Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cheese-making: The results

I said awhile ago that I was going to try making cheese from home, in effort to make more items in our house hormone-free.  And I'm certain that you have been checking back here every day, just to see how it turned out, right?  

Well, today is your day.

We tried cheese-making, and it was really fun!  It kind of took forever, so once I get the process perfected (or at least to a point that I'm happy with), I could see making it in big batches and freezing it. 

Isaac and I did it together, which was fun.  He was a little skeptical that we could turn milk into cheese, so he kept staring into the pot.

Honestly, there wasn't any particular step that all that hard, it was just something that you had to pay attention to constantly, so that the milk didn't scorch.  

That being said, there are a few things I need to work on with my technique.  Some of it will be easier as I do it more often - it's hard to read and focus on all 25 steps that have to be done with precise timing with a 6 year old constantly asking questions.  But as I get more familiar with it, I think it will be easier to do.

I forgot to add the cheese salt until the very end, so next time I will make a point to remember to work that into the cheese as soon as I can, as that would add a lot to the flavor.

I think I would also consider using the microwave to heat it for stretching, rather than the hot water, so that the stretching could go faster.   I think I also stretched it too much in general (in effort to work the salt in a little late), so it was tougher than I would like.  

Even with all of those "next-time's," it was still pretty tasty!  Isaac wanted to taste our results, fresh from the ice-water bath (which is the bowl in front of him).

Isaac voted yes on the cheese, and wants to make it again! (pardon the messy kitchen, cheese-making got messy!)

Once I get the process down a little better, maybe I'll put up a post on what I did.  We've been doing a LOT of made-from-scratch stuff lately - grilled fruit for dessert, cinnamon peach sauce for ice cream, spaghetti sauce with tomatoes from the garden (which I'll also use for pizza sauce), and even dog treats.  I'll also be working on home-made noodles, and a few other things on the list.  It's been a fun way for Isaac to learn where our food comes from, and a cheaper way to eat healthy, hormone-free, soy-free food!

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