Most people will agree cheese makes life a little better. It can be eaten plain or added to your favorite bread or dish to make it really delicious. When you think about preparing for a post-disaster world, you quickly realize that refrigeration isn’t going to be an option. That means there is no real way to store your favorite dairy items. Not to mention they have rather short shelf lives anyways. Fortunately, you can still have fresh mozzarella cheese after a major collapse. It is very easy to make and can be made during the day to serve for dinner in the evening.You will want to practice your cheese-making skills today so you don’t waste any valuable ingredients when they are not readily available. Stock up on rennet and citric acid powder. These are ingredients you will want to have in your food storage supply.
Simple Homemade Mozzarella Cheese
Prep Time:30 minutes
Cook time:1o Minutes
– 1 gallon whole milk (unpasteurized works best, but you can use whole or 2 percent if necessary; young children, pregnant women and those with immune deficiencies should be careful about using unpasteurized milk.) You can use cow’s milk or goat’s milk.
– 1/2 teaspoon Rennet
– 2 teaspoons of Citric acid powder
Pour the milk into the pot. Stir in the citric acid. Dissolve the Rennet into Â¼ cup of cold water and set aside. Heat the milk and citric acid to a temperature of 88 degrees. Use a low heat to warm the milk and stir often to prevent scorching.
Once the milk has reached 88 degrees, pour in the Rennet and water solution. Turn up the heat and slowly heat the milk to 105 degrees. Stir often to prevent scorching.
Once the temperature has reached 105, remove from heat and cover. Allow the milk solution to sit for 15 minutes.
Remove the curd from the milk solution. Use your hands or a slotted spoon to scoop the curd into a bowl. Pour the curd into a bowl. Squeeze the curd to drain away as much whey as possible and pour back into the pot. Use your hands to push the curd through your fingers. It should be nice and squishy.
Place the ball of curd into a colander. Place a bowl under the colander to catch the whey that will continue to drain off. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Overnight is even better. Save the whey in your pot. This can be put into jars or a bucket to make ricotta cheese or to use in baking. Whey can be used to whip up some delicious breakfast smoothies or added to your oatmeal in the morning. It is full of protein and very good for you.
When you are ready to work with your curd, fill a pot with hot tap water. As hot as you can stand it. Put the curd into the pot and slowly squeeze and press it. You will need to change the water often to keep it clear. The heat of the water melts the curd just enough to release the whey. Continue to do this until the ball of cheese is nice and stretchy.
Stretch the curd and then form it into a ball. If it holds form, your cheese is ready! You can sprinkle your favorite herbs and spices over the top to create a tasty cheese spread for crackers or seal it in plastic and pop it in the refrigerator.
For those who want to speed up the process. You can use a microwave to heat the curd. This will eliminate the need to put in the refrigerator overnight. You will need to put in the microwave and heat it several times and go through the stretching and squeezing until you get the desired consistency.
You will get about a half gallon of whey from each batch of cheese you make. Save the whey! You can feed it to your chickens if you don’t want to use it. The protein will help with egg production. You can also pour the liquid over your plants or add it to your compost pile.
A special note about storing rennet in your food pantry. At room temperature, it only holds for about a year. You can store it in the freezer for up to 5 years. Your cheese will store for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator if it even lasts that long. Wrap it up tight in plastic or seal it in airtight container.