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A Cheese of My Own

Jun
15

I’ve been enamored with Soho’s Italian Restaurant at the Capitol Market in Charleston, West Virginia, for several years. I rarely dine out, but I manage to eat at Soho’s two or three times a year–which is saying a lot, since I so rarely go to a restaurant. My favorite dish at Soho’s is their open-face Caprese sandwich. In one meaning, Caprese indicates an inhabitant of the island of Capri, but in cooking-speak it refers to an Italian dish comprised of tomato, mozzarella, basil, and olive oil.

This is how Soho’s describes their sandwich: “Fresh mozzarella, roma tomatoes, red onions, basil, with olive tapenade on fresh-baked ciabatta bread.” (They sell it for $6.95.)

Yum. We can do that! Ummm…. Can we? The star of the show here is, without a doubt, the mozzarella, which is a fresh, soft mozzarella–too soft to shred, but firm enough to slice. I’ve been wanting to recreate this cheese–and this sandwich–at home for some time. The last time I was at Soho’s, I asked the waiter if they made the mozzarella themselves. No. He told me they bought it. Hmm. I started experimenting, and for this month’s cheese challenge for New England Cheesemaking, here is my trick for creating this wonderful, soft restaurant-style cheese plus my recreation of the fabulous Caprese sandwich.

Let’s get started in sandwich order–with the bread!

For the fresh-baked ciabatta bread, you can either buy a loaf of ciabatta at a local bakery, or make your own. Ciabatta is an Italian-style soft and fabulous open-crumb bread. I make my own.

An olive tapenade is a simple olive spread made in a way similar to pesto. Think: Pesto with olives. The olives are pureed in a food processor along with garlic and herbs. Olive oil is added to a spread consistency rather than a more saucy consistency as with a pesto. If you are opposed to olives, a thick pesto would be a good substitute. You could also substitute the olives with another vegetable of your choice, such as peppers. (Pepper tapenade!)

There are many, many olive tapenade recipes on the internet. After perusing several, from complicated (Emeril!) to much more simple, I made mine using what I had available to me and the olives I already had on my pantry shelf (Kalamata). I’ve seen tapenade recipes with every kind of olive on the planet, so choose your favorite. (Don’t use olives with pimento!) If you don’t use olives, you may want to add a pinch of salt. If you use olives, they are generally salty enough without adding any more.

I chose herbs from my garden. Any Mediterranean herbs will do. You can substitute dried. (Use dried in smaller amounts.)

Adjust the quantities to suit the amount of tapenade you’re preparing.

How to make Olive Tapenade:

9-10 ounce jar of pitted olives, drained
2 cloves garlic
handful each of fresh parsley, rosemary, oregano, chives
olive oil

Puree olives, garlic, and herbs in food processor. Add olive oil a little at a time and blend to spreading consistency.

Olive tapenade stores in the fridge for a week, so you can make it ahead of time. This recipe makes over a cup of tapenade.

Try it on other sandwiches, or burgers! Use sparingly–it is salty. It pairs especially well with mozzarella.

And speaking of the show-stopper, the wonderful, soft cheese–this recipe is a twist on Ricki Carroll’s 30-Minute Mozzarella recipe in the classic Home Cheese Making. I can’t tell you that this is how the cheese served at Soho’s Italian Restaurant is actually made. (In fact, I think it’s not! Next month, I’ll demonstrate another twist on mozzarella that I believe is the real secret.) In the meantime, I can tell you that this recipe is a very easy short-cut for soft mozzarella. I created this twist on the recipe myself and it’s been tested using unpasteurized fresh raw milk from my cow as well as with pasteurized milk from the store.

This cheese is best made with farm-fresh or local milk, either slow pasteurized (at 145 degrees for 30 minutes) or used raw. If you’re using pasteurized store-bought milk, add 1/2 teaspoon calcium chloride directly to the milk when you put it in the pot. Do NOT use ultra-pasteurized milk.

I make mozzarella every week, sometimes several times a week, and shred and pack it in one-quart freezer baggies so I have all the mozzarella I need at any time for lasagna, pizza, etc, and can have plenty of cheese in the future when my cow is dried off. I’ve been thinking about the Soho’s soft mozzarella for awhile, wondering how it was made. While I was making mozzarella one day, I thought, these curds sure look like that soft mozzarella…….. This was looking at curds right out of the pot, before any microwave heating and stretching. What would happen if I stopped the process right here and made cheese from the curds with no heating and stretching? My instincts were telling me this cheese wasn’t worked with too much. It was soft cheese. The heating and stretching changes the texture of the cheese. From those thoughts, I came up with this method. If you want an easy cheese, this is the one! It slices great for sandwiches, and melts wonderfully.

