Monday, March 4, 2013

Everybody say "Cheese!"

Gooey, melty, creamy, salty, stringy...and all too comforting, cheese. Most of us love it; some types of cheese more than others, and different people appreciate it to different degrees, but there is something spectacular about this food that seems to capture us all.

For me, I love the way it crisps up when browned and they way it melts onto a pizza; the creamy salty-sweetness goat cheese provides to a salad, and the twang of a perfectly aged vintage extra-sharp white cheddar, parmesan, or aged specialty list is long. But this appreciation has led me to search for a whole and complete understanding about what goes into this opulent dairy product.

It has been said that the longer two people are married (or live together), the more they begin to think alike. This is so true, at least for Cam and I! Each of us bought each other our most 'thoughtful' present for Christmas last year. It turns out that we bought the exact same thing for one another: a cheese making kit. We couldn't help but laugh!

It is a basic kit for making mozzarella but a perfect way to introduce us to the art of cheese-making.

I have a wonderful friend who has a magnificent homestead just down the road from me. She has a gorgeous Jersey cow that has recently calved, so milk has become plentiful. I asked if I might be able to try making some cheese for her with a gallon of this fresh milk and she said yes...and gave me two gallons: one for whole milk mozzarella, and the other for skim-milk mozzarella and a batch of mock Devonshire cream. So with this fresh milk at my disposal, I spent my afternoon trying my hand at cheese making!
(The following is an account of my cheese making process. I used the Roaring Brook Dairy Mozzarella Cheesemaking Kit and followed the directions provided. Please note: different kits or recipes may differ slightly, so always follow your directions to create the perfect cheese!)
Beautiful whole milk! Getting ready to start!!
After heating and adding citric acid, rennet, heating again, and letting it curds are beginning to form!! :)

 Now it's time to separate the delicate curds from the whey. I simply removed them with a slotted spoon and put them in a colander to drain!
 Much kneading and straining is required in the first few steps to remove most of the liquid.

 Finally, almost completely drained and ready for the microwave!
 After microwaving and more straining, its time to knead and stretch the chees again! I added the salt, stretched it to combine and formed it into a ball!
 My one-pound mozzarella wheel is complete! In one hour, I created this wonderful round of whole-milk cheese!!
Now...about that other gallon and the cream....
Hello, mock Devonshire cream!
 My mock Devonshire cream recipe is extremely quick and easy, and delicious with just about any bread, fruit, or dessert. I love it on scones and sliced fresh fruit!
For this recipe I used:
2 C. fresh cream (store-bought whipping cream works well too!)
3 heaping Tbs. of powdered sugar
2 Tbs. sour cream
Mix all ingredients into a large bowl and whip until semi-stiff peaks form. Serve immediately!

I hope this inspires you to try this yourself! Cheese seems complicated, but with the right ingredients and tools, a basic cheese made in your kitchen is acquirable! Give it a try! If nothing else, try the Devonshire won't regret this simple - and easy - pleasure!



  1. Wonderful, yummy and all other descriptive words meaning good for my tummy!!!!!!

    1. I'm so glad you are enjoying it! It was most definitely worth an hour! I think more cheese-making should be in our near future! :)