Thursday, October 25, 2007

Say "Cheese"

Claudia and I decided to try our hand at making cheese from scratch. A while back I went online and found these kits for making both ricotta and mozzarella. The kit included everything
to make cheese (citric acid, rennet tablets) and all we were to add, besides cooking utensils, was milk that was not ultra pasteurized. We sent the guys to the store and they came back with whole milk that was just pasteurized and not ultra. Okay, fine, and it was on sale, $5 for two gallons. We decided to both make a batch since we could use each other as a check. We followed the directions to the letter.
This is what a cup of cool water and 1 1/2 t. of citric acid looks like after a gallon of milk is added and heated to 88°. We then added a fourth of a tablet of rennet that was dissolved in 1/4 c. water and waited until the curd and the whey
started to separate. This is what it started to look like. It all looked fine but after waiting twice as long as it saidto get more firmness, we started to process it following directions, even tho' our batches weren't getting firm (the curd anyway).
We started to put it through a very fine sieve (which was much more work than was called for)to end up with this (maybe 1/3 c. and it was a combo of both our batches by then) that we processed down by way of heating it in the micro

to get this. It did taste like mozzarella, as my brother Bill attested to, but we (Claudia and I) were iffy about tasting it because of the fact that Claudia dropped it on the floor. I went on line and found a couple other sights that heated the milk more and so back to the store I went for another gallon. This time I also bought the alternative milk source (dry powdered milk and cream). We tried the cheese making again and this time heated it up to 95° with the same pathetic result. I have made the powdered milk ( add water to the powder) but it has to reconstitute for 12 hours so the continuation of the cheesemaking is a bit on hold.

Bottom line is (at least so far) that it is much cheaper and mucho more satisfying to purchase mozzarella from a reputable brand right out of the cheese section of the supermarket.


Anonymous said...

Interesting experiment. It is easier to make cream (as in cream like cottage)cheese. Use the same milk, not ultra heated, juice of 1 lemon for about 1/2 gallon. Leave covered overnight out on the counter. Next morning strain by pouring in a piece of muslin (white), (which you would have sterilized by boiling first). Twist the muslin tightly to squeeze the whey out.
Enjoy sprinkled with salt/pepper on sliced tomatoes and toast.

teri springer said...

That needed a spew alert! I scared Kaiser because I just burst out laughing when I got to the part about dropping it on the floor.

this is like when my best friend and I used to can, make applesauce, etc. We decided to go beyond stewed tomatoes and make tomato soup and ketchup. We did that once. There is no way all that work for such a little bit of ketchup was worth it. Of course, now we are both too busy to can at all (altho I do miss my brandied peaches, her dad's recipe for pears in cream de menth and a few other goodies). Girl, get your butt in the studio and forget this stuff! You are a great chef (I can still see you dumping the pot of shrimp, corn, etc, out on the table- YUM) but why make the ingredients?? Stick to the beautiful meals and the wonderful quilts!!


Beth in TN said...

I just read a blurb (Reader's Digest maybe?) about food dropped on the floor, i.e., the 5-second rule. Said it was ok for a few seconds, Skittles were ok longer than something else...chocolate??? Can't find it to quote it, but anyway, your cheese was pro'ly fine if you picked it up right away!!! Did you tell your bro it had been on the floor or just let him eat it and snicker??

LYN said...

Sorry, last year MYTHBUSTER'S (Discovery Channel) blasted that 5 second rule.

Many years ago Sunset Magazine had a recipe for cheese, tasted like ricotta to me, that was very easy and yummy. But this kinda cook'n is fun, yes?

Mary said...

Wow -- I'm glad you got that outta my system!! Making cheese has been on my list for a long time, now I'll cross it off!
I enjoy your blog and all your adventures!

Cindra said...

LOL! What a hoot! You have a bit more crazy than I thought. In fact, I don't know if you and Claudia should be left unsupervised for very long. The things you get into! And then testing contaminated food on the hubbies? Of course, you have written the check for the insurance policies? Too funny!

Anonymous said...

I believe it has to be raw milk.

Anonymous said...

It Looks awful.

s.j.simon said...

:) did you know how cheese was invented? It wasnt necessity, it was an accident, read this