Here’s my soft, sliced cheese melted in a grilled cheese sandwich:

Note: Mozzarella is a pasta filata cheese, which means a cheese in which the curds have been stretched or spun. Filata means “spun” and pasta means “paste” in reference to the cheese paste or curds. For that reason, the method I came up with is technically a curd cheese rather than a true mozzarella (because I’m not stretching it).

How to make Mozzarella Curd Cheese:

1/2 teaspoon calcium chloride (only if using store milk)
1 1/2 level teaspoons citric acid dissolved in 1/2 cup cool water
1 gallon whole milk
1/4 teaspoon lipase powder (Italase) dissolved in 1/4 cup cool water (for 20 minutes prior to using)*
1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet diluted in 1/4 cup cool, unchlorinated water
cheese salt

*Do not add lipase if using milk from the store. It will make your curds too soft.

I like to prepare my work area and get all ingredients in their dilutions lined up.

Step 1. If using store milk, add the 1/2 teaspoon calcium chloride directly to the milk when you put it in the pot. While stirring the milk constantly, add the citric acid solution.

Step 2. Begin heating the milk, continuing to stir, until it reaches 90 degrees.

Step 3. Stir in the diluted lipase. Mix thoroughly then stir in the diluted rennet with an up-and-down motion. If using raw milk, continue heating (stop stirring) the milk to 100-105. Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes before transferring to a colander.

If using store-bought milk, after adding the rennet at 90, turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Check the curd. If it’s too soft, let it sit a few more minutes. Cut the curd into 1-inch squares with a knife that reaches the bottom of the pot. Place the pot back on stove and heat to 105 while stirring slowly. Take it off the heat and continue stirring slowly for 2-5 minutes before transferring to a colander.

Curd pulling away from the sides of the pot now, revealing the whey:

Note that the cheese right out of the pot already has a stretchy quality.

Here is where we are diverging from the traditional 30-Minute Mozzarella recipe entirely!

Step 4. Scoop out the curds with a slotted spoon, transferring to a colander set over a bowl (to collect the whey). As you ladle the cheese from the pot to the colander, sprinkle cheese salt in the layers of curds.

Step 5. Work with the curds as little as possible while still allowing as much whey to drain as you can.

Use a slotted spoon to just sort of lift up and move around the curd mass without disrupting it. (Don’t stir up the curds or knead them.) Within about 5-10 minutes of draining, the curd mass will become small enough that you can move it to either a small ricotta basket or a 1-2 pound cheese mold.

Put the cheese, in the mold, back in the colander to continue draining.

The ricotta basket makes a pretty imprint.

Now the cheese is ready to eat, or store in the fridge for later. (Keeps in the fridge for about a week.) Soft slice-able cheese, restaurant-style. That’s it! Easy!

On to the sandwich!

Along with some wonderful thick-sliced bread and soft slices of mozzarella, you’ll need the olive tapenade, fresh basil leaves, tomatoes, and red onions. Roma tomatoes would be best, and I’ve got some Roma plants in my garden, but they’re not making tomatoes yet so I just used a regular tomato.

Soho’s serves their sandwich on larger slices of ciabatta than this, and they serve two for the $6.95 plate. I always think it’s a bit too much, so I made mine with a smaller slice of bread and only one. The beauty of homemade is that you can make it however you want.

Spread the tapenade.

Here comes the beautiful basil.

The onion, sliced thin.

The tomatoes.

The cheese!

This open-face sandwich makes a nice, light lunch, or can also serve as a side with an entree such as grilled steak. I gotta go eat this one now, so see ya! (Don’t miss the giveaway below.)

You can get the printables for all of these recipes here:
The Bread–Ciabatta
The Spread–Olive Tapenade
The Cheese–Mozzarella Curd Cheese
The Sandwich–Soho’s Caprese Sandwich

See how to make a homemade cheese press here. The spring-loaded press I use now can be found here.

See how I made my cheese cave here.

See all my posts in Cheesemaking here.

I get my supplies here.

This is my cow.

To help you get started making cheese, New England Cheesemaking is providing a package including (value of each item in parentheses): Citric acid ($5.95), liquid rennet–animal or vegetable, your choice ($6.50), calcium chloride ($4.95), Italase–lipase powder ($6.95), basic kit mold ($5.50), and curd knife ($20.00). The total value of the package is $49.85. Note: This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. (P.S. Or at least a U.S. shipping address. You can have a friend or relative send it on to you if they have a U.S. shipping address.)

For a chance to win: Leave a comment on this post and let me know you want it. ONE winner will be drawn by random comment number to receive the package. Eligible entry cut-off is midnight Eastern (U.S.) time tomorrow night (June 16). This post will be updated with the winner by 9 a.m. Eastern (U.S.) time on Friday (June 17). Return to this post to claim your prize!

