Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I cut the cheese.

No, really!

When I first got chickens, I realized just how many of those chicken sayings are true (pecking orders, home to roost, shake your tail feathers) and now that I've made cheese for the first time, I've learned that you really do cut it. Who knew?

Dad came back from a weekend workshop on cheese making (yes, handmade dorkiness runs in our family) all excited to try his hand at it. We took a quick trip to Hendrick's to get some raw milk and made a batch this afternoon.

It involved some stirring, some temperature measuring, some cutting of the cheese (the cheese below has just been cut into little cubes), straining, and stretching. I made my Dad use the hot water method rather than nuking the cheese (you do this to get it to the proper temperature to stretch it). I'm trying to imagine life without a microwave because I think I want to ditch it since it's such a creepy way to cook. He cursed the decision a bit, but I didn't think it was too difficult to reheat the whey and use that. Also, cheesecloth would definitely be better than the colander which got little bits of cheese stuck in it. In the end, we had a lovely blob of fresh mozzarella which we ate straightaway. We cooked up some Hendrick's bacon and ate that along with it (sounds a little weird, but was very good on toast), though I will not tell you how much the two of us polished off. Just imagine an insane amount of bacon for two people to consume in one sitting and then double it.

I'm still not sure where I fall on the raw/pasteurized milk debate because I think that there are good arguments on either side, but for cheese making raw milk is kind of important. My Mom came back from the cheese workshop all in a tizzy about store-bought milk because she learned that they put bleach in it. Apparently, natural milk has color variations and US consumers can't deal with that. I'm telling you, people, we need to take back our food supply and we need to do it yesterday. Maybe I really will consider getting that cow...


Andrew said...

do not go there

Meg said...

That mozzarella looked fiiiiinnne. Next time I want a pic of the bacon.

made. by k.d.