Have I ever mentioned that I lived in Italy when I was a teenager?  My dad worked for NATO in Naples in the early '80's.  Easily my favorite place I ever lived.  EVER.  I could see the Mediterranean from my bedroom window.  The people of southern Italy were the nicest.  And the food?  Well, that goes without saying - but I'll say it anyway:  AMAZING! 

Surprisingly, my favorite dish wasn't pasta.  It was a salad of all things.  Specifically, Caprese Salad.  You know, that fresh mozzarella and tomato salad that all the fancy Italian places serve these days.  When we got back from Italy in 1986, no one had heard of fresh mozzarella yet, let alone water buffalo mozzarella!  Especially in small town North Dakota, which was our next assignment.  I don't think I got to have a Caprese Salad for 15 years.  That is a long time to crave something!

Nowadays, you can get fresh mozzarella at pretty much any super market if you don't mind coughing up the cash for it.  And mostly I don't.  But we are rapidly approaching basil season here at Casa de Critical Mass, which means that I will putting basil in every dish I can think of  (So basically, pesto, lasagna, and Caprese Salad.)   Between the basil in my garden and the tomatoes in my Bountiful Basket, I feed my girlfriends Caprese almost every week.

I found saw a pin and that got me all excited, but when I read through all the steps, I decided that making cheese was not for me.  Then I stumbled on this pin!

Andrew Wilder from Eating Rules posted an excellent (and simple!) recipe for making home made mozzarella at Simple Bites.  In just 30 minutes and with a minimum of weird ingredients, you get home made cheese!  I had to try it.  You know, just as soon as I ordered the one oddball ingredient off the internet.  (Wester isn't long on cheese making suppliers.)

So when Sister L came for a visit, I had the perfect opportunity to experiment on make it for her!  I am beyond pleased to report that it turned out perfectly!  All I am going to change for next time is adding a little more salt.  Otherwise, it was perfect.  Which is a good thing.  I have enough rennet for 19 more batches! 

That is a lot of cheese.