Homemade Weekend

I have been feeling extra inspired in the kitchen. With help encouragement from my long-distance kitchen companion, The Natural Ginger,  I gathered needed supplies and made the following according to some of my favorite blogger recipes:

Fresh mozzarella Cheese- Ree Drummond- The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Strawberry Chipotle Jam- Mavis Butterfield of One Hundred Dollars A Month

Finn Bread- My family recipe featured here

I had an excess of strawberries after an over zealous trip to the produce stand. This posed a dilemma, I decided to freeze them. Then decided to make a new jam. Not being a spicy girl, this was a stretch, but I made 4 jars, two have already been doled out to my favorite people.

Jam

The bread is a given with cheese, so it was a quick throw together.

The fresh mozzarella cheese was a personal challenge. I’ve wanted to try my hand at cheese making for some time, but needed the encouragement. After a phone conference with The Natural Ginger, it was TIME to give it a shot. I spotted some fresh (as in milked yesterday fresh) milk at the Olympia Farmer’s Market and figured it was fate. A trip to the local co-op, and I had all the ingredients necessary to attempt cheese.

Here is what is needed:

1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid powder

1/4 teaspoon liquid vegetable rennet

1 gallon of whole (raw) milk

2 teaspoons salt

Cheese

In a large stock pot, dissolve citric acid with 1/4 cup water.

Pour milk in pot and stir.

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Put pot on Med/Low heat until it reaches 90 degrees.

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Take pot away from heat, add rennet mixed with 1 cup of water. Mix slowly from bottom to top of liquid.

Let sit for 5 minutes.

In 5 amazing minutes the texture is soft but solid.. remember GAK? That is what this feels like. It is weird.

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Cut into 1 inch cubes in the pot with a long knife or spatula.

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Heat on Medium until it reaches 105 degrees. Remove from heat and use a drainer spoon to separate the curd substance into a collider.  The less whey the better.

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Drain in collider, until the least amount of liquid whey is present.

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Take in your hands and gently squeeze remaining liquid out.

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Put in microwave-safe bowl on high for 1 minute. Take out and squeeeeeeze.

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Back in the microwave for 35 seconds, remove and squeeeeze.

One more time for 35 seconds and squeeze/stretch until smooth.  Knead in salt to taste.

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Roll the cheese into itself to make a perfect little ball.

Drop into a bowl of ice water once totally cool, it is ready to eat.

This was delicious and has totally created a monster, I can’t wait to try again next weekend including adding my own special ingredients.