I have a long lost brother who lives in North Carolina.
Ok, he's really not long lost, we just don't get to see him often enough. North Carolina is too far away!
Luckily weddings bring family together. Curtis and Chelsea flew out for Corinne's wedding and stayed a little extra to play and visit. I'm so glad they were able to come! I really miss having them close.
Curtis is the Cheeseman. For reals. He is currently working on his Ph.D. in food science at North Carolina State University. He is so smart. Just like my dad- so many good brains in those two. His research is dairy and cheese related. So he spends a lot of his time making cheese! Curtis and Chelsea haven't bought cheese in the 3 years since they moved to North Carolina. Curtis makes enough of it at work and brings home the excess he doesn't need for his research. Lucky ducks- cheese can be expensive!
My request while they were here visiting was to make cheese. Curtis recommended we purchase a cheesemaking kit from online because it had all of the necessary tools we would need, besides milk. It takes a whole gallon of milk to make just one pound of cheese. That's so much milk!
One afternoon we busted out the kit and made ourselves a pound of mozzarella. The kit says it has enough ingredients to make 30 one pound batches. That means we can make 29 more pounds of cheese! Yes!
Hailey started us off by dissolving the enzymes and citric acid in water.
Curtis added it to the milk and let it cook on the stove.
It felt like we did a lot of waiting for the milk to reach the proper temperature.
When the curds were firm enough we drained them with cheesecloth.
And squeezed out all of the excess liquid.
Back to the stove it went, just to heat back up in preparation for pulling and stretching.
Now our cheese is ready to be pulled.
Just like taffy. But not as sweet. But still so delicious!
Ta-da! One pound of fresh mozzarella cheese. It was warm and delicious. Even a little bit addicting. I love cheese. :)
Now I really don't know the science behind it all. When I see Curtis I tend to pick his brain about all sorts of topics food and cooking related. I know I asked all sorts of questions wanting to understand the science of cheese. And now I've already forgotten it. I guess Curtis and Chelsea need to come back and make some more cheese with us. :)
I'm thinking the next time we make some cheese we should also make some pizza dough. And maybe even some homemade root beer or ice cream (or both!), and have a real homemade pizza night. Yes, sounds like a good idea to me!