A couple of links to get out of the way, then the story of the cheese what I made.
-- Can you imagine the NYT Dining and Wine section running a story like this about male TV cooks? Yeah, me neither.
-- The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty has launched a video that shows how the most average of women can become gorgeous in a photo. Hint: it has nothing to do with genes or Dove products. (Stolen from Ann Douglas.)
The story of the cheese:
Inspired by Katy at Knitterpated, I ordered a cheese making kit from New England Cheesemaking Supply Co. By and large, the kit was well thought out. My only complaint is that someone needs to copyedit the enclosed booklets. This is an occupational hazard. I was half-tempted to do it myself and mail a copy back -- but I never know how that will go over and don't want to come off like a total snot.
Perhaps I shouldn't use the word snot and a picture of fresh cheese curds so close together...
Heating a gallon of whole milk and citric acid to 88 degrees. Note to self: use a bigger pot.
After adding the rennet. Two things:
First, this part of the process is olfactorily challenging if you've ever had a baby who spit up a lot.
Second, I'm going to a) use more rennet, b) let sit for longer and/or c) use unhomogenized milk next time so that I can get a firmer curd.
The curd, after a couple of heating/draining cycles.
Maddy wanted to know when we were going to have all of the cheesemaking fun I had promised. She decided blowing bubbles was more to her liking shortly after this. Kids.
After adding 1tsp of salt to the mostly dry curds, I started to knead. Next time, I'll double that, since this cheese came out sorta bland.
If my help hadn't gotten bored and wandered off at this point, I'd have pictures of my cheese kneading. As it was, my hands were too wet to touch the camera. You'll have to use your imagination.
After kneading it for two or three minutes, which *is* fun if you are the sort who likes to knead bread, my cheese stands alone.
FWIW, I had a great time and will do it again. As a family togetherness sort of activity, it wasn't as popular. The pizza we made afterwards was a hit, however, and M has been requesting the "cheese we made" on her rice cake pizzas since.