Quilter, sewer, cook, baker, house slave, blogger, cheese-maker. Say what?!?! Yes, you read that right...I'm now a cheese-maker, not to be confused with a cheese-head, that would be a Green Bay Packer fan of which I am not. I am a cheese-maker. A title I proudly tout because my cheese-making abilities have been hard won. Never once, in my wild, wild west dreams, did I ever contemplate making cheese...I'm not that person. I don't own cows or goats (and I'm not sure I even know the difference between the two), I don't wear Birkenstocks (with or without socks), I've never had a grande-soy-chai-latte-with-room, I don't drive a Prius or have an electric charging station in my garage, and I don't have a Jesus-Fish bumper sticker on my car....plus, the word curd frightens me. Let me put it to you this way...Little Miss Muffet who sat on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey...she's no friend of mine. But. But, but, but...I am now a cheese-maker.
After I read The Pioneer Woman's post about making Mozzarella, I started thinking, in the deep recesses of my brain, that maybe, one day, I would make cheese. And then The Fashionista told me she had purchased a cheese making kit and went on and on about how easy it was...so I revisited Pioneer Woman's post...studied her pretty pictures...tried to read between the lines for any unspoken dangers...but found nothing. It all sounded so easy. One gallon of milk, a little citric acid, a little rennent tablet and thirty minutes later, fresh, homemade Mozzarella in all it's glory would be mine! I rounded up some like-minded-wanna-be-cheese-makers, (including The Fashionista who offered to bring her kit but I pooh-poohed that, we would need no kit!) and invited them to come make cheese and promised we would have fresh Mozzarella on freshly baked bread...fresh Mozzarella with our roasted tomato salad...fresh Mozzarella with steaming bowls of mushroom soup...fresh Mozzarella with a slice of straight-from-the-oven apple tart...I was delirious with excitement!
Our Mozzarella cheese making was a complete and total FAILURE! Six women, reading and re-reading Pioneer Woman's instructions...doing exactly as she recommended...and after TWO HOURS, instead of the promised thirty minutes, we had one little ball of cheese...it was rubbery with bits of something in it...still...we ate it - we had made cheese, such as it was.
There it is...beautiful, no? It tasted okay, but none of us wanted seconds...which was good because there weren't any! Things didn't go according to plan but time spent in the kitchen with friends is always good ...even without fresh cheese. Two gallons of milk went down the drain, the ladies left and I was finishing up the last of the dishes when The Fashionista called and read me the directions that came in her kit...there was NO MENTION of adding salt at the beginning...The Pioneer Woman's instructions were not very clear, not precise, and even though we followed them closely, she mis-led us by mentioning salt at the wrong time!
So...if YOU are going to make Mozzarella, and I really hope you do, do NOT follow Pioneer Woman's instructions! Several days after our failed experiment, I tried again, this time I followed the directions I found on Instructables.com, they were clear and precise, with easy to follow step-by-step instructions, and great pictures and after I had completed the last step, I had made mozzarella!
The mozzarella was delicious on it's own, but sprinkled with Italian herbs, it was amazing...better than anything I could buy, that's for sure! When you have an extra gallon of milk and an hour of time, make mozzarella...follow the directions at Instructables.com and you'll be a cheese-maker, just like me!