Stretching the cheese
I've had cheese making on my food project list for quite a while now, and this weekend when I mentioned that I was bored, Pete told me to make some cheese. I didn't think I could find the supplies in town, but it turns out that there is a Brew & Grow not far from us and they had the 30 Minute Mozzarella kits in stock.
The kit -- you can get one at cheesemaking.com
As it turns out, making mozzarella is super easy! From what I can gather, the one problem that can mess up your final product is over-processed milk. Milk producers are now overheating their milk, even milk that is not labeled as ultra-pasteurized, so they can keep it on the shelf longer. (Well, there is a lot more to it, but suffice it to say, this is yet another byproduct of the dysfunctional food system in this country.) This messes up the proteins in the milk somehow which can cause your cheese to refuse to firm up.
If you are from the Chicago area, Oberweis milk is safe for cheese making -- that's what we used and it worked beautifully. As you can see, my cheese set up, although I need a lot of practice with shaping :)
Slices of our finished cheese -- yum!
One gallon of milk makes quite a bit of cheese, although I forgot to weigh the final product. We've been eating it straight up, tossed with pasta and tonight Maddie and I are making homemade pizza. It was a fun project and I'll definitely be making more cheese in the future.