I have another gallon of real milk coming today, and because a gallon of milk a week is really more than I can use, I ordered this nifty cheesemaking kit from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company.
Last week I made yogurt from the fabulous unpasteurized milk and I was shocked at how fabulous it came out. I followed these terrific instructions and they worked like a dream. In three hours, as the instructions claimed, I had really great, thick yogurt. I’ve been eating it all week. A quart and a pint of milk, plus a cup of yogurt as starter, made a two nice thick pints of yogurt once I drained off the considerable amount of whey.
The MH called from Michigan last night where he’s hunting woodcock with his main client, the Famous Author. I told him I had another gallon of milk coming and because it was too much for me that I was planning to learn to make cheese. “Cheese? You’re going to make cheese?” he asked, laughing really hard. “Why are you laughing at me?” I said. “You’re the one with a dead moose hanging in your garage.” “I know,” he said. “But cheese?”
As a society we’re so used to endless choice, to just buying whatever we want, that the very idea of learning a new skill because you don’t really have a choice about how much milk to buy seems totally weird. I mean, it’s milk! A basic commodity, something we’re so used to buying as we need it, so used to choosing between fourteen different kinds and brands. But if I had a cow, as my Milk Lady does, I’d have a steady and finite amount of milk to deal with every day. If I had a cow, which would have been completely normal up until about what, fifty years ago, then I’d be selling milk or learning how to do exactly what I plan to do now — learn to make cheese. My Milk Lady, the cheesemaking website, and Barbara Kingsolver all tell me it’s easy. So I’m going to make some mozzerella. I like mozzerella. And I have a lot of tomato sauce I’ve just put up. And some homemade pizza dough in the freezer that should be used up. And the basil is hanging in there out in the garden under the plastic. So yeah, I’m going to make cheese.