Blessed Are the Cheesemakers

Oh what a time we had!

We decided to crack open the wonderful cheesemaking kit that our dear friends Tox and Shannon brought us. This past Saturday we made a special trek to Whole Foods for pasturized (not ultra pasturized) whole milk. We probably can get it elsewhere, but weren’t certain where, and we were quite sure we could find what we needed there. Whole Foods also has raw milk, which is supposed to be best for cheese, but as it was really pricey, we decided not to use raw milk on the first try. (You know, in case the magic didn’t work.)

Lucas dissolved the citric acid in chlorine-free water.

The kit came with everything we needed except the milk and the chlorine-free water.

Here’s our milk, frothy and cooking.

We slowly heated the milk to 90° F, added the rennet, and waited for it to coagulate the milk solids.

Then we tested to see if it had done it’s job. Yep, the whey was clearish and the milk solids (curds) were congealed and looked like custard.

I think Asher is praying to the goddess of milk, Hathor, here. Daddy carefully cut the curds.

The curds were returned to the heat and heated to 110° F. We had to make a water bath (185° F) and dip our colander full of mozzarella curds into the hot water. This made them elastic and stretchable!

Then we were able to   s  t  r  e  t  c  h our mozzarella (we ate some at this point). Stretching elongates the proteins (but I don’t know what that means).

We formed it into our heart shape. It cooled in its ice bath for 10 minutes and voilà, MOZZARELLA CHEESE!

Kitchen science is awesome. Now here’s the crazy part: If we had been better prepared and more experienced, we could have taken the whey, the byproduct of the mozzarella, and make … more cheese from it. The whey must be used within three hours though, and we weren’t prepared to start a new cheesemaking project then. It was time to eat!

Thanks, Tox and Shannon!

One Response to “Blessed Are the Cheesemakers”

  • kelly
    February 22, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Just so magical…


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    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

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