Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Make your own Mozzarella Cheese Recipe ~ Homemade!

Ok, so I've made mozzarella cheese two times now.  Two different ways, forgot to take pics the first time.  It is very edible and disappeared fast.  Great on pizza.  I will try another recipe later and take more photos.

Assemble your ingredients and supplies.  My recipe called for lemon juice instead of citric acid and rennet tablets.  I have no clue where you get those, these are from a neighbour.  I'm guessing a health food place would help you.

This is my big stainless steel (don't use aluminum) stock pot.  Approx. 3 gallons of milk, partially skimmed. Add 3/4 cup of lemon juice to this and stir.
Heat slowly, stirring, to 90F

Add 1/2 tablet of rennet that was dissolved in a little warm water.  Stirring.

Remove from heat.  Stir for 2 minutes.  Site 10 minutes and it looks like this:  weird custard jello texture.

Start slicing in 1 inch lines, then across the other way to make cubes.  Let sit 10 minutes and the whey will start separating again.
 See it is getting that whey on top.
 Drain off the whey.  This is where some recipes differ.  This is one version.  I won't probably do this one again, as see how full the colander was! Other version slowly stir the curds and heat them back up before straining.
 Picture of Bosch machine ready for the whey to be added and make bread!

 The curds
 I heated a kettle of water with 1/2 cup salt.  Poured it over the curds in the pan again, stirring...HOT!  Tried to stretch it out with spoon, not working that well so used my hands.
 Stringy mozzarella cheese!
 A bit lumper than the 1st time, a different recipe.
Yum yum
Don't forget that you can add herbs to your cheese like Dill, Garlic, etc and have a very nice fancy pants cheese for on crackers, etc!

Here are 3 recipes for Mozzarella Cheese
What I've found so far is that it doesn't always have to sit for as long as they say.

Mozza Cheese
2 gallons whole milk (8 l)
2.5 tsp citric acid (dilute in 1/4 cup cool water)
1/4 tablet rennet (dissolved in 1/4 cup cool water)
1/2 gallon water (heated to a boil)
1/2 cup salt (dissolved in above hot water)

Stir citric acid into cold milk,  Stir 2 min.
Heat milk to 88 F and remove from heat.
Add rennet.  Stir for 30 secs.
Let mixture stand for 30 minutes or until it gels.
Cut into 1 inch squares.
Sit for 15 mins as whey separates from curds.
Heat slowly to 108 F and keep well stirred.
Remove from heat and allow to stand for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.
Drain in colander for 15 min.
Cut curd into 1 inch strips and lay criss-cross in a bowl.
Pour hot salt water over curd strips and stretch with a wooden spoon, pulling up and down until soft.
Gather and shape in a ball.  Place in container or mold and refrigerate

2. Mozza Cheese
Pour 3 gallons of milk ( cream included ) in big pan
Add 3/4 c/ lemon juice
heat until 88' .Turn stove off and add 1/2 tablet of rennet, that has been soaking in abit of water.
Stir really good for about 2mins.Then let it rest  for another 10 mins. By then it should have solidify.
Leave for 30 mins or longer ( sometimes I leave it for an hour ) and then slice in chunks. Drain though my cheese bag and squeeze all the whey out of it ( you can use part of that for bread making and the rest for the chickens) Drain well.
Put the curds back in pan add cold water until it covers most of the curds. Add 1/2 cup salt, and then gently heat until the cheese becomes every soft and stretches. I almost bring it to boiling. Stir often.
Then  pour through a colander, and when you can handle the cheese, knead it and it is ready to eat. Enjoy !!

Recipe #3  
What I do is. One gallon of milk (I fill my pot and it still works) Mix 1-1/2 tsp of citric acid in one cup cool water, then mix into the milk, stirring vigorously. Meanwhile dissolve 1/4 tablet of rennet into 1/4 cup water.
Heat milk to 90 dgrs. Mix in the rennet and let sit for about seven minutes. When you push your finger against the curd it should make what is called a clean break, the curd should split and you should see the whey fill in the around your finger. The curd will look like custard. Using a sharp knife cut the curd into about half in squares, back and forth and sideways.

Heat again to 105 while slowly moving the curds around to keep them from packing together.

Take off the burrner and slowly stir for 2-5 minutes (I usually do about 3)

Pour off the floating whey and ladle the curds into a microwave proof bowl. Microwave on high for one minute, drain off the whey and gently fold the curds into one piece.