You must be registered to comment. If you’re not registered, you can register here. If you’re already registered but not logged in, go here to log in.

UPDATE 06/17/11: The winning comment number, drawn by random.org, is comment #73, renee on the move. Email me at CITRgiveaways@yahoo.com with your full name and address for shipping!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED TO ENTRY.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on June 15, 2011  

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Comments

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  1. 6-15
    1:50
    am

    OMG!!!!! I am dying to make cheese. I’m scared (I’m not sure why I’m scared but I am) But it is on my summer to do list. I got a few of the supplies but really need this kit. I am so excited for this giveaway. Pick me please… Pretty please!!

    Love your blog. It is my favorite thing to do first thing in the morning. Thank you Suzanne you continue to inspire me on a daily basis. YOU ROCK!!

  2. 6-15
    2:48
    am

    You had me at tapenade! Me, please. :0)

  3. 6-15
    3:12
    am

    Oh that looks so good…diet or no diet I gotta have one of those sandwiches!! I would also like to enter the drawing!!

  4. 6-15
    3:33
    am

    Please enter me…I would love to learn to make cheese.

  5. 6-15
    5:33
    am

    Interesting new way to use the mozz curd! I’m going to try that.

    You’ll have to give it new creative name… “Stringtown Rising ___________”…. or “Suzanne’s __________”… Maybe we can come up w/ a creative name for it! :happyflower:
    And…please enter me

  6. 6-15
    5:43
    am

    Enter me in the drawing, please! The mozz looks lovely!

  7. 6-15
    5:59
    am

    You are making me hungry. Please enter me in the drawing. I love the cheesemaking posts.

  8. 6-15
    6:02
    am

    That sounds so good. Now I am hungry! Please enter me. T

  9. 6-15
    6:10
    am

    Can’t wait to try all these recipes. I would love to win, please enter me!

  10. 6-15
    6:15
    am

    This post made me determined to learn to make cheese even though for now I’ll have to use store-bought pasteurized (having trouble finding local milk)! But all components of this recipe will be tried this week!!! Can’t wait!!

  11. 6-15
    6:19
    am

    (should have added, please include me in the drawing!!) And on a personal note, Suzanne your blog helps my homesickness! I’m down in NC about to start nursing school after retiring from farrier work. I’ll be down here for 2 years while I go to school before being able to return home to our farm in the Blue Ridge Mtns of southwest VA. I get so homesick, but just visiting your blog helps, & makes me determined to get my studies completed and out of the way so I can return home! I miss my mountains!!

  12. 6-15
    6:31
    am

    Please enter me in the drawing. This sandwich looks so yummy! I got some romas and red onions at the farmers market, going to try it this week! Thank you!

  13. 6-15
    6:32
    am

    enter me please got the canning phobia under control now we need to do the same with cheese

  14. 6-15
    6:42
    am

    Wow, that would be great! Enter me!

  15. 6-15
    6:49
    am

    oh I want to do this too!

    dede

  16. 6-15
    6:58
    am

    :woof: YOUR CHEESE LOOKS BEAUTIFUL.
    I am now dying for grilled gourmet grilled cheese.
    Granny Trace

    http://www.grannytracescrapsandsquares.com

  17. 6-15
    6:59
    am

    YUM!!! that looks so good!! enter me in the giveaway please :)

  18. 6-15
    7:09
    am

    Mozzarella is my favorite cheese. I would love to learn to make it. Please enter me in the contest.

  19. 6-15
    7:23
    am

    I’ve just started cheesemaking and made the 30 minute mozzarella and it’s great. Would love to win this kit.

  20. 6-15
    7:26
    am

    Enter me please. Pretty please. With cheese on top. ;)

  21. 6-15
    7:37
    am

    I so want to try and make cheese for myself. Please pick me.

  22. 6-15
    7:52
    am

    would love to win a cheesemaking kit!

  23. 6-15
    7:53
    am

    I know what I’ll be making this weekend!! Please enter me!!

  24. 6-15
    7:55
    am

    Please enter me, once again my tastebuds are humming early in the a.m. Thanks for the chance.

  25. 6-15
    7:56
    am

    I never thought to see what it was like before stretching it…sounds like a good idea if I’m in a hurry and don’t want to spend time streatching some cheese, but yet would like some fresh cheese! Thanks!

    Would love to be in on the drawing for the cheesemaking goodies. :)

  26. 6-15
    7:57
    am

    Please enter me! I am on a cheesemaking spree and could use the kit! Right now I am just limping along with make do cultures and junket tablets. Your cheese looks great, and that sandwich looks absolutely yummy!

