The previous recipe, my first DIY cheese-making blog, was pretty straightforward. But there was just one problem: citric acid was really difficult to find.
A cheese-making friend of mine ran into this problem a few weeks back—and she hasn’t made cheese since. The grocery store attendants didn’t know what citric acid was and figured she was using it for a nefarious plot. Perhaps she should have referred to citric acid as “sour salt” to avert suspicion.
You can order citric acid/sour salt online, but who wants to pay extra for shipping and handling? Rennet tablets were another “controversial” ingredient. My friend surprisingly never heard of rennet tablets even though she makes cheese all the time.
When my editor assigned me this DIY blog I figured, No problem. I was ready to tackle this project and impress friends with my cheese making skills. “What is that smell?” people would ask. “Why it’s that aged artisanal cheese that girl is holding! Did you make it yourself?” Indeed I did. “Astonishing!”
But then, pages of renneting, ripening, and brining, made me wonder, What in the name of Brie did I get myself into? I was never the kid who made friendship bracelets on the playground and Lego bricks looked more like candy than robot pieces. Me make cheese? Who was I kidding?
I was tempted to dump my unfound cheese making dreams down the drain until I was introduced to cheese makers of all levels in the blogosphere. Eventually I discovered less daunting cheese recipes that even I could handle.
And so, with a relieved sigh, I began my escapade into cheese making with homemade mozzarella.
DIY HOMEMADE MOZZARELLA
Since our first tasting of the Jasper Hill Cheese, I have been busy with my photo shows and HOME cheese making.
There have been several styles of cheeses made from my kitchen.
I have been experiencing a slight temperature consistency problem with my min-fridge "cheese cave" over the past couple of years in my cheese making. My cave has been running a little too cold for the cheese affinage (aging), average 50 to 55 degrees. Different styles of cheeses may require a slight variation in temp for ageing, some as low as 40 - 45 degrees which works quite well in the mini fridge but 50 - 55 is more difficult to obtain.
The folks at Coombe Castle are really very romantic—you can tell by their advertising. Now they've done gone and put up some instructions for making your own bouquet of cheese roses, cut from their passionately-tinted port-infused Windsor Red cheese.
Obviously, the striking creamy white and red marbling made Windsor Red stand out for a Valentine's Day spread; however, its firm, smooth but pliable texture was perfect for sculpting romance!
A red rose symbolizes passion, of course, but for more Platonic relationships, a yellow cheese-rose of friendship would certainly be welcome. But be careful when selecting your material: an orange cheddar flower would symbolize passion and desire. For nachos, perhaps?