Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Home Ec

This past weekend I made my first attempt at making cheese. I say "attempt" because that's what it was. And it was unsuccessful.

Milk fresh from the cow (it's still warm!)
I bought fresh milk from a lady down the street. She only sells it in the early morning and evening, right after she's milked the cows. I brought water bottles down to her and she filled them right up with warm milk!

Everything's disinfected and ready to start
I was so excited! Look how prepared I was. I sterilized and laid out everything we'd need to make mozzarella.

Caitlin measuring our the milk
Watching the milk temp rise in the water bath
Caitlin came over to help. We carefully measured everything and put the milk into a warm water bath to slowly raise its temperature.

Where are the curds? Our first attempt is unsuccessful
Unfortunately, the curds never formed! We tried to raise the temperature more, let it sit more. But still, the mixture was as watery as milk. No curds. So after a while we just gave up. Still not sure what happened. It could be that the milk is not good for cheese-making. Or it could be that the citric acid we used wasn't straight citric acid; it had some other things in it. Or it could be the water.

Next time I try it I'm going to use real citric acid and bottled water. I don't think I can do much about the milk because milk is milk here. There's only one kind (outside of powdered and boxed milk). So if that doesn't work, then I might need to change to sheep's milk.

Another project I've been working on for months is my curtain making. I finally was able to finish them up this past Sunday.
Making curtains on a trundle sewing machine.

The trundle machine was actually really easy to use and I enjoyed it. Thanks to Joanne, my Regional Coordinator, for helping me out through the whole process!

Chris approves of our new curtains
Chris was pleased with the finished product.


Cathie said...

Thanks for sharing this. Your attempt may have failed, but at least you looked like you were having fun. Take care. Love, Cathie

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm so disappointed in the cheese. It might be the citric acid, but I doubt it. It's probably the rennet. According to the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company, "After the milk has been acidified, rennet is added. This causes the proteins in the milk to form a curd and allows the liquid to separate and run off as whey. The amount of rennet used in the different cheeses varies because of specific cheese requirements. Some need a firmer curd than others and some need a longer time frame for coagulation. The curds for each cheese are different." On the same site, which I didn't read before (of course) it says you CANNOT use junket tablets as a substitute for rennet. Sorry, that was my fault. Here's what it says, "No, you can't use junket tablets as a substitute for rennet. Cheese rennet is 80% chymosin and 20% pepsin. Junket is 80% pepsin, so it is much weaker than cheese rennet. Even if you use more of it to compensate for this, there is so much pepsin in junket that it increases protein breakdown to the point where there are problems when the cheese ages. Junket was made for custards. If you read the label, you will see that there are many additives in it. In spite of this, and despite the price of junket (not inexpensive), there are many recipes online for making cheese with junket. We think this originated when supplies were hard to find for home cheese making. Now that they are widely available, there is less reason to use junket." Here is their website if you want to read more: http://www.cheesemaking.com/store/pg/244-FAQ-Cheesemaking-and-Rennet.html

If you want, I can look at the Italian Market for rennet and pure citric acid. Or maybe Whole Foods would have it? I'll look next time I'm in Philly.

Anyway, love your curtains. Aunt Belle used to use a treadle machine and she could really make it go. She'd talk and laugh the whole time and could whip together a dress in an afternoon.

love you,

Anonymous said...

Katie, Sorry your cheese didn't quite work out. The next time will be better (now you have all the extra info from your mom. lol) The curtains look great and it brought back memories of me sewing on this antique treadle sewing machine my mom had bought and put in your Aunt Barb's and my bedroom. We spent many hours on that making halter tops in Jr. High to impress the boys. hahaha so funny!
Looks like you and Chris have a lovely little home there! God Bless, and Take Care.
Aunt Terrie

Carolyn Trumble said...

If you figure out how to do it let me know. They do not have cheddar cheese here and I want some so bad. This is what we should have been learning in orientation.