Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cheese Please

Ok..this is odd in this day and age of grocery store conveniences I know, but since my hubby works on a dairy farm, one of the perks is being able to bring home a gallon of fresh milk every day.  Wow right add that up @ 3 bucks or so a gallon.  Now this is some serious whole fat milk, and we as a family drink 1%, that's what we like and what works for us, so he passed on the milk up until recently.  I started thinking, while planning to try a garden this year, hey I am going to grow tomatoes and basil and boy would some fresh mozzarella go great with that.  We live in a rural area of Idaho, our local store is great, but not know for their cheese selection, so with the fact that we are blessed with fresh milk, I started to Google how to make cheese... surprisingly, and unbeknownst to me...it's relatively easy.  I ordered a few supplies off of Ebay, spent less than 5 bucks, bought some rennet at the grocery store, and gave it a go.  Since then I have successfully made 3 batches of mozzarella cheese, and the whey left from that process made about 2 pounds of ricotta totally free!! And I have made 2 batches of cream cheese, with milk not cream so it's really  Neufchâtel.  It's fun, its easy and I find it very rewarding to save money on the grocery bill.  The down side of this money saving idea is that from one gallon of milk I yield approximately 2 pounds of cream cheese, so now I am on a mission to turn my wonderful bread maker (My favorite kitchen tool used VERY often) into a bagel maker.  I have NO clue how to do this, that's what's so great about it!  So Google here I come!  I am sure it will take me a few major flops, and a few recipe trials...lucky family taste testers.  I will let you know how it works out, or if I throw in the towel and hit the market!

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