Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Little Knitting and Some Cheesemaking

A few weeks ago I had one of those mother-daughter moments that every knitter waits for. I was asked to pass on what knowledge I have of knitting. So, I taught my mom how to knit. She actually already knew how to do the knit stitch, I just taught her how to purl and armed her with the Mason Dixon book. My step-father is in a Celtic band, so she has a lot of good opportunities to knit.

While mom was visiting us, she spent a lot of time reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. One section of the book that we were both intrigued by was where Barbara recounts her attempts to make cheese at home. She recommends the mozzarella kit produced by New England Cheesemaking Supply Company. Since dairy seems to comprise practically half of our grocery bill every week and can go even higher if we try to buy organic, I thought it would be fun to give it a go.

Started with:Boiling the milk:

Seperating the curds and whey (which I honestly found a bit challenging):

Weirdly shaped cheese with extra curds outside the bowl that got lost along the way:
So, technically, it's supposed to take about half an hour, but my first attempt took closer to an hour and a half. Of course, I was taking care of two kiddos at the same time, so still not too bad.

For dinner, we had the cheese with homegrown basil, homemade focaccia bread, and tomatoes (man, I wish I was more like Emms, growing tomatoes at home!). As Little Girl would say, it was "Yuuummmmy!"