Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Say Cheese!

We've been talking about making cheese for months now. This summer we bought Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll (the queen of cheese-making). Then, with the harvest season well and truly over, Jeremy bought a couple supplies from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company. We decided to start simple, with 30-minute mozzarella.

This called for milk, citric acid, and rennet. It also called for lipase powder, but we didn't use that this first time around. Lipase just makes the cheese taste a bit stronger. You can also add salt, but we didn't do that either. We went with the bare minimum to make cheese.


(No, we did not put wine in the cheese!)

Jeremy put the milk in a big pot and stirred in the citric acid:



When the milk got to 90 degrees, he added the rennet and then things started happening!





Jeremy spooned out the cheese curds into a bowl:



After pouring off excess whey, the next step was to microwave the cheese a couple times for short bits, then lightly knead it like bread to distribute the heat:




The instructions said when the cheese "stretches like taffy", it's done:



Looks like taffy to me!



Our two balls of mozzarella, done in just about 30 minutes:



Jeremy did all the work because it involved a lot of handling hot cheese, and I'm a wimp when it comes to hot things.

What's a girl and guy to do with all this cheese? We gave some to the family right away - they thought it was very cool. We made BLTs for dinner (with fresh tomatoes that have been ripening on the vine in our basement and homemade bread) and we added hunks of fresh, warm mozzarella. So I guess they were BLTCs.
A day later we made pizza and sprinkled mozzarella over the top. I think we used the rest in an omelet the next morning.

30-minute mozzarella doesn't keep quite as long as its brother that takes longer to make. We'll be making cheese again soon. Jeremy is excited to make chevre and anything moldy, and I'm excited about cheddar. Boy it would be nice if we had a cow or goat...

8 comments:

@bdul muHib said...

My dad loves Wisconsin cheese and all cheeses. Send some here and we'll call it your Christmas present ;-)

cherice said...

that's awesome! so...is the thing the smurf is standing on cheese, too? i still think it looks like cake, but you said it's not. too much suspense!!! i can't focus on the cool cheese!

Aimee said...

Nope - not cheese! I thought it was obvious from the last photo and the smurf - it's mushrooms! We're growing Shiitakes. I can't post more pictures at the moment because the camera we have to borrow is gone for Thanksgiving weekend.

@bdul muHib said...

um, Aimee- I don't think you should use that kind of language on a family-friendly blog...

Jessica (your sister) said...

where does it say its a family friendly blog? Aimee has never been rated G. Who do you think I learned bad language from when I was little? Of course only I ever got in trouble but still, my big sister taught me those words.

Kathi said...

That cheese looks great. Years ago when I was first married to my first husband and living in Wisconsin, we raised goats and I made a lot of cheese. I miss cheese, but I miss homemade the most (we are dairy free).

Aimee said...

My husband would love to have goats so we can makes lots of cheese. But, not only are goats not legal in Minneapolis, we don't have room for them! Maybe someday...

@bdul muHib said...

My dad used to get up every morning to milk 20 goats before school. I'm not sure if you would so much want them!