I. HAVE MADE. CHEESE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, I feel mighty. Yes, I feel invincible. Yes, I will do it again.
It couldn't be easier. Just stir 4 parts whole milk and 1 part buttermilk together in a pan. Heat it slowly (med-high heat), stirring until it starts to steam. Then stop stirring until it reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Skim off the curds into a cloth-lined stainer and you have CHEESE!
A few things to note: nothing happens until the temperature is over 160 degrees. So you'll be standing there thinking, "This isn't working. What am I going to do with five cups of nasty-tasting hot milk?"
Stay calm. It will work.
At 180 degrees, you can see a little separation. But it's not really dramatic. Have faith. Using a slotted spoon or ladle, gently skim off the foam from the pan - it's about the consistency of shaving foam. It's very delicate at this point. Spoon it into the strainer and let the whey drain out.
Five or ten minutes later, it will have come together into a soft spreadable ricotta cheese.
At this point, the flavour is mild to the point of blandness. Depending on what you're going to do with it, you can leave it as is, add some salt, some lemon zest or herbs.
Spread it on crackers, use it in a recipe, show it to everyone you know while marvelling at your own wonderfulness.