Long time, no see.. It’s been a while, friends.
…But 1 Thing / 1 Week is back.. and our second season debut is going to be cheesy..
I’m making homemade cheese and there are more cheeses to come, I’m sure.
Since we last spoke, I’ve occasionally been doing blog-worthy things in the last several months, so there will be some “reflection” posts to come as well.
We’re going to change format this time around. No one reads lengthy blogs anymore so I’m going to tell my weekly story concisely and with lots of pictures.
THIS WEEK: I’M MAKING CHEESE!
I love cheese. I’ve always wanted to make my own cheese. So, I bought a cheese making kit off of Amazon. The kit has a recipe book inside and I decided the basic Mozzarella recipe was a good place to start.
First, I needed milk. Pasteurized (NOT ULTRAPASTEURIZED) Whole Milk. I opted for this brand. My choices were limited at my grocery store:
And I needed to sterilize my equipment by boiling everything in a huge pot for 20 minutes:
I poured the milk into a very clean, vinegar sterilized* stainless steel pot:
*I boiled the other equipment in this pot, but all the boiling left a nasty residue in the pot so I swirled around a bunch of vinegar in the pot and used paper towel to scrub the inside of the pot to make it as “sterile” as possible. I don’t know if this is proper.
I assembled my Cheese Kit needs..
Using the sterilized bowls and measuring spoons above, I diluted Calcium Chloride and Microbial Rennet each in 1/4 cup of water. Did the bowls and spoons need to be sterilized? I don’t know, but I did it anyway.
I heated the milk to 88 degrees, turned off the heat and added the calcium chloride and the rennet. I heated the milk some more, stirred gently and pulled it off the heat once the milk reached 104 degrees.
By the time the milk reached 104, curds and whey had begun to form and I instantly got grossed out for Little Miss Muffet who sat on her tuffet, because this mix did not look like an appetizing snack.
I strained my curds and whey until there was very little whey left. I also added salt in this step. I microwaved the curds in a large bowl for 30 seconds intervals until the curds no longer looked grainy. It took me about 3x 30 second intervals.
When the cheese started to look like this, I played with it for a little bit and eventually formed it into a ball.
I MADE CHEESE!
One gallon of milk yielded a softball size ball of cheese. To celebrate its creation, I made a caprese salad for my husband and me and we loved it!
10/10! I would definitely make cheese again. I kinda have to make more cheese because I spent $25 on a cheesemaking kit. Next up, goat cheese!
It feels good to be back at this weird blog thing.