Simple Cheese Making (Skip the Microwave) and Homestead Planning from the FAIR

| 3/25/2016 2:19:00 PM


While it was obvious from my last post that I have no issue with using a microwave, it was also obvious from the number of emails I received that there are a good number of you who do not like to use them and many who simply do not have one. Do not worry — no microwave is required to make mozzarella. I have not personally used this technique but I watched Cary Jennings from The Ploughshare Institute at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR last month do it, and she did so in just under 30 minutes.

After you have collected the curd in to one large curd, you can warm the whey to 175 degrees Fahrenheit and dip the curd into it for a few seconds to heat it up. Remove it from the pot using a slotted spoon and wearing rubber gloves, stretch the curd. Repeat until it stretches smoothly and does not break. It will have the consistency of taffy. This can be made easier by cutting the curd into smaller pieces so it heats through quicker.

Alternatively, you can heat a pot of water to 175 degrees Fahrenheit while making the mozzarella and use it for the heat and stretch step. However, if you use the whey, you are just a few minutes away from making ricotta so, why not?



My wife and I attended the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR at the Bell County Expo Center in Belton, Texas. Initially, this location seemed odd but as it turned out, this Central Texas venue was perfect for this event even with the larger-than-expected crowd. All walks of life were represented and the attendees were engaged, the speakers were excellent, and we spent way too much money on the exhibitor floor.

4/20/2016 3:15:28 PM

We used to own a feed store in Sweeny, Tx and had a number of organic customers. They used orange oil for fire ants and swore by it. We haven't used it for ants, but we sold lots of it to repeat customers.Medina sells in by the quart. Hope it helps.

4/13/2016 7:22:17 AM

Hi, I just wanted to share with you my solution for fighting fire ants naturally. Fire ants hate mint and will leave within a couple of weeks after I stick a sprig of it directly into the mound. It doesn't usually take root, but the oils in it has a negative effect on them and they leave. Incidentally, fire ants were originally introduced accidentally through the port of Mobile, Alabama on trade ships from China back in between the years 1933 and 1948. Just in more recnt years a natural enemy of these little pests has been introduced to try and bring them under control. A type of wasp that lays its larva into the head of fire ants which, in turn, kill the ant as it matures. Hope this helps, Debbie

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