Monday, June 17, 2013

Haniya (Age 9) and Her Mother, The Fresh Food Fairy

Making Mozzarella like crazy!


Haniya Frayer of Kalamazoo, Michigan is already a pro at making 30 Minute Mozzarella.  She does the entire process herself (with adult supervision, of course!).  Here she is teaching her great aunt, Doreen Mangrum how it's done:










Haniya's mother, Hether Frayer works to educate children about healthy food as the Fresh Food Fairy.  You can see how she makes this fun for the kids at her website, Fresh Food Fairy.org.  She goes to schools with her unique bicycle blender: 



Hether grew up in Detroit and her favorite Mozzarella was a Middle Eastern brand with small black seeds (nigella).  So, when she and Haniya make it, they add a teaspoon of the seeds with the salt.  (Hence the little black dots in the pictures.)

They have a raw milk share, so Hether is able to make whey Ricotta from the 30 minute recipe, which seldom works with pasteurized milk.  She has also made Schiz, butter and buttermilk:




Here's a hot tip from Hether:  I use an unbleached coffee filter in the colander to strain the whey, then compost it when I'm done so I don't have to deal with washing the butter muslin.

I asked her how she got started making cheese:

My grandma used to make a simple cheese, and I did it with her a few times, and I have made Paneer at times, but it was not until we started getting a raw milk share that I really got into making cheese!  Having such fresh and delicious milk delivered to my porch every week has definitely inspired me to make my own cheese.  Once in a while, we get our hands on some goat milk and make some Chevre.

A friend of mine is a goat farmer and makes all kinds of amazing cheese.  I spent an afternoon with her making a Colby and it felt way less intimidating to try it on my own after doing it with her.

I bought a basic kit and made a Colby and Parmesan.  I've also helped a friend make some Cheddar.  Haniya helped with the Colby and Parmesan.  I love the little recipe booklet that came with the kit.  It's really cool to go through the process of making the hard cheeses, but obviously very time consuming.  Of course, it's well worth it, but I don't always have 4-6 hours to spend, so the 30 Minute Mozzarella recipe is my favorite - it feels like a very good use of my time! 




I make about 2 batches of Mozzarella a month, and Haniya always helps if she's around - she loves it!  I have found the recipe to be pretty forgiving - it works just fine when sometimes I don't watch the temperatures closely enough.  But it's so much easier than the "heat the milk by 1 degree every 5 minutes" kind of thing with the hard cheeses - that takes a lot of patience and monitoring!  

I love making whey Ricotta and do it every time.  I had no idea ricotta could taste so good.  I didn't know that it isn't supposed to work with the whey from Mozzarella until I read that in one of the newsletters, but it has worked fine for me!

I love to make cheese with kids - I've attached a couple of pictures of Haniya stretching the cheese with her friend Kalee Henderson:




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