Monday, July 25, 2011

There is a first time for everything

In my first adventure in making cheese I used only the items I had in my house, since I did not have any Rennet, Citric Acid, or Cultures, I made a very easy cheese that almost anyone can make, Ricotta.  The ingredients I used were:
  • 1 Gallon Whole Milk
  • 2 squeezed lemons
  • a little bit of vinegar
  • various spices (I will comment on these later)
One problem I had with this first experience is that I was only slightly following a recipe from a book while at the same time trying to repeat the processes I learned in the  2 hour class I took at my local library.  All I did was warm the milk up on the stove using a doubler boiler after it reached a temperature (I was told in class what temperature this was but currently do not remember) I took it off the stove and added the lemon juice and the vinegar.  Almost instantly I could start seeing the curds and the whey separating. This could be seen by a slight yellowish liquid forming on top.  After letting it sit there for 15 minutes I poured it into a cheese cloth that was sitting in a colander.

This I think is were my 2nd problem occurred.  Since the cheese cloth I had was not very finely woven and appeared to me to have large gaps I decided to use two different sets of cheese cloth in order to catch all the whey.  In short the curds ended getting caught in between the two cloths.  After letting it sit and drain out for a little while I put what I could into a  bowl and seasoned it with salt and other spices.  This is my third issue.  When in the class I took the man teaching seasoned his but when we sampled the cheese I could not taste the different spices very well so I decided to put some more in.  The problem being that I used dried spices and he had used fresh spices.

So all in all this first attempt at making cheese did not turn out.  While it tasted "okay" on crackers it really was not very good.  But do not fear, I did not let this get me down, I am staying strong in my desire to become I good cheese maker.  I look forward to the day I eat my first cheddar or first Parmesan.  Keep reading to find out about my next adventure "Mozzarella".

1 comment:

The Nicholes said...

Doesn't parm take like forever to ripen? You are brave to attempt this sort of thing.