28 January 2008

Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam

It's your faithful cheese queen signing in, at long last.

Yo, check me out!
Let's make some cheese!

As I've mentioned, I took a cheese-making class at the Zingerman's Creamery on Saturday. I was joined by my posse of Lisas (S and Z!) and four other cheese hounds for a two-hour course on mozzarella. And boy, did that turn out to be the best $35 I ever spent! We got a brief intro on the science of cheese making (bet you didn't know that all cheese has the same ingredients!), then jumped right in.

First up, we made cheese from scratch, mixing all variety of little ingredients into a big bowl. Rennet (I'll spare the vegetarians the details on where their cheese really comes from), water, milk, etc... With the right acid level, temperature, blah blah, you end up with a big bowl of this:

Once the goop has solidified enough, you take a long knife and dice it into long cubes like in the pic. Then you pour hot (I mean HOT) water in to cover it, then pour it out. Cover, pour, cover, pour. You're basically dumping out all the whey to make room for all the cheese goodness. After a ton of this, you finally end up with just a little pile of what is almost cheese. You reach in (it's still hot! ow!), grab the goo, and start stretching it. But not too much -- light stretch is what makes the cheese so fresh and milky. More dumps in the hot water. Eventually, you form balls and drop them in a bucket of cold salt water to set. And thus, you have cheeeese!


But there is more! We made that and I thought, wow, that was fun! And I get to take a bunch of cheese home.... Then they started distributing the curd -- time to learn about the easier way to make cheese, from, well, curd, duh.


In this process, the curd is a shortcut -- no need for milk or agents or anything. Just a bucket and a pile of curd. And lots of ReALLY hot water. Hot water, stir, dump, hot water, stir, dump. Finally you have another pile of goo, and you form that into some more cheese balls of yummy.

But it didn't stop there! We made some more balls. Then we made a braided log surrounded with myrtle and tied with a ribbon (for bake-age!). Then we made this crazy "water ballon" of mozzarella with fresh cream inside. And we got to take it ALL home.

The Posse
We Heart Cheese!

Then we got to go home and eat it! :) Mmmm.

I would highly recommend taking this class to anyone that loves cheese. Even if you don't care about making cheese -- I certainly don't plan on making it at home -- it's fun, and worth every penny. Do the math: one ball of fresh moz from Zingerman's is around $7. I came home with one HUGE round, 2 medium rounds, 1 tiny round (little pinch! for Rachel), a huge braided log, and a ballon ball filled with cream. For $35. AND it was fun! Hello? Do you really need to think about it any more?

And if that wasn't enough excitement for one Saturday, that evening us PPYL had our second Roe event, Get Down for Choice, at the Corner Brewery in Ypsi. Despite the insane weather, we had an amazing turnout. Better yet, everyone had a blast! The band, which I was quite skeptical about, was even awesome... even without lyrics! haha I'm so glad i was able to get involved in this group, and I'm sad that we don't have any events for at least a few months. Thanks to everyone for supporting us and coming out -- hope y'll had as much fun as I did!

Third Coast Kings

I Love My Peeps

For Sara: Where's Waldo
Can You Spot the SHS Alum?

*Note: Quick shoutout to PP staffer Kate who made awesome teeshirts to sell at the event. Just $10, and all the proceeds go to PP.

I Like Shirts That Are Awesome

*PS, Lisa and I went to Zingerman's for brunch on Sunday. Remember how I raved about brunch at Aut Bar? This was even better. I heart corned beef hash.


Rachel said...

Unfortunately, I already know where rennet comes from. :( But my cheeseball was delish!

Sara said...

The cheese looks amazing! Wish I could take the class!!! I still haven't made yogurt with my new yogurt maker. I guess I'm not as motivated to make my own dairy products as I thought. haha.

And yes, I see Billabong. haha.