Nippa, the milk machine, generally produces almost exactly the amount of milk we tend to drink every day as a family. However, when one or more of us aren’t here, the milk can begin to pile up in the fridge. Recently I spent several days out of town for work, and Sydney had spent a week at summer church camp. That translated into a couple gallons that were threatening to go bad if we didn’t do something useful with them. To add to the problem, Liz had bought a half-gallon of cream from the dairy down the street, but had only used about half of it making Ice Cream and Creamy Tomato Soup.
Liz has been meaning to try making cheese for quite a while, and had even bought the rennet to do it with. However, circumstances never aligned until this last Monday. We decided to make cheese and butter for “Family Night.” The kids each got a mason jar half-full of cream to shake while I used the opportunity to teach the science of cheese making (yes science… I’m quite the geek). In the end, we ended up with a delicious ball of fresh mozzarella, ricotta, and braunkase (reduced carmelized whey). All of it tasty and none of it from the store. Nothing went to waste.
Just as luck would have it, we had run out of butter that day, and the butter we made got us through until the next in-town shopping trip where we could re-stock on grass-fed organic butter (man… that makes me sound like an uppity food snob, but there are good reasons for it).