  27. 6-15
    7:59
    am

    Mamagarrett–junket rennet is very weak! It’s not adequate for cheesemaking. Get some real rennet. Liquid is best (easiest!). Well worth it.

  28. 6-15
    8:02
    am

    Yay, another cheesemaking giveaway! I live in hope! :)
    This sandwich looks absolutely delicious, by the way, and I don’t even eat tomatoes raw. lol

  29. 6-15
    8:03
    am

    I can’t wait to try this! Sign me up for the give-away :)

  30. 6-15
    8:05
    am

    I would love to start making my own cheese! I have learned so much from this site. Crossing my fingers hehe

  31. 6-15
    8:07
    am

    I would love this! Please enter me.Your post made me hungry.

  32. 6-15
    8:08
    am

    Oh, how I would love to try this!!! Please pick me! :-)

  33. 6-15
    8:09
    am

    Yummy looking recipe, Suzanne – please count me in on the drawing!
    Donna

  34. 6-15
    8:14
    am

    I’d love to win!

  35. 6-15
    8:14
    am

    Making my own cheese has been on my list of things to learn for years now. I’ve just been so intimidated. You make it look so easy! I’d love to win!

  36. 6-15
    8:17
    am

    I would love to win..pick me pick me :)

  37. 6-15
    8:18
    am

    I can’t wait to try this. I make the quick mozz often, gotta try this. Thanks.

  38. 6-15
    8:23
    am

    Yum! Enter me, please! I envy you your good milk. I love making moz. However, I made three batches of moz last week with my sister and we discovered that her ‘local’ milk was ultra pasteurized even though the packaging didn’t say so. Every batch went weird. We learned a lot about ‘emergency ricotta’….

  39. 6-15
    8:27
    am

    I’d love a chance to win! The tapenade looks sooooo yummy! Ciabatta and mozzarella…..mmmmmmmm! I’d use a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and call it a meal.

  40. 6-15
    8:35
    am

    I just ate…but that looks so good! Please enter me!

  41. 6-15
    8:36
    am

    I am going to give this a try!!! Thank you :)

  42. 6-15
    8:38
    am

    This looks YUMMY!!! Enter me in the drawing please :wave:

  43. 6-15
    8:39
    am

    Thanks for the inspiring post! I would really love to win the cheesemaking supplies AND get this mozzarella down pat!

  44. 6-15
    8:40
    am

    I’ve always wanted to try making mozzarella. Enter me please. :)

  45. 6-15
    8:42
    am

    I would love a cheese making kit!

  46. 6-15
    8:43
    am

    Beautiful sandwich! Love Caprisi sandwiches. My DH hates olives so I substitute basamic vinegar for it. Otherwise a great summer sandwich. Love to try making my own cheese.

  47. 6-15
    8:46
    am

    Oh, please make ME a cheese maker! Fresh tomatoes from the garden are almost ready.

  48. 6-15
    8:47
    am

    If you don’t play, you can’t win! Choose me, choose me! Because you can’t get enough cheese stuff… :cowsleep:

  49. 6-15
    8:49
    am

    OK, here we go again:) Please enter my name in the drawing. I would LOVE to make my own cheese. Thanks!

  50. 6-15
    8:50
    am

    I want to learn to make cheese too! This would be the perfect start.

  51. 6-15
    8:50
    am

    I want it, Thanks!

  52. 6-15
    8:56
    am

    I want one! And thank you for the recipes! This is one of my favorite dishes in summer, but I have never made my own.

    (Accidentally posted this on the remembrance bread post. Apologies if that is confusing!)

  53. 6-15
    9:02
    am

    I want one. Thanks!

  54. 6-15
    9:04
    am

    The Caprese sandwich looks wonderful! I would love the cheese-making kit. Thanks!

    Tina

  55. 6-15
    9:06
    am

    Yes, please!!
    Here I am hungry for that sandwich at 6am.

  56. 6-15
    9:20
    am

    Yum! I would like to win. Enter me please!

  57. 6-15
    9:23
    am

    I would love to win the cheese making kit!!

  58. 6-15
    9:27
    am

    I spent all summer making and eating Insalata Caprese…it was the most wonderful thing! My variation was to use mozzarella pearls and chop the tomatoes and basil, then spoon it onto lovely artisan bread. My friends really enjoyed it! I would LOVE to make my own mozzarella, please enter me in the giveaway!

  59. 6-15
    9:36
    am

    This looks really tasty!
    And I’d love to win this cheese-making package.

  60. 6-15
    9:38
    am

    Please enter me for the contest!

    And this cheese looks awesome, thank you for such easy directions to follow!
    c

  61. 6-15
    9:43
    am

    Please Please entry me!!!! I have lots of milk to use!!

