This past Christmas I asked for cheesemaking kits from The Cheese Queen. Everyone that I've told that to looks at me oddly. Do you think that means cheesemaking isn't at the top of everyone's list?
So far I've made ricotta and mozzarella to put in my favorite spinach calzones. The hardest part about cheesemaking for me is throwing away the whey. A gallon of milk yields about three-quarters to one pound of cheese and almost seven pounds of whey. There are recipes for making pizza dough out of whey (which I did for the calzones) and last night I boiled my manicotti in it and is worked fine.
Here's what mozzarella looks like after the rennet is added and it sets.
After you slice it in the pot and stir the curds around for a while you lift them out with a slotted spoon and have a lovely, silky, puffy pile of curds.
Then you dip the curds in very hot water and stretch them like taffy. After a bit you have a luscious hunk of mozzarella! How amazing is that?!
This is the leftover whey.
See what I mean? That's a lot! I'd save it, but that would take half gallon canning jars and more storage space than I will ever possibly have in my lifetime.
Because I'm playing with cultures again, I remembered all my kombucha and kefir making from last year. I didn't save my kefir grains, so I ordered some more and they arrived yesterday. My kombucha mothers have been living in the back of the refrigerator in a tightly sealed Mason jar. When I took them out they looked and smelled the same so I made two batches of tea and their brewing their little mothers out!
Today I'm dyeing twenty more skeins of yarn for Cozy! I can't wait to see the "re-do" of the place. Deb and Emily are working hard to everything ready for re-opening on Friday. I'm very thankful they're letting me have more space for yarn. It should keep me busy for a while!