Does that picture above show that face of a happy man? No. The love I have for milk has been tainted. It’s true. What use to be a companion to my Oreo’s or a slice of chocolate cake has become a gallon of hatred. How did this happy-go-lucky friendship go sour (pun intended)? Well, let me tell you. Four weeks ago I was racking my brain to come up with a Kitchen Mischief post that would rock my world. And rock my world it did.
I decided after many mimosas that it would a great idea to make homemade mozzarella. Yes, it does sound impossible but from what I saw on the internet it is rather easy…or so I thought. Here are the two sites I referred to – www.cheesemaking.com and www.leeners.com. Both individuals in the pictures and videos were very excited and pleased with their handmade creations, which sent me into cheese-making overdrive.
Both recipes said I basically needed the following ingredients:
* 1 gallon whole milk, NOT ultra-pastorized
* Citric acid (think lemon juice but in powder form)
* Rennet (renett can be derived from the forth stomach of a cow or rendered from veggies, let’s hope we chose the later)
I found all of the above in Whole Foods. I decided to go all out and buy a gallon of organic milk from my favorite dairy in Alabama – Working Cows Dairy – for $7.99. Good milk = good cheese, right? Whole foods only had the pill form of rennet (cow stomach rennet) called Junket, and only later would I find out that this stuff is a bunch of junk-et. Whole Foods also had citric acid in crystalized form. If you taste it, it taste like what you would find on the outside of a Sour Patch Kid candy. It is used to curdle the milk.
Here are the steps in a simplified fashion. If you want the full detail, click on the sites above…I don’t want to see those people’s stupid-happy faces again.
- Pour gallon of milk in large, stainless steel stock pot and place over medium-low heat
- When milk reaches 55° add 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of citric acid and stir to combine
- Gradually stir until milk reaches 88°
- Add 1/2 tablet of rennet dissolved in a 1/4 cup of water
- Very slowly stir until milk reaches 105°
- Remove from heat and let sit 20 minutes
- Remove separated curd from liquid whey (greenish liquid – Barf!)
- Place curd in bowl and microwave 1 minute on high
- Stir and remove excess whey, place in microwave for additional minute
- Stir in salt and microwave one more minute
- Knead like bread and form into a ball
So Diary, let’s take a quick pictorial journey of my milky hell.
Stop, Stop, Stop – I couldn’t finish the rest. It didn’t turn out right. It should NOT look like this!
So how do I correct this hot mess of cheese curd? Better thermometer?
Liquid vegetable rennet instead of pill-form cow stomach rennet?
Wishin’ and hopin’ and prayin’?
Four gallons of milk later, this is what I got.
So what did I learn? I learned that I hate making cheese like I hate making bread. I am not a Curd Nerd like the guys from Wright Dairy. And, that Little Miss Muffet can kiss my curds and whey! I am done with this dairy disaster! 😦