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24 August 2012 @ 09:02 am
Je suis un fromager, yo.  
Except, imagine the above sentence in Italian. Because... get me a tuffet and a spider and prepare to be amazed...

I MADE MOZZARELLA CHEESE.

I KNOW.

*curtsies*

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.

002

1. At least an 8 quart pot either enameled or stainless steel. (Do not use aluminum, cast iron or other reactive pots)
2. Thermometer.
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.
9. Microwave
10.Nylon netting for additional straining.

Ingredients:

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.
006
(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:

025

And then after you pair it with it's natual mates, it looks like this:
204079d2ecab11e1bb3522000a1e9bb7_6

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.
 
 
I feel:: awakeawake
I hear:: Community
 
 
 
Brendan: Sinfest - Chefsbrendanm720 on August 24th, 2012 07:16 pm (UTC)
I shall have to try it.

Which supermarket chain did you find the citric acid in? I'm kind of hoping we have them here in FL... Otherwise I will have to go to the internet and order it in.
Carrie Leigh: my idea of houseworkcarrie_leigh on August 24th, 2012 07:43 pm (UTC)
It was in the health food section of a United Supermarket, which is, I believe, a Texas chain. But the recipe also stated that you could find it in pharmacies, as well. I was absolutely shocked that I found it in the grocery store, as I'm forever ordering weird(er) ingredients online.
Brendan: Pleasantville - Rice Crispy Treatsbrendanm720 on August 24th, 2012 07:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah... We don't have Uniteds here. We've got the Publixes and the Sweet Bays and teh Save-A-Lots. I'll check out Abby's (our local health-food shop) next time I'm there, and In Publix, which oftentimes carries the stranger ingredients in the bigger stores too.
(Anonymous) on August 25th, 2012 03:38 am (UTC)
I've intended to try this for long time. You beat me to it.
NOW I have to.
Carrie Leigh: default icon and its majestycarrie_leigh on August 25th, 2012 12:20 pm (UTC)
I can only assume that this is my sister or mother.

I'm betting Em.

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