Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Very Nice Shabbos

This shabbos was just especially, especially, especially nice. Shabbos food always has a special ta'am, a special taste, but this shabbos the food just seemed especially yummy, especially the brisket. I cooked it in a slower oven for longer this time (2-1/4-pound briset, 275-degree oven, 3-1/2 hours), and maybe that was it. Whatever did it, it was just really delicious. A very quiet day today. Lots of reading, and a nice walk. A nap on the couch. Very leisurely.

After shabbos was over (just before 7 pm), we had an experiment - homemade mozzarella! Two gallons of milk ($4 total) made 1-3/4 pounds of cheese. The other ingredients couldn't have cost more than $0.15. That brings the cost of the cheese to $2.37/pound, or about half the price of regular mozzarella. And this cheese was delicious! It only took 90 minutes start to finish, so at 8:30, we were eating our own cheese. It might not be such a frugal option, since we'll probably eat twice as much cheese now! Maybe we can stretch it out to last a week (ha ha). It was very fun to make - coagulating the milk, letting it ripen, cutting the curds, heating the curds, stretching the cheese, kneading the cheese like bread, and actually slicing it. Oh, yum. We really need a cow. Or at least a goat. Non-homogenized milk makes better cheese.

I'd love to make cream cheese too. I've made ricotta cheese before, which you make from leftover whey. You only get about 3/4 cup of cheese from a gallon of whey, so I'm saving all the whey in the fridge to be used at the end of the week. After a few more cheese experiments, it would be really fun to try cheddar cheese (need a cheese press) and some of the moldy cheeses. And parmesan cheese. Fun stuff. I told DH tonight that when we retire he should write his cartoon and we'll make cheese (DH's microbiology degree would be very handy here...). Sounds good to me.

Shavua tov!


Ella said...

Oooh, home made cheese... Has been a dream of mine for sooo long. Once the cost of CY milk comes down (right now $14 for 2G) and CY rennet is freely available, we can put a press in my garage :)

alpidarkomama said...

Rennet is meat, halachically pareve. :) It comes from an animal that is schechted properly, etc. Or it's microbial and very pareve. :) CY does not present a frugal option for home cheesemaking, or drinking, for that matter! :) Next I have to find out about molds. I'd love to make bleu cheese. :) Now I'm getting hungry; better go to bed.

Ella said...

Do you need to have a hecsher on rennet though? All I have seen on kosher rennet was OUD..

alpidarkomama said...

Gevalt. As far as I know, it needs a hechscher. Both of the rennets I've used have all been pareve, so it's possible if you ever decide to do it!