CHEEEEESSSSEEEE!

Oh yea! We did it. #200 is in the bag. This afternoon The Cartman and I made cheese. Mozzarella was what we were attempting to make, and eventually did make.

This is the whey from our first attempt that ended up making a pretty good ricotta.

The first time we attempted to make the cheese…well didn’t go as planned. The Cartman, culinary expert that he is, decided to forgo the instructions of the recipe that we were using and heat the curds and whey about 60 degrees too much. Of course he had some lame excuse and tried to place the blame on myself, but I wasn’t really involved when he was heating the milk. He left the burner on, bottom line, I don’t care what he says. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I was able to recover the ricotta from the experiment though. It needs a little salt, but tastes quite good especially for our first cheese mistake. So I guess that technically I could cross off #200, but I don’t think that I can take credit for attempting to make one cheese and ending up with another.

So we were down, but not out. The Cartman and I hiked down to the corner market and got some more milk. This time around we paid closer attention to what the book said to do and talked each other through what we were doing. I almost screwed up and didn’t dissolve the citric acid in water, but The Cartman stopped me before I dropped it in the pot.

The Cartman holding our first Mozzarella ball

Everything went just according to plan this time around and we ended up with a good sized ball of mozzarella. The stretching was interesting because the cheese is so hot and it scalds your fingers. I just kept working it and working it. At one point I thought that it was ruined and going to fall apart, but it came back together and got nice and shiny and firm.

The Cartman and the Cheese

Both the mozzarella and the ricotta tasted really good. I might be biased because we put a good deal of effort into making them, but I thought that they were very good and tasted the way that a good cheese should. The mozzarella with a bit of cheese salt…forget about it! Now I thought that we could have just ate the mozzarella plain, maybe with a little crusty french bread, add a little basil and chopped tomatoes. However The Cartman put together some pizza dough from an internet recipe that he came across. So we cut the mozza up and made some pizza with it.

The first one, this may end up being our theme, didn’t come out so well. It was a combination of no corn meal, thin crust and tomatoes. The ring was great, but the tomatoes soaked through the middle of the crust and we probably could have cooked it a little longer. All three of the following pizzas turned out awesome.

Pizza night with our fresh mozzarella

All in all it was a good time and I am really happy that this made the list, and that I was able to cross it off. It was a lot of work, but I learned a lot about what has to happen to milk to become cheese. I also learned that it is hard as all get out to find anything out of the ordinary in the small town that I live in. I had to depend on The Cartman to get the citric acid and rennet from a store in Santa Rosa because Ukiah can’t seem to bring those type of products in.

So until I get something else done…See ya.

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  1. May 2, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Congrats – that mozzarella looks awesome! I had no idea making cheese was doable in the comforts of one’s own home. Kudos! Would you make it again instead of buying from the store?

  2. June 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Valuable and fantastic things you have here. Keep on! I’m constantly looking to read on that topic.

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