Brown Betty Farm graciously offered to host a bunch of up-to-no-good amateur cheesemakers at her house. Jillian, Alexis, Chris, Dianna, Erika, Ashley, my blue cooler of sangria and I showed up, ate great food and made some cheese. From scratch. Is that blowing your mind?
my copy of Home Dairy by Ashley English, a cheesemaking kit from The Homebrew Emporium and a few experienced cheesemakers. I just timidly followed directions and made a gigantic batch of ricotta while housing the incredible snacks everyone brought. Basically, though, you heat up some milk (not ultra-pasterized) and add in a little citric acid or rennet, then the curds and whey separate out and then you drain it. Voila! Ricotta! I ate it up with a spoon, I ate it on my toast, I ate it on crackers and on sandwiches and on pizzas. It is so creamy and delicious and nothing like store-bought ricotta. The mozzarella was might impressive too. I mean, it actually looked and tasted just like mozzarella. For some reason, I didn't think that would happen. Cheese used to be one of those things whose origins I didn't think about too much. Like peanuts or almonds. I never think about where those come from or how they grow somewhere and need to be harvested. I just imagine them appearing in the store when I want them. Sad, isn't it?
rice, bread, oatmeal, biscuits... and maybe other weird things. By-product reuse! Sounds gross, but it isn't.
More cheesemaking photos here and at the FSC Flickr Group.