it all started with the book animal, vegetable, miracle by the seriously awesome barbara kingsolver. poisonwood bible, anyone? just as we were building our raised bed garden in our own backyard, i read all about barbara's family's year of the locavore, and i loved it. one of the things babs - can i call her babs? - does in her book is make cheese. she also cans, stores root vegetables, and raises turkeys. but the cheesemaking? she even included a recipe and made it sound real easy. and really, who doesn't pine for a rowdy night of cheesemaking? so i gave the book to my friend christine, who aside from having an organic garden in her backyard too, hosts a weekly CSA drop-off on her front porch. i knew she'd dork out on the awesomeness of the book as much as i did, so when she told me she'd ordered a cheese making kit online from the place the book mentions, i did a back-flip and headed over to her place. it went a little like this:
first, we heated the non-ultra-pasteurized whole milk on the stove after we combined it with citric acid. here's christine, stirring:
then we added the (vegetable) rennet, stirred, let set, cut into cubes, strained, nuked, kneaded the whey out, etc, and eventually, got this:
which, after much kneading, just continued to crumble. apparently, you're supposed to be able to stretch and twist the finished product - we were so sad when our cheese ended up more like cottage than string. ahh well. at that point we were a few glasses of wine in and all we could do was giggle. we did make pizzas, and the cheese? it's good! f wouldn't get near it the next morning when i offered her some, but christine said her kids gobbled it up. ahhh well. up next: homemade jam. and have i mentioned the giant phallic cucumbers we've got going in the backyard right now? sweet jesus. they are the best tasting cukes i've ever had, no joke. and don't even get me started on my role in our squash blossoms' sexual intercourse. gardening! so hot!