The folks from Lark Crafts have been so kind to me. They sent me the first two books from their Homemade Living Series a few months ago, and they recently sent me two more. Today I’ll tell you about Home Dairy…
…I’ll tell you about Keeping Bees in my next post.
I’ve really got quite the girl crush on the author of all four books in this series: Ashley English. I love her blog and her posts over on Design Sponge, and she’s done a fabulous job once again with this book. In Home Dairy, she shows how easy it can be to transform “a few gallons of milk and some friendly bacterial cultures into a veritable feast of dairy products”.
Ashley is very thorough about explaining all aspects of home dairy making here: from how to select milk to cultures to equipment, this book has it all. I have been dabbling in these types of projects on and off for years, but reading this book really motivated me to get back into making my own dairy products.
Because I am able to buy excellent quality raw milk from a nearby farm, I decided to start with one of the beginner’s cheeses: mozzarella.
It might surprise you to learn that mozzarella is easy to make at home, but it truly is. All you need is raw milk (if not raw, then you need milk that has not been ultra pasteurized), citric acid powder, rennet, water, and salt. And it only takes about 30 minutes. See what I mean? Easy. And being able to make your own mozzarella is, well, it’s cool. My kids were so excited about it. I didn’t get a picture of the finished product- “the ball of mozz”- because my family just wanted to eat it; every now and then I don’t have it in me to hold them off while I shoot my pictures. But it came out really well.
My mozzarella was just a tad “rubbery” because I used the microwave method for warming my curds: next time, I will do it with the heated whey (Ashley explains both methods in the book). I used it in a gluten-free pasta dish with my home cured bacon and watercress and it was delicious, but of course there are so many ways to use fresh mozzarella. I’ll be making it again and again, since my family really can’t get enough.
If you are someone who enjoys making things at home so you have control over your ingredients and ensure that your food is the healthiest it can be, I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s terrific, and I can’t wait to make just about every recipe.