Saturday, May 4, 2013

My First Attempt at Cheesemaking!!

 I finally had time this morning to give this a try, and if I can say so myself, it's actually pretty good, despite the trouble I had. Note to self-buy new/fresh ingredients-don't use the stuff you bought years ago and never used!

 A gallon of fresh, raw milk. Not this mornings, but day before yesterdays. Look close and you can see the cream line. Lady is doing GOOD! Haven't made butter yet, but will be working on it soon-maybe sometime this week?
 Things are starting to heat up-this is most likely where my trouble began. I used old citrus acid and old rennet tablets. Thought I'd give it a try since I couldn't find either in the grocery store yesterday. I heated the milk to 88 degrees, then added the citrus acid and rennet, then let it sit for an hour. The recipe said it might take 2 hours-it did. It was supposed to get to a consistacy kinda like yogurt, where if you put your finger in it, it just kinda breaks. Well mine never did, even after the 2 hours, adding more citrus acid and rennet and letting it sit for yet another hour! So...
 I said to heck with it! I heated it up to 108 degrees now for 35 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Well I got to noticing that the curds-looked alot like cottage cheese-were sometimes resembling melted mozzarella-oh which by the way was the type of cheese I was trying for!-melting in strands. So I went ahead and drained off the whey, there was lots of it-and put it in a bowl and put it the microwave for 40 seconds. Then drained more whey off and kneaded and stretched it. It was HOT by this time-the recipe said you might need rubber gloves, but I don't have any in the camper, and the whey was still working out of it. Since my hands were a mess by this time, I didn't get any pictures. Anyway, it went back into the microwave for another 20 seconds at which time it was really hot, but I managed to get it all stretched and formed into a small ball.

Jeff had made it home by this time so he held it while I got a picture. After a little while in the frig, we went ahead and sliced it, and it's actually very good-Surprise! I took some up to Mom and Shorty and they liked it, too. Can't wait to find fresh ingredients and try again!
Jeff went with his uncle to pick up his hive of bees today in Navasota. Shorty got an email saying his aren't ready yet due to the cold and windy weather we've had this week, so that's another trip next Saturday. The wind has just been awful the last few days, beating the garden up. We've had to start watering, no rain in nearly 3 weeks. We do have little tomatoes, squash. cucumbers, potatoes and looks like we'll be picking green beans by next weekend for sure!
Gotta get out there and take some pictures-the sun is shining and it's beautiful out today!

1 comment:

Alison Bayne said...

I love to read about other people's experiments - good on you!
Hope to see you again at the Creative HomeAcre hop