  62. 6-15
    9:44
    am

    I’ve been wanting to try cheesemaking. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks

  63. 6-15
    9:48
    am

    Please enter me in the cheese kit drawing…I would love to make one of your delicious looking sandwiches! Thank you

  64. 6-15
    9:53
    am

    That cheese looks uber delicious. I would love to win the kit in order to make my own cheese. Thanks, Suzanne. :fairy:

  65. 6-15
    9:53
    am

    I’d love to learn to make cheese. Yours looks lovely. mmmmm Please enter me in the give-away. Thank you!

  66. 6-15
    9:55
    am

    I want to make cheese!!!

    That sandwich looks lovely to by the whey. lol

  67. 6-15
    9:55
    am

    I’d LOVE a cheese-making kit!

    And to be adopted so I could partake in your delicious concoctions!

    Thanks for all the inspiration!

  68. 6-15
    9:56
    am

    Even hubby wants to make cheese! Need to win the kit! The basil is growing like crazy…this sandwich is calling to me.

  69. 6-15
    10:01
    am

    Yes, please; I DO want it!

    These pictures made me crave this sandwich. YUM!

  70. 6-15
    10:06
    am

    Me me me! I’ve never made cheese of any kind, and I’d love to have an excuse to start doing it. :)

  71. 6-15
    10:16
    am

    I’d like this.

  72. 6-15
    10:23
    am

    The sandwich looks yummy….minus the olives, yuck! I was thinking maybe just pesto would work for me. My neice will be here in a few days for her annual summer visit and we always learn something new while she’s here. This year it’s sewing, we’re making aprons, soap making and cheese making would be a wonderful addition!! I would love to win!!!

  73. 6-15
    10:29
    am

    Enter me pls! Sometimes when you make “restaurant items,” don’t you think, “Wow, I could be making a fortune from this…if I could just get my family to PAY me…”

  74. 6-15
    10:30
    am

    I would definitely love to win this. It would be so much fun for my husband and I.

  75. 6-15
    10:33
    am

    Please enter me for the drawing. Wonderful looking sandwich!!! I think I could eat two…

  76. 6-15
    10:35
    am

    The sandwish looks delicious. I have not tried mozzerella, looks easy… and pretty…. the way you described. WOuld love to have the supply kit as well!
    Thanks,
    Ruth in NH

  77. 6-15
    10:42
    am

    Now this looks like a great starter cheese for me, I would love a chance to win the kit! (Thank you so much for helping us believe that we too can do anything!)

  78. 6-15
    10:43
    am

    I want to win the kit please. I have EVERYTHING growing in my garden to make this. I can make that bread too. I have Kalmata olives. I will be making this, this summer!!

  79. 6-15
    10:45
    am

    Yes, please! I’d love to win this!

  80. 6-15
    10:49
    am

    I’m cheese stupid, but not to old to learn. Please enter me.

  81. 6-15
    10:57
    am

    I am trying to learn cheese making so the starter package would be really helpful…would love to win it!

  82. 6-15
    11:00
    am

    I would love to win!

  83. 6-15
    11:00
    am

    I would love to win, I want to try making mozzarella cheese.

  84. 6-15
    11:12
    am

    Please enter my name!

  85. 6-15
    11:13
    am

    Totally making your ciabatta recipe today! And I’d be thrilled to win the kit. mmmmmm good!

  86. 6-15
    11:16
    am

    this looks like a wonderful new way to make Mozzarella, I have printed it off and looking forward to trying it, and yes I would love the kit.

  87. 6-15
    11:18
    am

    I am a cheeseaholic. A piece of cheese wins over chocolate, any day. I would LOVE this kit. Your recipes are just my style.

  88. 6-15
    11:23
    am

    enter me please!! I really want to win one of these! :sun:

  89. 6-15
    11:34
    am

    I would LOVE winning this cheese making package.
    Thank you for offering.
    and thank you for all your cheese-making tips.

  90. 6-15
    11:35
    am

    That sounds so wonderful! Please enter my name!

  91. 6-15
    11:39
    am

    This is a great post with all the info anyone needs. Now I need that kit! Put me in for it!

  92. 6-15
    11:41
    am

    Please enter me in the cheese making giveaway!!! I would love to try my hand at making my own cheese! Thank you!

  93. 6-15
    11:42
    am

    Looks delicious. Please count me in the drawing. I would love to make cheese. :)

  94. 6-15
    11:43
    am

    Yum! Coount me in!

    Beth oneoldgoat

  95. 6-15
    11:52
    am

    I want some Mozz…please enter me in the giveaway!!!

  96. 6-15
    11:56
    am

    Please enter me.

  97. 6-15
    11:58
    am

    I have been dying to try making cheese! And now I am dying to make that sandwich!

