September 27, 2011

grass magic

Did you ever think about the divine alchemy involved in the transformation of grass (natural diet of goats and cows) into milk?  Last week during our "play-cation" we took it a step further and made cheese.

[Since my Farmer was in charge of this operation, I offer not a recipe for cheese-making, but mere observation of the process.]

First was the heating of the milk, the addition of rennet, and the waiting for the curd to set.  We used goat milk, since that's what we had on hand from a family nearby.  There is thought that the process works a bit differently with goat milk.  At any rate, it did eventually set, with the help of a bit of calcium chloride.  The curds were most tenderly cut, and then reheated and ever-so-gently stirred by Spice, who loves any work connected to cooking.

When the milk reached the proper temperature, Sugar and Nice joined the effort to squeeze out the whey...

... and shape little mozzarella balls.

The texture was not quite what we'd expected, so they were dipped into the reheated whey, and turned out something like melted cheese.  They were enthusiastically devoured by all participants.

The chief cheese-maker (a.k.a. my Farmer) noticed a good deal of milk solids left in the whey.  Never one to pass up an opportunity to try something not in the directions, he scooped them out, wrapped them in cheesecloth, and pressed them in a cheese mold we had received as a Christmas gift years ago.  After a day of pressing (and tasting), he let it dry out for another day or so.  Not bad-looking, we all agreed.  Surprisingly, all three girls liked the pungent flavor as well.

Next up was waxing the cheese.  Lacking cheesewax, but not an adventurous spirit, my Farmer used paraffin, creating a double-boiler from his wife's cupboards ....

... and spooned it over the cheese.

We've been turning the finished product daily, inspecting it for aroma and leakage.  It's supposed to be ready in December but no bets are being placed on it lasting that long.

[sharing this page with Ann Kroeker for Food on Fridays....]



  1. Nice process and end product too! Your family was so involved! Happy times.

  2. Thanks! Our children love the doing, that's for sure. A productive way to have fun, and who can pass up cheese?!


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