Microwave for another 30 seconds. Drain again and stretch the curd (like you would taffy) The curd has to be 135 Dgrs to work properly. It will start getting really smooth and silky. If it isn't hot enough, microwave until it is.

Shape into a ball and submerge in cold water, this helps it keep it shape and keep it from getting grainy.

I have to submerge it quickly, because the warm fresh cheese is so yummy I could eat it all. (not quite, but it is good)

This sounds involved but you will have it done in about an hour.

As a footnote, I have done Recipe #3 using the microwave for 1 minute, then 30 secs. and another 30secs.  The cheese temperature was hot at 135F and I could quickly pull it with my bare hands and then form it into a shape.  I wrapped them in wax paper, then put in a freezer bag or container.  They will be yummy on pizza later!
The recipe took me approx. 30 minutes!
I shared this on Frugally Sustainable Click HERE

Monday, 27 February 2012

Riding the Range

We have a beautiful daughter who loves horses...ranch life...and is a bit of an animal whisperer.  She has a way to ease into them and make them love her.
"Little Joe"

Her pet...he has bad feet and a great sense of humor

Sometimes he gets to go along as the pack horse

"Poncho" a liver chestnut quarter horse
Poncho ~ never liked kids ~ hummmm

Our teenage cowgirl in her element
Hauling the pack horse Little Joe
He was after a alfalfa cube
 She says he is the most beautiful horse in the whole wide world and no one can take him, except her.

Airing out the saddle blankets and giving the horses a break

 Her half day ride to take out some salt blocks turned into a bit of a longer day.  Found a calf limping, so had to get the cow to cooperate.  Then Kate hauled Little Joe back for Papa.  A happy day.
Another view from the lens

Old corral that came in handy to get in an injured calf

Finally got the Mama to co operate
Time for a lunch break

Self explanatory
 She says she was seeing if the color was working on her camera.
We have been extremely blessed to be living on the same yard as my folks for nearly 4 years.  The wisdom and knowledge that they can impart is invaluable!  Take advantage of all learning opportunities from any person with experience to share with you. What wonderful memories my girls will have of their grandparents!  How blessed we are that they are young and full of vim and vigor!
Tea Time with Papa

Why you should always have a jack knife handy ~
make your own tooth pick~

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Horses are feeling a little frisky!

How blessed we are to quietly sip our tea as we watch the horses enjoy the weather from the comfort of our home!  Enjoy with us! My 14 year old Horse Crazy daughter gets all the credit for these photos.

We love it when the animals are "feelin' their oats" !

Starting to Incubate Chicken Eggs

2011~ As you may know, our daughter Kate has a laying hen operation of 25 brown ISA sex-link hens...plus 1 rooster, a Buff Orpington, "Cornpops".  We have been wanting to try our hand at incubating some eggs and pray for a good outcome of some
 fluffy little chicks.
We saved eggs for a few days, making sure they didn't get chilled and picking only the nicest, cleanest eggs we had.  We did not wash them, as that could remove their natural protection.   Nana read that the rounder eggs are hens, the pointy ones are roosters.  We had a hard time telling, so maybe they will all be roosters and end up in the roasting pan! This is a bit of an "old wives tales" but we thought ~ why not?
Here the girls are marking a "X" and "O" on opposite sides for ease of turning.

Empty incubator borrowed from a friend.  The little 60 w. chandelier bulb is attached to a sensor and if it gets too hot, the light dims or goes off for awhile.  There is also a little fan below and a little trough for some water to keep the humidity around 50% for the first while.  The little dividers keep eggs separated and then I just turn the whole base a little and they rotate.  We bought a thermometer with an added humidity check.  We check to make sure an X is up 1 night, then O the next.

Adding eggs to the incubator.  I had plugged the incubator in for a day as trial beforehand, but it took me 3 more days to get the heat even.  I thought I may have cooked the poor the little eggs the first day, but being at 100-101 for a few hours didn't seem to
affect them.

We started March 17, 2011 and as of March 22nd, I tested 3 eggs by shining a flashlight under them in a dark room....they have something floating around in them!  A little black spot, then a tail (spine?) and some stringy looking things. 
We are praying the bother is worth it in the end~  What a great homeschool project! 
Hubby made a little enclosure for the little chicks to keep warm in and we will take some photos of that later and keep you updated.