I had decided years ago that someday I was going to start making fresh mozzarella. There is nothing quite like fresh pulled mozzarella. It is so soft and tender that it can melt in your mouth. I had talked with people that told me it was so easy. I had read instructions, watched YouTube demonstrations, read blog after blog. After all if you want correct information, bloggers are the perfect source...right?
I spent a day in search of the perfect ingredients. I had purchased citric acid, rennet tablets and vegetable rennet liquid, and the freshest local whole milk I could find. I had several recipes that I had compared and taken notes on. I had bookmarked several different YouTube "how to" videos.
I WAS ready. I was ready to become the next great cheesemonger. Bring it!
I am about to share with you photos of my 5th and 6th attempt to make the perfect mozzarella.
My first attempt was probably my best. However, the cheese had the consistency of a rubber super ball, no flavor and did not melt. "Hmmm it must have been the microwaving of the curd", said I. I only assumed that 30 minutes to fresh mozzarella was a myth...a blogger lie???
My next attempt took 3 hours to get the perfect curd. I watched with anticipation. I was certain my second attempt was my great success. FAIL! After dripping the curd tied up in cheesecloth attached to a cupboard knob in my kitchen overnight, I carefully untied and unraveled the cheese cloth to see beautiful curd. I cut the curd carefully, Nibbled on a bit of the curd. Needs salt. I warmed a gallon of salty water to 170 degrees and placed my lovely curd into the water. Right before my eyes my curd dissolved. NOOOOOO!!
I was not going to let mozzarella beat me. I was never going to purchase rubbery mozzarella again.
I carefully watched the temperature of my milk and citric acid with my handy instant read thermometer, I carefully lifted the curd and ever so lovingly drained the whey.
My next two attempts...FAIL!
On my final attempt I decided to try two different recipes side-by-side. Everything was going so well. That's when I decided to adjust the cheese cloth a bit before tying string around the ball of curd to drain the whey while it dripped slowly into a bowl.
One corner of the cheesecloth slipped from my fingers and that's when the disaster occurred. Every bit of curd came gushing out of the cheesecloth. I had cheese curd mixed with whey splashing all over me and my kitchen. Just like a big baby hurling regurgitated milk.
The explosion was a brief moment that would take me hours to clean up.
I started to laugh, but wanted to cry. Quick grab the camera! This is a post in the making.
I looked at my kitchen floor. It resembled what my floor looked like when I had a baby who spit up ALL the time. I remember walking down the halls of my church when a little boy said, "hey lady your baby just barfed". I turned around and sure enough all the way down the hall there were splats of baby puke that completely resembled this scene. Not to mention that it smelled about the same.
I had curds and whey all down the front of me and on my shoes. It was everywhere.
You know that husband of mine that rarely reads my blog? He walked into the kitchen took a look at me and the kitchen floor and simply said, "Give it up"!
To which I shouted, "NEEEVVVAAA"!!!
All is not lost. My kitchen floor is clean. My cupboards are mostly clean. I have buckets of curd. I'm pretty sure I basically have made ricotta the HARD way. I have GALLONS of whey. I can hold my head high and say that I tried.
In the end I am defeated. I give up. As cool as this looks hanging in my kitchen I have to admit I have been beaten. Fresh mozzarella has taken me down. The price of fresh pulled mozzarella pales in comparison. I'm taking a break from the cheese business.
C'est la vie.