely check. Bangor Daily News writer Sam Schipani seems particularly prepped for the times, as she's apparently a DIY homegoods whiz. The Maine paper published how-to-make videos for five grocery store essentials: bread, almond milk, butter, nut butter, and cheese.

Don't panic! We don't need to be making home essentials. Grocery stores have plenty of food and are essential businesses, so if you're healthy and haven't been in contact with anyone with COVID-19, your weekly grocery store trip is still a go. Going back to pioneer times, is simply a fun way to pass the time when we are bored as hell. These recipes are all surprisingly uncomplicated and look incredibly satisfying, but here's the order in which I'd do them:

  1. Butter. More as a warm-up than anything else, as it looks nice and simple. And no, there's no butter churn required—you can make butter by shaking cream in a jar (for what looks like...days?) or use a food processor.
  2. Cheese. Schipani made mozzarella from scratch, but also says feta, ricotta, and chevre are easy for beginners. This looks like the most complicated recipe but also the one that promises the most potent sense of accomplishment, should you succeed.
  3. Sourdough starter (and bread). Another highly satisfying finale. But unlike cheese, sourdough starter takes a little bit of work each day over the course of a week. I need something that'll fill an entire afternoon!
  4. Almond milk. Like butter, this looks easy. Soak your almonds overnight, then pop 'em in a blender with water and a little sweetener. Unfortunately, the outcome is still not dairy milk.
  5. Nut butters. Easy? Yep. Mostly done in a food processor? Certainly. A huge pain to clean up? Looks like it!

If you're in the mood for Little House On The Prairie cosplay, pop over to the Bangor Daily News for a how-to on some kitchen basics. And bless you, the State of Maine, for curing us of our boredom.