  98. 6-15
    12:01
    pm

    I want a cheese kit! Homemade mozzarella, are you kidding me??? Heaven on earth……

  99. 6-15
    12:13
    pm

    This sandwich looks so yummy! Add me for the drawing please :happyflower:

  100. 6-15
    12:14
    pm

    As I was reading your post I was mentally calculating how soon I could get my hands on the supplies to make this cheese ’cause I WANT SOME RIGHT NOW ! Please sign me up for the giveaway !

  101. 6-15
    12:18
    pm

    I would love to start making cheese, please enter me :clover:

  102. 6-15
    12:21
    pm

    Oh lovely! I grew up on fresh milk and am doing odd jobs to save for a Jersey of my very own. I would love to make cheese with my children and this kit would be a great start, so please enter me! Thanks.

  103. 6-15
    12:40
    pm

    Please include me in the giveaway. I love your cheese making and I would like to try it myself. Thanks,

  104. 6-15
    12:51
    pm

    I need to get a cow. And then a goat. And THEN I’ll need the cheesemaking kit! 8-) Can you make mozzarella with goat’s milk?

  105. 6-15
    12:54
    pm

    Totally interested! Count me in!
    I think this is absolutely awesome. I am staying at my mother’s house, temporarily, and I think we shall totally have to try this cheese :)

    PS: EVIL tactics. I had avoided creating an account for your site, because I didn’t want to have one more thing that I needed to log in for, but then you go and do this and I just HAD to! :)

  106. 6-15
    12:54
    pm

    Sally, yes, you can make mozzarella with goat milk.

  107. 6-15
    1:03
    pm

    I want to make that sandwich! Please enter me!

  108. 6-15
    1:21
    pm

    I would love to begin cheesemaking. Please enter me!

  109. 6-15
    1:57
    pm

    Oh, that looks so good, I can almost taste it! :hungry: Count me in for the drawing, thanks!

  110. 6-15
    1:59
    pm

    I saw that cheese and thought “CAKE!” but it’s better than cake because it’s cheese! Gosh, and it’s one beautiful cheese too. I love the imprint on the top. Is that from a container? You mentioned a ricotta basket? Interesting…

    I would like to make my own cheese. :D Can I have a cheese-making kit?

  111. 6-15
    2:00
    pm

    This is a great giveaway, I’d love one!

  112. 6-15
    2:49
    pm

    Rounding up all the needed “stuff” and learning what it does, and why you need it, is the *only* thing keeping me from jumping into cheesemaking. :) I would love to win this!

  113. 6-15
    3:02
    pm

    I FINALLY went and bought my own BBB but I sure would love to win the cheesemaking supplies!

  114. 6-15
    3:39
    pm

    I would love to make cheese!!

  115. 6-15
    3:50
    pm

    I love mozzarella! The sandwich looks so good. Please enter me!

  116. 6-15
    3:59
    pm

    I am so grateful for your helpful posts on everything, especially cheese making. I would love a chance to win this kit, I could really get into cheese making with this giveaway! Thanks for sharing! :sheep:

  117. 6-15
    4:26
    pm

    That looks delicious! I would love to win the starter kit!
    Thank you for all the great recipes!

  118. 6-15
    4:29
    pm

    Yes! Please enter me into the drawing! Thank you!

    I’m already seeing visions of mozzarella!

  119. 6-15
    4:31
    pm

    How much fun would it be to try to make cheese with my DIL??
    Please add us to the draw.

    If we win, I will remember to take pics and post a “first attempt” on Farm Bell :)

    Pam

  120. 6-15
    4:34
    pm

    Please enter me for the drawing! Thank you!! :sheep:

  121. 6-15
    4:41
    pm

    Oh, that looks so good, and I have some fresh herbs ready to go. Now if only I had a cheese kit to make mozza!

    Enter me in the contest, please!

  122. 6-15
    5:07
    pm

    Please pick me! We eat a lot of cheese and would love to make some of my own!

  123. 6-15
    5:09
    pm

    I would love to win the kit, please enter me!

  124. 6-15
    5:10
    pm

    I would love to win !!!!Please enter me in the drawing.

  125. 6-15
    5:27
    pm

    Hi Suzanne, Please enter me in the contest for the cheesemaking kit.

    Thanks,

    Debbie from Colorado

  126. 6-15
    5:28
    pm

    oh my! i would love to win! definitely looks like a delicious cheese to make!

  127. 6-15
    6:09
    pm

    That sandwich looks wonderful. I need to make my own mozzarella and try it.

  128. 6-15
    6:22
    pm

    Hope this is my lucky time! Sign me up!!

  129. 6-15
    7:25
    pm

    I’m in. :moo:

  130. 6-15
    7:49
    pm

    I would love to learn how to make cheese. Please enter me in the drawing.

