adventures in live blogging and cheese making – now edited with links and pictures

With all due respect to Chicory, who did this first and better.  Please, note this is so far from a How To Make Cheese Post.  Really, you’ll learn very little from reading this.  We used local whole unpasteurized, un-homogenized milk and a cheese kit from the Cheese Queen.  Ok, so we cheated a little with the milk – one half gallon of it was not local, but can from PA.

5:56 pm – meeting on Elsie’s back porch involving wine and planning (let’s just note that there was a *very* cute girl sighted on the way into Woolen Mills).  References to drooling and “shinny smooth cheese”and then we tried to make our own batteries because I forgot my stupid MF camera.

6:01pm – decision made to start with a batch of mozzarella.  Decisions questioned and the thought of making mozzarella and ricotta at the same time put forth.  Also, “don’t throw out that whey!”  Some claim it can be made into lemonade.  We all say ew.  LB points out that ricotta takes longer and so we think to make it first, so it can hang out and drain.  LB is smart, but a poor animal namer.

6:20 pm – 1 gallon of local milk heating on the stove, citric acid added, heating begun.  Snacking continued, highlighted by cho-girl’s contribution of cheeses brought from her trip to the lake.  Waiting.  Waiting some more….

6:24 pm – peach tasting for Elsie’s next peach tree.  Beekman wins, hands down.  Okra pickles opened and tried.  Fab.

6:43 pm – still waiting.  More wine.  Cho-girl takes over stirring duties.  LB reminds her to “tighten up” and threatens her with a finger.

6:45 pm – 175º F.  We are, as they say, “pulling into the home stretch.”  They being LB.  Directions read heat to 195º

****it seems that somebody else was writing here – cho-girl, maybe?*****

6:48 pm – Starrhill Girl adds more citric acid, LB stirring, this immediately turns the cheese “weird looking” AND “curdy”.

6:49 pm – stove off. Curds and whey at rest.

6:50 pm – SHG leaves to get better documentating equipment. The rest of us will nosh.

****look, me again*****

6:55 pm – clearly, I’m still here.  Time to scoop out Teh Curds.  Crap. The laptop battery is dying.  There is photo documentation happening, y’all.  I swear.  Live blogging is hard.  LB seems to think this would all be going better if we were all naked except for pasties.  Heh.  Or not.  Not Heh.  Elsie relates a story about her SB cooking bacon sans shirt.  Heh.

******* left to go get the power cord*******

From here on out there are pictures – for pictures of the previous section, you’ll have to rely on the good will of Elsie.  Let’s hope she’ll post the ones from her camera.

7:30 pm – cheese is draining. 

Pot got washed in my absence.  Cute girl was not in evidence.

7:34 pm – mozzarella begun. 

Differences between the processes of the 2 cheeses noted.

Vigorous stirring well executed by LB.

*scams begun while waiting for One Large Curd to form:  buy a cow, communal housing so milking of said cow could be shared, buying of The Hard Cheese Kit, Herb Wife to be invited to the next cheese making to guest blog, smallest cho to come live with me and so he can have a kitten.  More scams to come.*

Also, N.B.  everyone present is bossy.

8:05 pm – curd being cut by Elsie.

LB does not yet believe in this cheese.  Poor cheese.  Heat is brought on.  Chicory’s cheese making guide is consulted.  Not for the last time, I’m sure.  Thanks.  Elsie is also, simultaneously, making a fruit fly catcher with yeast.  And whey.  LB stirs curds. 

8:15 pm – work on ricotta (Cheese The First) continued by Elsie. 

Ricotta done. 

And done.  Meanwhile, LB folds the now curded mozzarella and cho-girl deals with even more whey.  Anyone need whey?  We’ve got some.

8:23 pm – curds compared to mercury.

8:25 pm – attempts made to access facebook for currently nameless pursuits.  Facebook seems to have bit it.  However, we are *this close* to having cheese!  Woo!  And Hoo!

*not me again*

8:35pm – Starrhillgirl is kneading teh cheese! 

It is stretchy, but we don’t know if it is stretchy enough?  We are putting it back in the whey bath….  stirring, stirring….  Is it ready now?  She is trying again…oh, yes, a whole different ball of wax.  Or cheese.  It is lovely and stretchy and glossy, just like they say.    We have decided we need a cow.  2 gallons of milk have provided about enough cheese for a sitting.  A gallon of milk provides enough mozz for a very nice large pizza.

8:38 pm – There are currently four balls of mozzarella. 4 egg-sized, pullet egg sized balls of cheese. That ain’t much, y’all.

The LB reports she is shit faced. But that is a lie, although, hardly any water has been consumed during this process. The snacks prolly made it less likely for the wine to go to our heads.

8:41pm – the LB is now reading many recipes. We really need that cow.

8:42pm The adorable teensy tiny balls of cheese are sitting submerged in their ice bath.

“Getting firm!”, Elsie reports.

Moved on to the pursuit of drowning fruit flies, what with the gorgeous 3! kinds of peaches to eat and scrutinize, it’s no wonder there are some extra critters keeping us company.

More conversation about bread making – little balls of cheese all but forgotten?! LB returns with canisters procured from SHG’s car – for carting extra whey home. Some whey deemed better than other. Saved buttery, yellow delicious-smelling whey. Plain Jane Whey flushed down the drain.

8:49 pm – SHG has drained rest of yummy looking whey to retrieve more cheese from the pot. Conservation, y’all.

8:50pm Elsie is cutting the mozzarella!! Out of it’s cooling bath, it is pretty and firm, the Scrapings Cheese-to-Be may not Be, jury’s still out.

8:52 pm Elsie picked a tomato from her front porch bunch, basil from the back, and is layering everything together in goodness. Out comes the pepper to garnish the top of our lovely evening’s pursuits. A leetle heavy handed on the balsamic? We’ll see. I doubt it can it go wrong at this point. 

8:54pm SHG still trying with the bottom of the pan cheese. Grainier. Not so pretty.

OK, time to sample? please?

9:05 pm – done.  Whew.  Pics to be added.  Editing to happen.

*me again.  Ok, so to sum it all up -cheese making is fun, but not particularly ecomonical.  It took us 2 gallons of milk (at around $4/half gallon – local raw milk cheese is expensive, yo) to get the cheese you see picutred above.   Also, live blogging is hard and I think I didn’t do it right.  Oh, well.

8 Comments on “adventures in live blogging and cheese making – now edited with links and pictures”

  1. gypsygrrl says:

    oh my gawd ~ this was too much fun, even without the pictures!!! cant wait for photographic evidence to be edited in!!!

    i wanna make cheese. but it sounds way more fun with friends and alcoholic beverages included. invite me to the next, mmmkay?


  2. kp says:

    this was right entertaining, shg. you have a knack for keeping minutes. don’t deny it and pretend you hate meetings. xoxo.

  3. Calliope says:

    that was awesome.

  4. The injector says:

    whew. i’m out of breath and wishing for a lipsmacking bite of the outcome of your efforts!
    good work.

  5. yup, another sara says:

    Thanks for the play-by-play. I am thinking of trying this at home . . .

  6. lb says:

    Um….. My animal names are total genius!
    You just aren’t forward thinking enough to see it. Snip Snap is a GREAT name for a duck.

  7. Hysterical. Keep on liveblogging – you rock!

  8. Wistar says:

    I’m confused. Don’t grocery stores sell cheese?

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