Thursday, September 17, 2009

my first mozzarella!

Today a package of homesteading supplies was delivered to the office, and inside it contained (among other things) everything I needed to make homemade mozzarella. It was a success! There in the photograph you can see the fist-sized ball of fresh homemade cheese sprinkled with seasoning and a sprig of basil from the garden. It took me about 45 minutes and all I needed was a gallon of milk (any milk will do that isn't ultra pasteurized) a pot, and a thermometer. Right now the oven is baking up a small pan pizza made with my own cheese, crust, and veggies. I'm really looking forward to sitting back tonight with a movie and enjoying this first foray into the dairy world. From the smell of this kitchen, it looks like it's going to be a hell of a good meal.

And a few updates: The fox is still at large but hasn't returned. Last night's stake out just left me looking foolish and cold in the 43-degree dark waiting for a date that never showed. He stood me up. I should've been wearing a prom dress. On a happier note—the truck was returned from the garage yesterday with a new front end and brakes and she passed inspection today with flying colors! I now have my own pickup outside, and every step from the handshake deal to the final inspection has been cleared. My first debt-free piece of anything. (I'm proud of my Bess.) I was also able to pay off a small credit card this month, and while it's not going to shoot my credit score up into the stratosphere - every little bit helps and gets me closer to my farm. So cheese isn't all I celebrate tonight. This September is a month of small victories.

P.S. I have two spots paid and reserved for the Cluck n Strum, and awaiting payments from a few others. Not sure what the final head count is but I hope at least five of us will be there. So far there will be three of us for sure!


Blogger BJ Gingles said...

That certainly sounds (& looks) heavenly. Can you post instructions on CAFLocals?

September 17, 2009 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Sure! I bought the kit from Lehmans. it came with everything to make 20 pounds!

September 17, 2009 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

Oh man - that is so awesome! I've heard fresh homemade mozzarella is insanely good. Congrats on your new car and your progress! (I'm almost finished with a credit card, too, so I share in your excitement)

September 17, 2009 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger Dawn Dutton said...

Looks beautiful Jenna! Enjoy your truck and your meal...

September 17, 2009 at 10:05 PM  
Blogger karental said...

Congratulations. I wanted to try that cheese making kit. Thanks for the info. Hooray about the truck.

September 17, 2009 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger Turtle said...

isn't it freaky how easy mozzarella is!!?? i bet it tasted great too! i just picked up some raw milk on the way home for yogurt...was thinking of also making some mozzarella as well....hmmmm....! glad the fox has not returned! Now what kind of homesteading supplies came in the box?

September 17, 2009 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

I love making cheese - it's really satisfying! Yours looks delicious!

September 17, 2009 at 10:33 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

I'm so jealous of your mozzarella! I've tried it twice & the curd will not hang together enough to stretch, it's just gloppy. Soooo frustrating. But yours is beautiful! I have cheese envy....

September 17, 2009 at 10:47 PM  
Blogger P said...

“If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
Henry David Thoreau

You're proof.

September 18, 2009 at 12:42 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

The box had a 60" shepherd's crook, oil lamp wicks, a magnetic canning jar lid catcher thing, mint soaps, and the sheep supplies. Big day for me!

Robin, mine was like that too. I kept thinking I used the wrong milk, but what i needed was to really zap it a few times in the microwave to get it to that smooth/stretchy state.

September 18, 2009 at 6:13 AM  
Blogger Rachel B. said...

It looks so good! I've been wanting to make my own cheese for a while now. People wont believe me about how easy and not so time consuming it is.

September 18, 2009 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger Kate Mary Betty said...

Here is a great link for all you future and dairy product is for "Fankhauser's Cheese Page"...lots of recipes and even technical info on cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream and more...

September 18, 2009 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger Vonnie said...

I've been planning to to this since I read Animal Vegetable Miracle. You've inspired me to order the supplies. It looks great. I can smell the basil and hot tomatoes right out of the garden!

September 18, 2009 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger RayMan said...

This is for Robin (and anyone else who might be interested) - the curd HAS to be VERY hot in order for it to come to the "stretch" stage which is important for mozarella.
There is a place in Western MA from which you can order cheese (and yogurt) making supplies "New England Cheesemaking Supply Ccmpany", 85 Main Street, Ashfield, MA, 01330 owned by Ricki and Robert Carroll. Also - see Saveur (magazine) #68 for good info on mozzarella making.

September 18, 2009 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Lehman's oughta hire you as a sales rep---after I saw that gorgeous mozzerella, I went to the website & bought the kit. Coincidentally, I found a local source for raw milk just yesterday so next weekend I'm making cheese!

September 18, 2009 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I buy organic milk at the supermarket, which is always ultra-pasteurized and so can't be used to make cheese. I live in Pennsylvania, and I have not located any place that I can buy raw milk or organic milk that has not been ultra-pasteruized. I have heard that it is illegal for farms to sell to individuals as well, although I am not sure that is true. Does anyone have any alternatives for me? I would dearly love to try cheese-making!!

September 18, 2009 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger bookjunky said...

Awesome. Congratulations on your many milestones. Woohoo on getting Bess fixed up.

I have the cheese kit but I have been too timid to do it yet. Easily daunted sometimes. Thanks for the tips; now I will have to try it.

September 18, 2009 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger Karen Sue said...

Could be that your uncle's BIL's sister has a farm and you could trade something for the milk...after all, you are related!
You know what they say 'A watched Fox, never spoils' ..or something like that!! I think your next post should include a photo of you, in your best prom/bridemaid dress, on a farm stake out, surrounded by the animals you's plaid optional!!

Still haven't found all the stuff to make homemade bar soap, guess I might be sneakin' on over to the Lehman's site, too!

Oh, enjoy this glorious fall! I canned some pizza sauce, bought some local pears to can, waiting for the apples, 'bout got my elbow out of joint pattin' myself on the back....(yes, I'm leavin' out the part about dumpin' some jars of limp pickles..hey, I'm still a work in progress!)

September 18, 2009 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Sarah Rachelle said...

I am envious. My three, yes three, attempts at making mozzarella ended in ricotta failure. It tasted good, but it wasn't mozzarella. And I used non-ultra-pasteurized milk. I have no idea where I'm going wrong! Maybe I need to get one of those Lehmans kits and try it their way. Anyway, bravo - the cheese and pizza look lovely and delicious!!

September 18, 2009 at 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love making mozzarella. It never lasts long in our house, we love to eat it warm from the pot! Ricotta is easy, too and tastes so good with the last of the tomatoes and basil.

September 22, 2009 at 2:44 PM  
Blogger Darx said...

Oh, I thought I had finally found someone who had made their mozzarella without the microwave but I see from the comments you did use one. Has anyone made mozzarella *without* a microwave? Because I want to try it but all the directions have the microwave in them. We have one, I just don't like using it. Got the kit from New England Cheesemaking Supply but still haven't used it. Planning to take a class locally to get over the hump, but that's not until November and I would love to make cheese before then.

Congrats on your cheese, it looks great!

September 26, 2009 at 9:54 AM  
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