  131. 6-15
    7:54
    pm

    Looks so soft and delicious, I would like to try making this cheese. Thanks for entering me in the drawing.

  132. 6-15
    7:59
    pm

    I’ve already promised myself that I will live off of mozzarella and tomatoes this summer. It would be really cool if I could make my own mozzarella. And those olives look wonderful. But I forgot to plant basil!!! There should still be time up north, right?

    Please enter me in the contest. Thanks!

  133. 6-15
    8:19
    pm

    Should I be the lucky one, I’m asking you to send it to my daughter in Maryland, so she will stop drooling! You’d t hink that at thirty-something, I would not have to be a-worryin’ about her droolin’!

  134. 6-15
    8:19
    pm

    You’ve got me drooling. Would love to win so can make some and have one of those sandwiches.

  135. 6-15
    8:23
    pm

    Found my way here from the Moosletter and I love your site! I would also love this kit! I’ve been wanting to make cheese for awhile and just haven’t had the chance to get started yet. This would be great! :)

  136. 6-15
    8:32
    pm

    Please enter my name in the drawing!!! Thanks much! This cheese and the sandwich sound wonderful!!!

  137. 6-15
    8:45
    pm

    I want it! Thanks!

  138. 6-15
    8:48
    pm

    Mmm….sounds delicious. Please enter me in the drawing!

  139. 6-15
    8:50
    pm

    That looks awesome. We’ve been eating a *smoked* mozzerella here from Trader Joe’s. It’s nice and soft like this one. Maybe it’s time to smoke some cheese?? :happyfeet: I’d love to win the swag!

  140. 6-15
    9:09
    pm

    I’ve been milking my first ever goat for a couple of weeks now and have LOTS of milk to start using. We can’t keep up with it! It is high time I started making some cheese!! Please enter me in this giveaway, I could really use it! :happyfeet:

  141. 6-15
    9:43
    pm

    Oh yeah, I want me some cheese makings!

  142. 6-15
    9:55
    pm

    What a yummy post. Please put me in the contest, I would love to make your cheese!

  143. 6-15
    10:02
    pm

    I would love to win this kit, and to learn how to make cheese. Believe it or not, I have found a place here in Phoenix where I can get farm-fresh raw milk! And it’s not far from my house!! Please have sympathy on me – it is 108 degrees here today, and summer is just starting….learning to make cheese would take my mind off the heat!

  144. 6-15
    10:19
    pm

    I’d love to win this kit. Thanks for the chance!

  145. 6-15
    10:35
    pm

    Another great recipe please enter me in the drawing. http://chickensintheroad.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/sheep.gif

  146. 6-15
    10:37
    pm

    I would love to win this!!!

  147. 6-15
    10:39
    pm

    Wow, I can’t wait to try this mozzarella. I’d love to win the kit. Thanks!

  148. 6-15
    11:16
    pm

    :happyfeet: Oh My ……. see my Happy Feet and Smile :happyfeet:

    I would love to venture into cheese making if I win this Kit.

    Yum– Call me when Lunch Is Served!! Liz in PA

  149. 6-16
    12:45
    am

    I would absolutely love to win this. I just took a cheesemaking class last month and these supplies would go to good use.

  150. 6-16
    1:30
    am

    Can’t wait to try this one, I make Mozzarella twice a week.Could sure use the kit! Thanks for a great blog.

  151. 6-16
    7:03
    am

    Think I’ll go try this one right now! Please enter me in the drawing, too!

  152. 6-16
    7:38
    am

    yay! I would love a chance to win the cheese press, thanks for the opportunity. :wave: Angelina

  153. 6-16
    8:07
    am

    This would be a great gift to win..thanks for all your posts and recipes on cheese. I’d love to win..pick me! Pick me!

  154. 6-16
    9:24
    am

    Please enter me in the giveaway.

  155. 6-16
    10:28
    am

    Oh, I so want to start making cheese. You make this recipe look so doable! Thanks for a great giveaway. Your cheese is beautiful!

  156. 6-16
    11:16
    am

    Still waiting (for what we do not know!) to make some cheese here at home. Perhaps winning the NEC kit would do it??

  157. 6-16
    11:30
    am

    I’d love to start making my own cheese. That powdery stuff on the store-bought cheese can’t be good for us!

  158. 6-16
    11:42
    am

    Please enter me in the drawing!

    Suzanne, I have a question though, in case I dont win the kit….
    I have the rennet tablets from another kit that “Santa” got me for Christmas. I know in previous cheese posts you have said that the liquid rennet works better. If I use the tablets, what would be the conversion (how many should I use) and how (do I dissolve them first in water, and if so how much. Or do I add them to the milk and just let them dissolve in the milk?

