"The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand? "

-Captain Jack Sparrow


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Homemade Mozzarella

I made cheese!

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And served it with the first tomato of the season.

Note- Despite a couple of hailstorms, our garden's still growing. Not going crazy or anything, yet not completely dead. And as I read about Finny's first tomato(es), I began to think that maybe I ought to be making special plans to welcome mine.

So I ordered myself a cheese kit. As one does.

When I told my brother (all excitedly I might add) that I had successfully made my own mozzarella, he asked if that was before or after the barn raising.

He thinks he's funny.

But I get it. It does seem old fashioned and maybe somewhat pointless. Cause you know, Wendy, they do sell cheese at the store.

But I have to say that as the milk transformed into actual curds it felt like magic. Like I should have been waving a wand over the pan to create such a miracle. It starts as milk, then I add a couple spoonfuls of special ingredients, wait patiently (or not very patiently, in my case) and BAM, it's cheese.

The English language (well, every language really) should have a word specifically to describe the satisfaction involved in curds/whey separation. I'm just sayin.

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(this is totally what it was supposed to look like as it separated.)

It's that simple.

Except when it isn't.

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(This is not at all what it was supposed to look like.)

This is one of my early attempts without the kit. The stench of failure was so great that it took me almost 3 years to give it another shot, despite a very thoughtful (and moderately optimistic) present from my love.

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"One of these times it's gotta work."

Anyway, back to this time. The one that did work. Once it's been cut and heated on the stove, you ladle it into a bowl, heat it in the microwave and then stretch it.

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And then you form it.

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It looks like cheese, smells like cheese and tastes like cheese.

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I'm almost entirely convinced that it was actually cheese. It may not look as smooth as what you get in the store, but it smells and tastes much better.

Next time, I plan to make at least a double batch. One for me and one for everyone else to share.

10 comments:

Amy's Old School said...

Looks fresh and lovely!

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Kudos to you--it’s a pretty log of yummy-ness. So glad you worked up the nerve to go for it again.

Alice said...

That cheese looks wonderful. I was beginning to wonder if you were ever going to blog again. I know you've been busy with work & life, but I've missed you. It always gives me such a sense of joy & satisfaction when something turns out the way I want it to. Hurray for you, Wen!

Janice said...

YAY!!! I too bought a kit and made mozzarella! It was way fun and yummy (got my kit from the 'cheese lady'). It was a really great feeling to actually MAKE cheese. Then some time later I ran across a blog post somewhere about making butter. .. in a mason jar. So then I did THAT and was like WHOA, I made BUTTER! (I felt like how I imagine the first person who made fire.....like I MADE this. lol)

I have yet to try making any other cheeses, but I'd like to give it a go. I think my supplies are probably WAY too old now though.

Litterbitt said...

Ya know, even when it fails, it's still RICOTTA!! lol.
Love your blog.

Melody said...

Those failed mozz batches do make great mozza-ricotta for lasagna. I've been known to use that alone for stuffed shells too with a bit of egg to bind it. Congrats on your fresh cheese. Another one thats really easy and so delish is Fromage Blanc. I swear that cheese gets me invited to more parties.

Chula Goolah said...

That's so awesome! Ignore your comedian brother's comments. Lol. You made that cheese from scratch and with love! It looks absolutely delicious. To be honest, I've never had mozarella with tomatoes and basil. I'm obviously missing out on something good. :( Will have to try it soon. Anywho, good job!!! :D

Dot said...

oh, i want to try this!

FinnyKnits said...

Barn raising...pffffffft. I'm actually taking a cheese making class in September, so we can be Amish together.

Or cheese eaters together.

Or whatever we are - together.

Nice job pulling cheese - it looks incredible!

Connie said...

i've only done this and it didn't work. guess i should try again with a kit....