When at first you do not succeed…

I apologize for being MIA for a bit, life seems to have gotten the better of me after the parents left. The T-man left for a conference in Baltimore over the last week; then work and a sudden illness consumed until his return. But I am well now and life seems to be slowing a bit so I wanted to share with you my latest cheese making endeavor!

While my parents were visiting I was bummed when it rained a couple of days, and we were stranded in our studio apartment.

But alas the rain gave me a golden opportunity to attempt the making of mozzarella with my mother. The first attempt was a total bust, and yielded next to no cheese, but at least I learned a few things. The first attempt I tried the traditional method of heating it in a water bath, the problem that we encountered (I think based on my limited experience) was not letting the rennet sit long enough, causing the curd to not fully set, which = disaster and sadly no cheese.

But when at first you do not succeed buy another gallon of milk!

After this discouraging experience we were determined to not be deterred and tried again the next day. The second attempt I decided on the microwave method (and then wondered why I even bothered with the water bath). We were successful, and it was so easy I will never buy mozzarella again.

Here is the recipe we used: Ricki’s 30 minute mozzarella

You will need:

  • one gallon of milk (we used whole, the recipe said you can use nonfat but it will result in a drier cheese, and potentially less flavorful)
  • 1 1/2 tsp citric acid  (I purchased this online at www.midwestsupplies.com, It was cheap around $5 and was enough to make mozzarella many times)
  • 1/4 tab or 1/4 tsp liquid rennet

Delicious!!! I have already made it again and plan on a repeat performance tomorrow, Pizza Margherita anyone?

warming the milk with the citric acid

first attempt with the water bath = disaster

the completed cheese

Second attempt = Victory

yummy!

yummy!

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For the Love of Santa Barabara

I make it no secret that I miss New York, and at times living out here in Santa Barbara is not my cup of tea. But I have to say after the past week this area may be growing on me.

My Parents came to Visit!!!!

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My Parents at the Wharf

 I finally took vacation time from work and took the opportunity to actually enjoy all that Santa Barbara has to offer. We did the touristy stuff of course:

Drove the Pacific Coast Highway up to Santa Barbara when they arrived. The views alone make it worth living here. One does tend to take for granted the beauty of where the ocean meets the mountains.

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Views From Painted Cave Road

We went to lunch on the wharf, walked state street multiple times, toured the Mission, Visited the Botanical Gardens, climbed the tower at the courthouse, checked out where the T-man does his research, drove up to Solvang, drove and hiked up the mountain to Painted Cave, and of course went to the beach!

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Views from the Botanical Garden

 

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Baby turtle at Alice Keck Park

We also did some things that are special to me. Went to some of my favorite spots in Old Town Goleta, barbequed at the beach, and visited the turtles at Alice Keck Park.

 

I also decided to check out a couple of new places. We drove north to Nojoqui Falls Park and saw some prairie dogs and of course the falls, and we brunched for my birthday at the Boathouse at Hendry’s beach.

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Nojoqui Falls

 

All in all I think my parents had a blast. A couple rainy days did dampen the fun a bit but we found a couple projects to do at home (homemade mozzarella!). It was certainly hard to see them off this morning, but I have a feeling they will be back soon!