    I LOVE the really soft Mozzarella and this recipe only uses a gallon of milk and none of the heat and stretch business so this seems really accessable and not scary!

  159. 6-16
    11:54
    am

    quietstorm, it depends on the recipe. For example, 1/2 teaspoon liquid rennet converts to 1/2 rennet tablet and so on. Per recipe will tell you how much rennet and how much water to dissolve it into.

  160. 6-16
    12:39
    pm

    Please add me.

  161. 6-16
    12:48
    pm

    Please enter me into the contest!!! :snoopy:

  162. 6-16
    1:15
    pm

    Wow, this looks great! I just happen to have a gallon of raw milk in the fridge and we’ve gotten all bruschetta-minded this past week.

    Did I mention I’d like to enter the contest, too?

  163. 6-16
    2:14
    pm

    Yum! that sandwitch looks delicious.
    I would love to win the cheese-making kit. :eating:

  164. 6-16
    2:30
    pm

    OH MY!!! It took me FOREVER :hissyfit: to figure out how to post here!

    I would love to win this. I need to get to making cheese as I am milking three goats, and I am the only one drinking it! Love your blog by the way. I made this cheese today, can’t wait to see how it turns out. :eating:

  165. 6-16
    2:31
    pm

    Oh my gosh that looks sooo good! Can’t wait to try my hand at making cheese…

  166. 6-16
    2:33
    pm

    ps. I would totally love to win one of those kits!

  167. 6-16
    2:42
    pm

    love to win it! LOVE your site!

  168. 6-16
    2:46
    pm

    I have never thought about making cheese before. Now I am interested. Please enter me in your contest. TYU.

  169. 6-16
    2:55
    pm

    I like the fact you don’t burn your hands making this cheese! :lol: :pick me please!

  170. 6-16
    2:55
    pm

    I’d love to win! Whew, it took me ages and ages to log in.

    Thanks, looks so yummy.

  171. 6-16
    3:07
    pm

    Please enter me in this… My last cheese attempt went terribly pear shaped.

  172. 6-16
    3:12
    pm

    YUM!!! Sounds soooooo good! Please enter me for the giveaway!

  173. 6-16
    3:16
    pm

    This makes my stomach growl! I’m definitely adding this to my list of cheeses to try out!

    I’d love to be entered for the giveaway!

  174. 6-16
    3:17
    pm

    Please enter me in the giveaway :sheep:

  175. 6-16
    3:18
    pm

    I am the consummate experimenter in the kitchen in our house, much to my wife’s chagrin (I do clean up my messes thank you), but to the delight of everyone’s taste buds, well most of the time! I’ve made yogurt, and yogurt cheese, but have not made the big leap to cheesemaking yet. My family loves cheese and I think it would be a perfect and easy gift for Christmas. Everyone on the list gets a pound of home made and aged cheese. Even thought about doing custom rounds with family names ‘engraved’ in the wax. I mean, who wouldn’t love to get a hunk of cheese with their name on it?

    But I have to get the ball rolling before I can aim that high. Which is why I would truly love to win this kit!

  176. 6-16
    3:30
    pm

    Enjoyed the post, please enter me. Thanks. :pinkpig:

  177. 6-16
    3:45
    pm

    Would love to win the cheesemaking kit.
    I love reading about your cheeses- especially the soft cheeses!
    Thanks for the chance to win, Suzanne!

  178. 6-16
    4:00
    pm

    :snoopy: What a wonderful offer! I LOVE to be entered for an opportunity to win this…. :happyfeet: Thank you!

  179. 6-16
    4:08
    pm

    Taking a couple of seconds to try my luck at winning a cheese making kit. Definately need a distraction from my turned up life. Will try to post an up-date on our situation later tonight.

  180. 6-16
    4:23
    pm

    Oh my goodness! I didn’t know Junket was too weak??? No wonder my cheese is iffy at best!

    Please sign me up for a chance at the cheese kit!

    Thanks,
    Elizabeth

  181. 6-16
    4:29
    pm

    This sandwich sounds yummy! Sign me up for the giveaway, please.

  182. 6-16
    5:33
    pm

    Oh I would love the cheese making kit. I have slacked off making cheese and maybe this would be the incentive I need to get back to it. Connie from Ohio

  183. 6-16
    8:04
    pm

    I’d love this!

  184. 6-16
    8:11
    pm

    Please enter me! I tried to make mozzarella last summer with my son and it was a dismal failure!

  185. 6-16
    9:47
    pm

    Love the design on the cheese. Sandwich looks great too. Please enter me in the giveaway.

  186. 6-17
    8:38
    am

    UPDATE 06/17/11: The winning comment number, drawn by random.org, is comment #73, renee on the move.

    This giveaway is closed to entry.

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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