11.15.2010

cheesemaking

I made cheese! Seriously, I can't tell you how excited I am about this. I ordered a starter kit from cheesemaking.com and made my first batch of mozzarella yesterday. It is delicious, and I'm super excited to make more.

It went a little something like this (although I've misplaced a memory card which has the first pictures on it, including what the kit itself looked like). I knew that all I needed in addition to milk was rennet and citric acid, but thought that a kit with instructions might be useful. And since it was only $24.95 for enough supplies to make 30 batches, I went for it.


After mixing milk (I reconstituted dry milk and aded cream), adding citric acid and rennet and letting it sit for awhile, the whey and curd separated. You can see the clear whey above my fingers in the picture; the curds squished down under my hand. I added in some extra time, because it didn't seem to be as firm as it should have after the initial 5 minutes. But it still didn't look any firmer after another 5, so I decided that since I couldn't 'pour off the whey' as instructed, I would strain it through cheesecloth instead. It seems to have worked just fine.


I kept pouring off the whey that was left. Then heated it in the microwave, until it was hot enough to stretch like this:


And eventually make a ball like this (yes, that's bathrobe sleeve peeking out - cheesemaking took precedence over getting dressed. I have a problem, folks.)


Which was then plunged in cold water, wrapped, and plunked in the fridge, ready to be eaten!
And the finished product, I first tossed with spaghetti squash, fresh oregano, tomatoes, and a bit of salt and pepper, as seen in the first picture. When heated, the mozza melts into delicious globs. Yum.

We did a bit of figuring, and it seems like it works out to be about the same price to make a pound of mozza as to buy it. No serious number crunching, just a bit of guesstimating. But if you can get half price organic milk, I think you're set, Bette.

Incidentally, this is my first post using the BlogPress app, and although it's taken me awhile to figure out a few things (how to rearrange pictures (still haven't figured this one out) and add links, primarily), it's pretty adequate.

*Edited to add: although BlogPress does seem to leave black holes where RAW format pictures should be. Now fixed.*

6 comments:

  1. Very cool! Cheesemaking has been on my to-do list forEVER. :)

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  2. I tried cheese making a few years ago and your batch was way more successful than mine (ha ha!) =) I bet eating it was extra delicious because it was made from scratch, with love.

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  3. Excellent! You did a great job! I need to get my butt in gear and try it out. :)

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  4. I so want to do this! You make this look easy and the cheese sounds delicious! Thank you.

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  5. Yay! I ordered the same kit last week. Glad to see you had success with it. I can't wait to try. Have you tried it on pizza yet??? I might use my Foxhill milk for it that I picked up on the weekend. Yum.

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