Monday, July 19, 2010

Holy Cow!

There was a knock at more door today. And there was my good friend standing at my door holding a gallon of milk fresh from the cow. In fact I think I freaked out and held the warm container to my face in sheer delight.


She had actually called me earlier to go milk a cow at a friend of hers, but unfortunately I was already enmeshed in the making of rice pudding and bread and couldn't get away.... but her showing up with the warm milk was still a surprise, and I was blown away.

Recently I have been making Mozzarella cheese from scratch - if it weren't for the fact that I am leaving in the next month, I would be attempting some hard cultured cheeses, but alas I do not have the aging time.... Mozzarella is a great compromise - you can still get the funness that comes from making cheese, without having to wait, and without having to use molds, cultures, etc....

Raw milk from a cow is a whole different ballgame. This may seem like an obvious statement, but even though I was expecting it, it still blew my mind. At one point during the cheese making process, according to the book I use* "the curds will look like thick yogurt and have a bit of shine to them". So far my reaction to this step has been along the lines of "yeah. Right. Dude. It looks like watery cottage cheese. What kind of fucking yogurt do you eat?". But my Mozzarella has always come out just fine and still above and beyond the majority of the Mozzarella you can get in the store.

Now. I love the milk I get here, but sorry Clo - I don't know that I can make cheese again without getting raw milk. Holy shmoly. Not only did the curds actually look like think yogurt and her description was accurate, it produced cheese that is awesome. I did overwork it just a wee bit in the kneading process and so it came out a bit tougher than usual, but I just think that really showcased the higher protein content and the higher viability of the protein. The stuff came together and got all silky and smooth almost immediately, and that just wasn't something I was used to. Even though I buy Organic whole milk to make cheese with, the difference between the milks was just mind-blowing. I love it when the difference in what you make and what you buy is so readily apparent. If only I had some little kid standing in the kitchen with me for brain-washing purposes!

I apologize to my new bovine friend for overworking the milk, and I won't ever do that again. Promise. Keep the yummy raw milk coming.

UPDATE: I made Ricotta from the whey, as I am wont to do. It is literally so so sweet (no sugar or anything is added, minded you. Just vinegar and salt) - I have never eaten anything like it. So I may have *slightly* bungled the texture of the actual Mozzarella on my first time out with raw milk, but the Ricotta was heavenly.

*This is, by the way, the BEST home cheese making book out there. Just FYI. She also runs the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company - and they have EVERYTHING you need to make just about every kind of cheese you can think of.

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