Wool in my soup

I am a 67 year-old grandmother living on Vancouver Island. I have crocheted, cross-stitched and rug hooked, but I always had yarn on needles. Recently knitting has become my primary hobby!

Location: Canada

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Last evening Bette and Audrey went with Peg to a party!If I could change the pattern on the sweaters, then I could certainly change the way I wore the sweater. The pattern in the book showed the cardigan being closed with a shawl pin or a nice button, or I-cord ties. That looked great on the model, but she was sitting still! Sometimes with these closings, they make for pulling, bunching and other happenings that don't look great on the model - me! So, I simply let the cardigan hang open and was much happier. I am so glad that I did the three inches of ribbing on the shell as is on the cardigan, as they flow together nicely. We had a nice time. It was an installation dinner for the new president and board of the Rotary club my DH belongs to! Thankfully it was a cool evening!

Now let's take some time out from knitting to make some cheese!

I have been listening to podcasts from Geek Farm Life and Andrew made some 30 minute Mozzarella cheese - he even put pictures on of each of the steps and I thought that is doable, so I sent away for the ingredients. Today I took a half hour and made some fresh mozzarella. Tonight we will eat it with tomatoes, fresh basil, sundried tomatoes, black olives, balsamic vinegar cream (reduced balsamic), olive oil and a crusty bread!

The first photo is of the different ingredients all laid out for the cheese making! It requires citric acid, rennet and Lipase (this is optional)! Any milk that is not ultra pasteurized is suitable, including milk made from milk powder. Andrew uses goat's milk, as he has a few dairy goats that they get their milk from and I would use that too, but no goats live with me!
You can see the milk heating on the stove!

You can see the curds forming in the milk after the rennet was added. In the white bowl is the cheese after it has been in the microwave twice and had extra whey poured off and it has been kneaded a bit! Now it is starting to look like cheese!

Below is the finished product, and then it sat in the bowl in a sink full of cold water. It is looking a bit more golden now - on the surface only, but it smells like fresh cheese and it is probably very much like cheese curds - don't try them - they are addictive!!

The book the recipe came from is Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll. There are lots of recipes and the instructions are simple and easy to follow. I want to try some of the hard cheeses in the book, so this could become as addicting as knitting. When I went looking for cheese making supplies, I just 'googled' and found a great company to deal with. Thanks to Andrew and Misty of Geek Farm Life for making the entire procedure sound like it could be done in any regular kitchen with minimal supplies and tools!


Blogger Marianne said...

Stunning...Bette,Audrey and Peg! Have you gotten your hair trimmed back, it looks beautiful.

That certainly looks like good fresh cheese to me!

11:54 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Wow, home cheese making! There's something I've never considered in all of my kitchen adventures. Definitely something to think about.

Your sweater set turned out really lovely, Peg. I think leavng the cardigan open is a nice way to show off the shell. Well done!

12:59 PM  
Blogger Faren said...

I don't think I've ever commented before, but the cheese was enough to tip the scales from lazy to curious.
There is a farmer here that sells raw milk, eggs, etc. I've boughten mozzarella from her once. While it tastes really good, it is very hard to use and I was wondering if you had the same problems. I froze it and then grated it like she said(freezing my fingers off in the process), but when kept in the frig it all turned back into a gooey mess and if kept frozen it is very hard to get apart. Do you have any suggestions?
Sorry to make this all about cheese, I love Bette and Audrey, actually all your knitting. Hopefully someday I'm up to knitting such pretty sweaters!
I'm really bad about commenting but rest assured I am reading!

1:47 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Your sweater set is beautiful, and looks great on you on your night out! The cheese is making me drool...I'd love to have a chunk of that to snack on right now.

7:04 PM  
Blogger LaurieM said...

Still love the set. You are one classy lady. :-)

3:38 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I have to second lauriem: I like that set more and more each time I see it. It looks great on you!

4:44 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

The set looks great! Congrats on their debut.

The mozzarella looks amazing. I had no idea that you could do this at home. I will have to check for that book at the library!

10:41 AM  
Blogger gail said...

I am impressed with your cheesemaking, but your sweater twin set is truly spectacular!! And you look so very lovely in it!

1:26 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Cheese-making: what a great new hobby! (No, I mustn't, but what you're doing sounds wonderful, Peg).

9:11 AM  
Blogger Rain said...

What beautiful knits. They look great on you and the colour really suits you.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said...

Delighted with the idea of cheese making - I always wondered how you got from liquid milk to (fairly) solid cheese and now I know! Must try that.

And the twinset looks superb. Well done you!

12:23 PM  
Blogger Christy J said...

Your mozzarella is as inspiring as your knitting. I was just "reading" (Audible version) Barbara Kingsolver's new nonfiction book: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. There is a chapter in it about cheesemaking and Ricki Carroll. You might like this book about Kingsolver's family's one year of eating locally grown food, if you haven't read it already.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

The sweater set looks lovely-that yarn has great drape to it, so I wouldn't do the pin thing. I have one pin that I use on a sweater-only because I knit the sweater on the big side-but I usually leave it out! Good work on the cheese! My sister lived next door to a cheese factory-until the smell drove her out. Was your cheese making, um, odiferous?

7:32 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Love the blue sweater set Peg - and your new haircut!
How did the cheese taste? Looks great and I may have to try this as I love fresh Mozarella with Summer tomatoes now coming in, and I have pots of gorgeous basil to start clipping.
My visit to Victoria and Vancouver was fabulous - hope you visit my blog and see the pics etc. I want to come back to your beautiful island soon and spend more time visiting the Pacific Rim National Park etc. Met some Brits who were headed to the beach at Tofino - that sounds like a beautiful area too.
Fondly Mary.

8:19 PM  

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