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  • Writer's pictureRhonda Morrison

Having a cheesy summer at home with the kids

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

How to make cheese at home. Homemade Mozzarella recipe below.


Over the next couple of months, I am teaching kids and teens cooking camps. Kids are so much more capable in the kitchen than we typically think they can manage. Their insatiable desire to create and eat is a perfect combination for success in the kitchen. Today’s class was no different.

The kids and I dove into the world of dairy. We spoke about how dairy products are either derived from milk or cream. We also recognized June as dairy month. What a perfect time to talk about making yogurt, ice cream, butter, and cheese.

Yogurt is made from live bacteria contained in yogurt. Plain Greek yogurt is a great source for finding these bacteria. To make yogurt at home, heat milk in a saucepan just to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in six ounces of Greek yogurt. Keeping the milk at a warm temperature allows the bacteria to move around the milk enzymes thickening the mixture into yogurt. This makes for a fun six-hour biology lesson for kids during the summer months. Take a tip from Dannon and add sugar to help the yogurt keep longer in the refrigerator.

Frozen dairy foods like gelato and ice cream are possible due to the size of the molecules in the freezing process. Both desserts are made with cream and water. The fat molecules in cream are smaller than water. The result is suspended creamy molecules in ice crystals. The smaller the ice crystals, the smoother the dairy treat.

Making whipped cream is commonplace in my home. Sometimes I whisk cream by hand. Other times I use a hand mixer or stand mixer. Cream whips up fairly quickly. But if the mixer keeps beating long enough, the result is butter. This can be a tasting delight from start to finish.

Did you know cheese can be made in under an hour with little fuss? The kids and I made mozzarella today and it was delicious. This is definitely an activity that the kids will enjoy. The key to making mozzarella lies in one ingredient, rennet. You can find this product online and in some grocery stores. It is essential in having the milk curd into cheese.

Discover dairy month with your family by making a dairy treat you can all sink your teeth into.

Homemade Mozzarella ¼ tsp. liquid rennet ¾ cup cool water 1 ½ tsp. citric acid 1 gallon milk (not ultra-pasteurized) Fine sea salt to taste

Mix liquid rennet with water. Place milk in a large pot. Place the pot on the stove over high heat until the milk reaches 90 degrees. Pour in the rennet and citric acid and mix to dissolve the citric acid in one direction for 30 seconds. Cover the pot and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Check in the pot after five minutes to make sure that the milk has curdled and the whey or liquid left behind is no longer milky. If the liquid is still milky, allow to sit longer. With a long knife, cut the curd in the pot into a checkerboard pattern. Place pot back on the heat until it reaches 110 degrees stirring gently in one direction. Remove from heat once the temperature reaches 110 and continue stirring for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain curds in a fine-mesh sieve. Refill the pot with hot water and heat to 185 degrees. Place the colander of curds in the hot water and allow them to sit immersed in the hot water for 3 minutes. Remove curds from the sieve and place them on a flat surface. Season curd with sea salt. Fold and knead curds until smooth and elastic. If the curd cools too much to fold, submerge back in hot water for 2 minutes. Remove and continue folding until smooth. Makes one pound mozzarella. Refrigerate until ready to eat.



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