A few years back I decided I couldn’t live without an ice cream maker because my kitchen counter didn’t feel crowded enough with the makers I already owned. You know, basic makers like the blender, food processor, coffee maker, waffle maker, rice maker, toaster, dirt maker (compost!), baby food maker, s’mores maker, ect. (ok fine, I’ve never had a s’mores maker, but I secretly want one)
I initially got the not another useless kitchen contraption eye roll from the husband, but I’m a maker kind of girl – and, well, I clearly needed to start making my own ice cream.
That summer, I got an ice cream maker and have made ice cream a couple times a month ever since. I’ve only had one flop (avocado, ew), and even if buy an ice cream maker solely to make cereal milk ice cream, it will pay for itself in just a few uses. Because you can’t find cereal milk ice cream at the store, and that’s a damn shame.
And lately I’ve been dreaming, pinning, (because that’s how we all dream now, in pins, right?) about making my own cheese. I mean, how hard could it be? I mean, Casey recently pointed out to me that her little Vivi was so fat she came out of the womb making her own cheese under her neck rolls.
Ok, sorry, couldn’t resist a your baby’s so fat… joke.
So I recently got myself a cheese making kit. Not a maker per se, but instead a kit.
The kit came with everything I needed, except for the gallon of milk. We get our milk delivered, so I had plenty of milk to spare, given cheese making day conveniently coincided with milk delivery day.
The contents of the kit (oh, plus a recipe booklet not pictured). Enough for 30 batches.
Gage insisted on being my helper (oh the joys of having a 3 year old sous-chef), so I gave him the task of reading me the instructions in his best pirate voice.
Basically, it’s a bunch of bringing the milk up to temperature, stirring the milk, letting it rest, bring the temp back up, mixing in a few key ingredient, draining whey, melting curds, and then some fancy rolling and stretching.
It was suppose to be easy. And I believe it is easy, when you do it right. Except I made it hard.
Note to future cheese making self: Don’t attempt to make fresh mozzarella while single parenting through spaghetti and meatball dinner + 4 kids in the same tub at the same time night.
Because you guys, it will explode your head all over your super out of control kitchen.
Trust me, it’s a recipe for disaster.
(I’m convinced this is the side of food blogging food bloggers leave out. You know, the photos of their ticked off and making epic messes, and shots of every pot in their kitchen dirty. They only show the pretty photos. But nope, not me! You get it all…)
But despite my poor timing to make cheese through dinnertime, I did it. Four balls, to be exact.
You guys, it’s good. In my opinion, it turned about a bit more like a fresh ricotta (which, come on, is not a terrible thing AT ALL) than mozzarella, but it’s still super tasty. We’ve been slicing it up, drizzling balsamic vinegar and chopped backyard basil over top. Even baby Paul digs it, which is excellent.
Next time, because of course there will be a next time, like tomorrow. I’ll be tweaking the recipe up a bit, hopefully achieving a more “stretched” mozzarella texture. Also, I hope to be all zen-like and make my cheese in the right environment. Post-kiddo bedtime with calming music playing in the background. While I sip on a glass of pinot noir, because nothing can go wrong when drinking in the kitchen.
**This post was sponsored by the Indiana Family of Farmers. These words are my own, just like those ugly cheese balls above. I TAKE FULL CREDIT.