It was so easy that I’m not totally sure what went wrong in my previous attempts. For the first time, the curd looked just like the picture, and maybe that made all the difference. The instructions I got from the teacher were based on Rikki’s, but I noticed three relevant changes: you use 2 tsp citric acid (instead of 1-1 ½), you let the curd sit for 10 minutes (instead of 3-5), and you turn the heat down to low while the curds are forming (instead of turning it off). I don’t know if those changes made the difference or if it was the rumored "cheese gods."
I made ricotta out of the remaining whey and used it in lasagna, which turned out fine, but not fantastic. The whey was supposed to be used in other baking this week, but, like every single time I’ve made cheese, I forgot all about it when I did my baking. Maybe my mystery vegetable starts will like it.
Anyway, for my One Local Summer meal this week, I used some of my freshly made mozzarella in homemade pizza. Everything was from scratch, although I still have yet to achieve a 100% local dinner. The crust included some of the last of my local whole wheat flour and the sauce was doctored up tomato sauce. Instead of grating, the cheese sort of crumbled, so I added some grated Tillamook cheddar to it (and a little grated Parmesan for flavor). I topped the pizza with fried bacon (our pig) and California olives (I don’t think they grow in Oregon). I also made an all-local green salad with backyard lettuce and farmers’ market veggies. The pizza was a hit with my family. Munchkin ate more than usual and my husband really liked it -- more than I did. After making my own cheese, I think I was expecting something a little more spectacular, but it was fine.