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Old 05-26-2018, 11:13 PM   #121
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bliss, I finally took the time to read your cheese diary. Wow, am I impressed! I know you say that "anyone could do it", but I'm soooooo sloooooow doing anything in the kitchen (or any other project, honestly), that the cheese would be aging in my hands! Or spoiling. I am thoroughly enjoying reading about the fruits of your labor, though. Thanks so much for this interesting thread. Now that I'm up to date, I can now keep up A couple of comments about things I read along the way:

Homemade cottage cheese sounds divine. I like mine with apple butter, Spice House/Penzeys Greek seasoning, strawberries, cantaloupe, or (don't laugh) watermelon chunks. Even better if you have some blueberries to mix with the melon. Heck, I like it plain, too.

The Gruyere with the imprints is pretty. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

I'm sure by now you figured out uses for the brie. If not, wrap in a pastry crust and bake. Yum!

It seems like no one has offered to bring bread, bliss. If I can come to the cheese tasting party, I'll bring loaves of fresh-baked bread. And wine. Never too much wine.

Thanks again for the great read.
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Old 05-27-2018, 08:24 AM   #122
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Cooking Goddess, bring bread and wine!


As you can see by the title to the thread, I thought cheese making would be a quick hobby and maybe I'd lose interest after a few months--but that didn't happen.


DH retired this spring, and so now when I'm making it he is a little more involved with the hands on stuff though he's always been supportive because, well, he likes to eat cheese.


Last night I was showing him how the curds for provolone, (one of his favorites) like rice, they are small and separate, then added to the hot water, started gluing themselves together and it was like magic stretching and pulling it into a ball to put them in brine overnight.


I make 'mother cultures' using the direct vat inoculation powders in skim milk, then portion them out into 8 oz freezer containers to use with each cheese batch. I'm doing that today.



We are pretty frugal here and this saves money. There is no way we'd go to the store and buy 30 kinds of cheese over the course of a year, it's just too expensive. With milk at $1.99/gallon, the 4 lbs of cheese in each batch costs about $9 and you can't buy cheese for that.


I could have posted a different post each time I made a different cheese, but, there isn't much interest in making cheese here and I think people are afraid to make it. It also takes a full afternoon to make a batch and most people don't have a free afternoon or want to invest in all the equipment for it.


The good news? No one will starve here if we have bread and cheese.
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Old 05-27-2018, 09:09 AM   #123
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I'll bring fresh-baked bread and wine, too!

Bliss, even though the rest of us aren't making cheese, many of us are interested in following your cheese-making adventures I'd love to hear more about them.

I'm still interested in making fresh mozzarella. My problem is that I fell and sprained my wrist pretty badly a few months ago. It's taking its sweet time healing I'm hoping I'll be up to twisting and pulling it by the time we have fresh tomatoes.
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Old 05-27-2018, 09:55 AM   #124
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GotGarlic, I hope your wrist heals well.


Mozzarella, and provolone, both are pulled cheeses. Most people think they are easy but they are more intermediate to difficult. An easy cheese is made into curd, then pressed, what could go wrong? Not much. That describes cheddar, parmesan and romano.



Mozzarella can go wrong in many ways because the ph of the cheese needs to be 'just right' in order to pull it and stretch it. Provolone is also this kind of cheese but it has an extra culture, lipase, but the method is the same.


There are two methods for mozzarella. The 'quick' and the 'traditional'.


The quick method uses citric acid to lower the ph, and it works and produces a mozzarella that will flatten and not hold it's shape over a day or two. It's not bad, it's kind of easy, but if measurements are off, it's off and it won't work. The taste isn't the same as traditionally made mozzarella. (it's like the difference between fermented pickles and vinegar/salt pickles, they are both pickles) Some people like it though, so you might want to try it. I've done it and it's not bad.



In the traditional method, (like the provolone), the culture is added and as the culture grows in the milk, it lowers the ph. It takes a long time, from the time you add the culture, rennet it, cut it, drain it, until the ph is low enough and if it goes lower, then you are out of luck with that as well. Maintaining, buying, calibrating a ph meter is another issue that takes time and money to deal with--I have one, it's a pain. So I make the mozz or the provolone on one day, let the curds sit at room temperature for 24 hours, then stretch it and make it into balls in boiling water, the next day, it seems to work for me. That's what I did last night, at 7 pm, with DH, in 90 degree F weather, with double insulated gloves, pulling and stretching cheese, because I like to sweat. I like the traditional method better for the cheese to hold it's shape and the taste.


When you make it, please share how it went for you. The average american eats 33 lbs of cheese per year, mostly driven by pizza, so mozzarella is the most used cheese in our country. That is enough reason to make it.
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Old 05-27-2018, 05:06 PM   #125
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Thanks for the additional info, bliss. I've been making the quick pizza on tortillas for lunch quite a bit lately, so I'm using a lot of mozzarella cheese I'm not sure I can find milk for $1.99/gallon but it would be fun to try it anyway. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:26 PM   #126
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The second batch of camemberts seemed to have worked out. I wrapped them all in parchment paper 2 nights ago. I couldn't wait to try them, so I cut a wedge out for myself tonight. It was good. I made notes on my recipe to brine for 2 hours and not 3 hours because I'd like it just a little less salty.



We are spoiled!
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:57 PM   #127
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I am so impressed.
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:55 PM   #128
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The brie/camembert recipe with the white mold. Turned out nearly perfect. I've been eating it, it is wrapped in parchment. I'm freezing 2 of the 4 of them, as I can't eat that much cheese. What a treat.






9 lbs of cheese curds, half white half orange.






This is the raclette, 4+ lbs. It was starting to get very liquid creamy under the rind.






I read a cute thing. Something like, "Milk one day wanted to become immortal so it became cheese". I like that.
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:23 PM   #129
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Now I want cheese, and that store bought cheddar in my fridge is not nearly as appealing as the cheeses in those pix.
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Old 06-17-2018, 11:28 AM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blissful View Post
I honestly didn't know what to expect either. Then I thought of our ancestors and how they survived or get any certificates of mastery. I don't have to make cheese to sell and I don't have to be a cheese master. I just want to learn enough to make cheese for my family. I so much appreciate your encouragement along the way. It's not rocket science at all. I have enjoyed the journey and I don't think I'll ever quit. What's not to like about making cheese. I get in the zone, enjoying the process, and then everyone is happy with the results. I love that. Just like cooking. A creative endeavor that everyone enjoys.
Will you adopt me? Then I will be family
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