Monday, August 15, 2011

Patience is a Virtue

Cheese Glorious Cheese, What Else Could I Ask For

So since that last time I wrote I have tried making mozzarella several times.  Each time it seemed to fail.  The curds never got firm and when I put it in the microwave it would come out way to runny.  The first time I thought it was because I had used to little rennet, since my wife had said the last mozzarella was too firm, the next time I thought it was because I used the wrong brand of milk, the third time it was a different brand of milk.  Finally I decided it was because my wife was not in the room with me.  When I made the mozzarella from the previous post she was there telling me to be patient, let the curds set a little longer, let the whey drain a little more.  Well she told me the same things again.  After scooping out the curds I again felt that the cheese was to runny and I was about to give up, but she kept telling me to be patient, to endure to the end, and so I did.  And I got some good cheese out of it.  Here are some pictures from the successful cheese making.

After cutting the curds into 1/2 inch cubes

Draining the whey out of the cheese, this is the part
that my wife had to tell me to be patient, I thought it was all wrong

This is me kneading the cheese, I wear the rubber gloves to
protect my hands from the cheese, its about 130 degrees

The fun part, pulling the cheese like taffy

Pulling the mozzarella into a ball

the ball of mozzarella

So as you can see it pays to have your wife tell you what to do.  Had it just been me in the kitchen I would have given up, I still think that the first time I got it to work, the curds were a little firmer.  But don't tell my wife I think that I am right. 

We ended up snacking on most of the cheese but last night I made manicotti.  The recipe I used called for three cheeses and guess what? Two of the cheeses I used were homemade cheeses.  The Ricotta and the Mozzarella.  I only had to use store bought Parmesan.  Next year I hope to be able to make manicotti and use ONLY homemade cheese.

Also this past week in the mail I got this little package.  YIPPEE.  It is from the Queen of Cheese (you can access her website from a link on the right).  The kit came with some cultures so I can make some different cheeses, some molds, some cheese wax, and a few other things I will need.  I was really excited.

Check out my post that is comming in the next few days to see my first attempt at making a hard cheese, a Farmhouse Cheddar in fact.

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