I MADE MOZZARELLA CHEESE.
But to be honest, I really don't deserve all of your (imaginary) applause. Because making cheese? Not all that hard. Not too many ingredients. Not too expensive. All in all, it's kind of a snap.
Well, there are a fair few steps involved. But, like anything worth doing, If you commit and pay attention, you will succeed. And because I have a passion that's might be considered borderline pathological for Caprese Salad, I felt that it was my duty. To the world. To my husband and children. (But mostly to me. I mean come on, who are we kidding, here?)
I did a step by step (sort of), if you're interested. It's kinda hard to photograph yourself one-handed, and since my photographers were too busy to help, being completely engrossed in finishing and X-box 360 game (Lego Batman 2, DC Superheroes, for those of you interested) I had to do it my own self.
Like so many other things...
Anyhow, here goes.
1. At least an 8 quart pot either enameled or stainless steel. (Do not use aluminum, cast iron or other reactive pots)
3. A few measuring cups or something in which to dissolve the Citric Acid and Rennet.
4. A big strainer to strain the Curds from the Whey. (Insert Little Miss Muffet joke here.)
5. A long sharp knife with which to cut up the Curds.
6. A slotted spoon to stir the Curds and dip them out.
7. Large bowl for the drained Whey.
8. Small bowl for the Curds.
10.Nylon netting for additional straining.
1. 1 gallon (unhomogenized, if possible) Milk. Let the milk set out either in the gallon container or in the pot until it gets to about 50 degrees.
2. 1 Rennet tablet, crushed.
(This is usually with the ice cream stuff.)
3. 2 teaspoons Citric Acid, divided. 1 teaspoon is dissolved in water and the other one is sprinkled directly into the milk. (The citric acid is what gives the cheese stretch.) I got this in the heath food section of the largest supermarket in my town. Chances are that if Amarillo has it, so will everywhere else.
4. 1/2 cup water divided in 2.
5. 1 - 2 teaspoons salt.
I got the recipe from here. You have to see pictures of a man's hands with hairy fingers, but it's still a solid recipe.
When you're finished, it'll look like this:
And then after you pair it with it's natual mates, it looks like this:
I want to do it again, for sure. Mine needs more salt, and the texture was a little firm, but all in all, a win. Practice makes perfect, after all.