When you were a kid, did you ever wonder what Miss Muffet was eating?
Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
I know I did … sure didn’t sound like anything I had ever heard of. So I did a little investigation like a good little Nancy Drew. My brothers didn’t know, my friends didn’t know, but my mother she knew what it was! She said it was soured milk that had separated. Eeeewwww! Was Miss Muffet crazy! Then I promptly forgot about the whole thing and went back to play with my cats. Until recently, that is. Since that fateful day I’ve learned how very useful and healthy Little Miss Muffet’s curds and whey are. And by the way the curds are delish!
Note that they powdered whey found in bulk bins and in huge plastic jars for bodybuilders is not the whey we are talking about using here! That kind of whey is a heavily processed product, exactly what we want to avoid.
What is Whey used for in recipes?
Whey is used in the preparation of fermented vegetables and soaked grains. It is:
- Included in soaking water for beans and grains to improve digestion and reduce nutrient blocking phytates.
- Used to ferment most anything.
Recipe for Whey
This is hardly a recipe, more like instructions, really.
- A quantity of raw milk – you can do this with any amount you have on hand, fresh or soured.
- A tall container
- A long kitchen spoon
- A bowl
- A colander that fits into the bowl
- A linen or cotton dishtowel
- A container with a cover large enough to hold the milk.
- Pour the milk into the container and let sit on the counter for 2 or 3 days. Basically, we’re waiting for the milk to separate into a solid part and a very watery part.
- Put the colander in the bowl with the cloth over it for straining. Pour the milk into the colander. The watery part will run into the bowl – this is your whey.
- When most of the water has run out tie the ends of the cloth over your long utensil and tuck the bottom part in the tall container. Set the spoon on top, taking care to tuck in the ends, or whey will run onto the counter instead of into your container.
- Let it sit until it stops dripping. This can take hours so often I let it sit overnight.
- Remove and open the towel. You’ll find some delicious cream cheese. And in your container you’ll find some more whey.
That’s it! Pretty simple, huh? Just put the cream cheese and whey in some covered jars, label and put in the refrigerator.