I Fixed The Mozzarella!!

Well, I and Ricki Carol.  And the four guinea pigs at Saturday’s cheese making class.

Annie.  Guinea Pig #1.

Joe.  Guinea Pig #2.

Heather.  Guinea Pig #3.

Claire.  Guinea Pig #4.

So, for all of you students I’ve had in class for the past two months…today, we overcame the elusive non-stretch problem we’ve had in mozzarella making lately!

For some reason, students I had previous to two months ago, had very stretchable mozzarella, but starting about two months ago, only about 1 in 4 students could get their cheese to stretch!  We ended up with a lot of delicious, non-stretchable, mozzarella spread. 

I am always certain to make clear though, that you can hardly ever ruin a batch of cheese, as long as you’re open-minded.  If given lemons, make lemonade.  If given cheese that doesn’t stretch, make cheese spread.  It’s delicious any way it turns out, but if it doesn’t turn out the way you want it to or the way the book said it should, don’t get frustrated (too much).  Just give it a new, exotic name.  Let your guests think you meant to do it.

Anyway, I digress.

In all classes previous to today, we’ve used liquid vegetable rennet and tap water as parts of our mozzarella recipe.  Today, I stole a rennet tablet from my unsuspecting childrens’ Christmas Ricki Carol’s Cheese Making Kit gift, and we used the rennet tablets instead of the liquid rennet. 

Also, after much research into WHY my mozzarella was only stretching 25% of the time, and surmising it must be the atmosphere, the weather, the humidity, the amount of stirring, whatever the goats ate the day previous, the pots, the spoons, the liquid rennet…I came down to two conclusions.

1.  I bought new liquid rennet 2 months ago.  That’s when the problems started.  I notice that this liquid rennet hardly smells like feet.  The rennet we used up 2 months ago smelled a lot like feet.  OK.  Whatever.  Lack of foot smell.

2.  Some of the recipes I’ve found call for Distilled Water due to its lack of chlorine.

So, today, we implemented both:  New Rennet in the form of tablets and Distilled Water.

IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But I’m not excited or anything.

After it worked, I let my students in on my little secret…that they had been my guinea pigs trying out a new recipe.  But:  I only told them the secret because…

IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s quite possible they thought I’d fallen off my rocker getting so excited about cheese, but I do get excited about the small things in life.

Like when I first figured out how to use an Excel spreadsheet.  Or when I got Poultry Shears for Christmas.  Or when the Animal Whisperer cleans the kitchen.  Stuff like that.

So, mozzarella stretching is a huge accomplishment, in my book.

If you’d like to know the recipe I used, let me know.  I just don’t have time to post it now.  Or pictures of the recipe.  Just happy pictures of triumphant cheese stretchers.  And, a picture in my head of their teacher’s totally glee-filled day…maybe even week.

Happy stretching!!!

–  The Goat Cheese Lady

About The Goat Cheese Lady

I am Lindsey. At first I was a city girl. Growing up, the closest thing I had to farm animals were a cat and a cockatiel. In 2009, Herbert (my husband) and I bought our first milk goat and I instantly became an urban farmgirl, attempting to balance city and farm life..before I knew “urban homesteading” was a thing. That’s when we began The Goat Cheese Lady Farm, hence The Goat Cheese Lady blog you’re visiting now. After moving to the country in 2014, I embarked on life as a rural farmgirl. We continued teaching farm and cheesemaking classes, raising more goats and began construction on our cheese creamery. But life had other plans and in 2017, we decided that, due to financial and health issues, we had to close the farm for business. No more classes, no more creamery, a lot less milking. We went back to off farm jobs, I as an Occupational Therapist, Herbert in construction with his business, D&A Home Remodeling. At that point, I made a silent promise to myself that I would corral my entrepreneurial mind and focus on a job for a year. Well, it has been a year and I am back. Not to classes, cheese, soap or lotion, but back to writing. I love it. I’m not sure where it will lead me, but that’s where I’m starting. I’ll continue to write as The Goat Cheese Lady for now, and whatever the future holds, I’ll let you know. Our two boys are 14 and 11 and continue to be louder than my sister and I ever were. We have two dogs, Montaña and Flash, a cat, Jumpy, a flock of chickens and three goats. Yes, we still have Lucy, the goat who helped us start it all and was milked by over 1,000 people. She’s retired but still the boss. Chocolate provides enough milk for our family with some to spare for the dogs. Soccer friends, school friends, coyotes and mice are frequent visitors. There are way too many flies and every so often we see an owl. I’m glad you’re here. Sometimes you’ll laugh out loud, other times you’ll be inspired to appreciate the small things. My hope is that, over your morning cup of coffee or your afternoon work break, you’ll enjoy the antics and inspiration that are my daily life. Lindsey
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