Mozzarella and my homeschooling-crazy mind

Elvis Elvis

One of the activities books that we borrowed from the library has a “Milk, Cheese and Yogurt” themed-activity. So we’ve got books about cheesemaking, milk production, yogurt etc.

We made yogurt smoothies (yogurt and fruits mixed in our food processor). Raspberry yogurt was the winner, blueberry came second, while avocado (although number one favorite as bubble tea) failed the test (apparently because the avocado used was too ripened).

Then today, we made mozzarella. It was a whole lot of excitement since this was our first time making our own mozzarella. We’ve made yogurt before, smoothies so many times, but cheese ? Definitely the first time.

Don helped pour the milk, mixed in the citric acid, and even learned about thermometer for the first time. What’s the red thing in the milk, mommy ?, he asked. That startled me, because I’ve forgotten whether it is mercury or something else. I sort of remember that they don’t use mercury anymore in thermometer, but cannot recall what they replace it with, some kind of alcohol ?

Mozzarella and my homeschooling crazy mind

Then the milk started to curdle. Then we added the rennet and it curdle more. What is that mommy ? Why does that happen ?

Then came the fun part, kneading the mozzarella. Don really wanted to help knead but it was too hot and I didn’t have any rubber gloves around. So he just watched me knead and stretch the mozzarella until he saw me taste a little. That was it ! I never finished kneading and stretching the mozzarella until it reaches it’s supposedly shiny and stretchy final result, we ate it all in the process.

It was so much fun ! I didn’t realize making mozzarella was so easy and so quick. Under 30 minutes !! And since this was our first time making cheese, to be honest, I feel like doing magic. I mean how on earth did the milk turn into curd and finally cheese !?!?! How could that happen ? Of course it’s the rennet but still, isn’t it amazing ? When you think about it,… One minute you have liquid milk, the next you have solid, mozzarella cheese !! MAGIC !!

I guess I’m enjoying this homeschooling process a little bit too much. It was meant for my kids but somehow I got myself excited about the whole thing. I started to see every store as a potential field trip (including the cheese store we went to last weekend, which led to today’s mozzarella experience). Now I’m jumping up and down and crazy looking for a local dairy farm since I really want to see how they process milk. We’ve done reading “The milk maker” but it just got me more curious about the real thing.

Then the kids got some video about building a house and heavy machines at a construction site. Of course they enjoy watching all the builders and the heavy machines used in building skyscrapers. But me !?!?! Wow !! I never realized there’s so many things involved. The foundation, the steel and wood frames, wirings, plumbing, heating, electricity, everything !!! To add to that, there’s a construction site right next to the building where I work, so I can’t really concentrate at work now, I keep looking at the construction site (and all the time telling other people how my kids would be very excited to see all that, in actuality, it was me who’s excited).

Oh well, I hope my kids are as excited as I am in all this. They’ve been alright. We haven’t done any ‘school’ yet, they’re too young for that. All I’m doing right now is letting them figure out their world, with me filling in here and there, choosing books for them, answering their questions (and boy those questions are a killer, I specifically checked out a book from the library called something like ‘answers for science questions your children asks’).