Handmade Tales – Homemade Mozzarella

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     We had a small, intimate wedding in our backyard. It was a family affair with everyone pitching in to help. My daughters were my bridesmaids, and my young nephew was the ring bearer. My son gave me away.

We practiced marching down the aisle as my dad pretended to officiate. Accompanied by the music of Michael Buble, we sashayed through my parents’ garden, giggling with every step. Everyone participated with enthusiastic anticipation.

Because my husband Mark is a chef, the food was very important to him. He created the menu, testing every recipe, and tweaking it until it was just right. The entire family delighted in being official taste-testers. As we gathered in the kitchen,  Mark announced that we were all going to make the mozzarella. The children, especially the younger ones, looked at him, confused.

     “What do you mean, Uncle Mark? You can’t make mozzarella. You buy it.”

     He smirked and began plunking the ingredients on the counter – water, kosher salt, cheese curd.

     “Ewww! What is that? It looks gross!”

     He ignored them as he put the largest aluminum bowl we’d ever seen on the counter.  As he dumped the curd into the bowl, the kids wrinkled their noses and came closer. We watched him pour warm water into the bowl as he explained what would happen next. He described the particular texture we were waiting for, and told us we all had an important job coming up.

     After a bit, he drained the water and replaced it with hot water.  Plunging his hand in the steaming bowl, he began manipulating the large white mass that was beginning to form, as my mother and sister watched over his shoulder.

     “See how I’m stretching it?” He turned to my family. “Your turn.”

      Everyone had a turn, including my youngest nephew,  our little ring bearer. “Look at me, Uncle Mark. Mine came out good.”

     After we taste-tested a good portion of the freshly made mozzarella, we cleaned up and put the remaining cheese away, leaving it for the reception dinner.

     Our wedding was a beautiful, family affair, and all the children made sure to let the guests know, they had made the mozzarella.

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