Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Made Cheese!

So here I am, looking around the internet, and I see a reference to making your own cheese. I immediately dismiss the idea, since we live in about 200 square feet.

But the idea keeps nagging . . .

What's wrong with me? I'm a go-to kind of girl, what's with this negative thinking? Of course I can do it! After all, I cook all kinds of things in this compact little kitchen. I bake bread, make cakes and pies, roast beefs, make huge pots of chile verde, so why not cheese?

I look into it a bit further.

There are literally hundreds of sites covering this subject, but finally, due to the fact that we're currently in San Antonio, New Mexico, population 719, it looks like the easiest way to get what I need is via the internet.

To be honest, all you need us whole milk (fresh would be better, but I can't seem to find a local dairy), rennet (tablets or liquid), citric acid, a decent thermometer and salt. I'm sure that in a large city all of these would be readily available, so if this inspires you, get on the phone and track them down.

For myself, I went online and found this Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheese Making Kit.

At the market, we bought homogenized, pasteurized (NOT ultra pasteurized) milk and this morning, we set out to make us some fresh mozzarella cheese.

We started early, because even though they say it only takes thirty minutes, these things usually take me a lot longer.

That said, with the instructions from, in about forty five minutes, we had perfect mozzarella cheese!

The site is great (they don't call her the Cheese Queen for nothing). After looking around, I discovered it was her kit that I had purchased (although I'm sure you could get the ingredients locally).

So now I can add cheese making to my repertoire, what a hoot!

As an added bonus, apparently the whey is packed full of nutrients, so I now have a pound of beans soaking in the whey for later.

I see a dinner consisting of a big old pot of beans, some homemade bread and fresh cheese in our immediate future, perfect for this overcast day.

I think I'll try flavored cheese next.


Katie Johnson said...

Cool!!!!! I made my first cheese this year, it's on my art blog buried in around the month of October or November. I made cheddar and also monteray jack. It was the best cheese I've ever tasted and I only let it age for about 4 weeks because I'm so impatient.

photowannabe said...

Awesome Kate. I'll bet it is the best tasting cheese you ever had.