I have been wanting to make cheese at home since…well, forever. It has always seemed kind of impossible. When I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingslover, her family describes making fresh mozzarella as being relatively easy. Earlier this year I read a post over at A Good Appetite about making mozzarella with success. I decided it was finally time to order a kit from The New England Cheesemaking Company and give it a go. I read the directions about six times and had assistance from J and my mother in law stopped by to check it out. It really wasn’t difficult, and it is kind of like making candy in that once you have done it and know what you are looking for things get easier. I didn’t take pictures of the process this time. Basically, it involves heating the milk with rennet and citric acid. You allow it to stand, cutting the curds, heating and stretching the curds into cheese. I heated the curds in the microwave and I think the heat was really uneven. It was the only step that gave me a little trouble. I plan to heat it on the stove in a water bath next time. Next time, I will probably make it into a rounder ball.
We ate some of our precious homemade cheese plain with a bit of salt and melted the rest over some pasta with roasted red pepper tomato sauce. The cheese was really good and tasted like something we would buy, which in this case was the idea. I was ridiculously proud of myself for finally taking the first step in learning to make cheese. It reminded me of a scene in the movie What about Bob? when Bob goes sailing and can’t contain his over the top enthusiasm. I wanted to run around town telling everyone I made cheese!