Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Making Ricotta

While the Mozzarella making was underway, the kids were also making a batch of Ricotta.

They used citric acid in the milk, but they didn't need the rennet.

Julianne stirred and stirred to keep the milk from sticking as it heated.  Max was the temperature-checker, which was a worse job because he had to hold his hand closer to the hot milk than she did as she stirred.

They strained it through cheesecloth, then hung it from a wooden spoon to allow the whey to finish draining.

It was quite tasty with crackers.

And again, the process was actually simpler than I would have expected.
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Monday, April 1, 2013

Mama's Bank Account

I've been remiss in blogging about our FIAR co-op days.  For March, we read the book Mama's Bank Account, a book the girls and I really liked.  It was made into a play and movie titled I Remember Mama.

At our day together, we discussed bank accounts, cash vs. credit, and the kids did some interest computations to see the power of compounding interest.  We compared the book to the movie and talked about reasons for the differences.  For snack, it seemed like I had hundreds of choices but I ultimately settled on making gingerbread.

 In the book, it mentions Mama making cheese and our friends offered a cheese-making kit to use for the occasion.  We started out by making mozzarella.

Adding the rennet...

cutting into cubes...

lifting the cubes out of the whey...

squeezing more whey out after microwaving the cheese.

I was surprised at how easy it was to make mozzarella.  That ball of cheese in the last picture is the amount we got from a half gallon of milk.

We also tried making ricotta but I'll save that for the next post.
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