7.31.2011

My Adventures in Cheese Making

I just finished reading "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," by Barbara Kingsolver.  In this book, Mrs. Kingsolver makes a plea for "eco-gastronomy" or lessing our oil dependence by adjusting our diets (i'll do a post on that book later- it's fantastic!).  Let's just say I was inspired to get some "local" food into my diet, and since I couldn't find any locally made mozzarella, I was determined to make some! 

Last week "A Cup of Jo" featured this super cute DIY Cheese Kit by Urban Cheesecraft. After promptly googling, I found out that these kits are made in Portland and sold locally at Whole Foods in Seattle. Two Whole Foods and one rush hour traffic jam later, I am the proud owner of my own kit!
I started making the mozzarella with a gallon of Spokane's finest

Second, vegetable rennin is disolved in water

The same goes for citric acid (in a separate bowl)

While the gallon of milk is heated on the stove, you add the citric acid and rennin

Lilly was staring at me wondering what the hell I was doing, and if she was going to get some

Anyways, once I added the citric acid + rennin, the milk immediately started coagulating! It was crazy to watch it go from a liquid to something remotely solid in a matter of minutes. It was then on to scooping out the cheese goop into a bowl. Once you have successfully excavated all the goop from the whey, you microwave it and start the process of stretching. My mozzarella surprisingly started to look like mozzarella!

TA DA! The final product! And it was TASTY/quick. I think it took me only 30 minutes to successfully make my own huge mozzarella ball.

My family lounging while I was "slaving" away at the cheese. (There wasn't much slaving involved, it was like a science project but far more fascinating and tasty).



The circle is complete...My cheese got baked into the most delicious homemade pizza that I think even Barbara Kingsolver and Martha Stewart would be proud of.


Cautionary Tale to Home Made Cheese: Your friends might think that you have gone off the domestic deep end (mine certainly do), but this is the tastiest brush with domesticity i've had to date, so I will happily continue cheese making and I might even go so far as to wear an apron in the process!

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