I have been in love with the notion of making my own cheese for years.
And that love was strengthened when Ms. Kingsolver mentioned that it was – gasp! – super easy and so tasty in her book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.”
What if it wasn’t good? (I mean, I was horrible, horrible at chemistry….)
What if I made myself…sick?
What if I made others sick?!
Ms. Kingsolver assured me that I could do it (through her literature, of course).
Still, I hesitated.
Then, I noticed that a ball of my favorite buttery, creamy mozzarella costs about $10 at the local farmer’s market.
So, I went online and bought the “30 Minute Ricotta and Mozzarella Kit” from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company.
60 balls of home made mozzarella (“mootz” if you’re my husband from New Jersey) for $60 plus the price of milk.
(Exhibit 1 here: http://www.cheesemaking.com/starterspecialkit.html)
I watched the DVD.
I read the first few chapters of the book.
I bought a gallon of Maple View Farms’ milk.
I was ready.
I lovingly warmed the milk.
Dissolved the acid and rennet.
Mixed everything together.
Cut the curd. (Chuckled at my lame-o “cut the cheese” joke.)
Drained and stretched and heated it. (And repeated it. Twice. Three times.)
Shaped it into a ball.
Sliced it. (Again, with the lame joke! When will I learn?)
It was flavorless!
Insipid. (Not enough salt.)
The texture was like soft tofu.
At least there is some smoked farmer’s cheese in the fridge.
I will persever.
Next time you’re mine, Mootz….