There are delicious things with horrendous prices that I've only eaten once or twice, and then only because John bought them. (I married him for good reasons!) Fresh mozzarella is one of those things, and he bought some to make this addictive side a long time ago. There are delicious things in this world that should not have horrendous prices, and mozzarella is one of them.
Now you know why I'm so delighted to know how to make the stuff at home. I made it for the first time last summer and then gushed about it on shotsnaps because it's all I could think about for a few days. Mozzarella? Yummy? Cheap? That I can make and eat ANYTIME I WANT?!?!?! (Right now I have homemade feta ripening in the fridge, and you can bet I'll gush about that, too, if it doesn't poison us a few weeks from now when it's ready.)
Like making bread or yogurt or cold-process soap for the first time, making mozzarella can be intimidating. Like those things, it's really quite a simple process, however, with just a few steps, and once you taste success once, watch out, because you'll never look back. Trust me. You're probably making something with ease right now that's loads harder to make than mozzarella.
I only took pictures the first time I made it, but it tastes heavenly every time.
My favorite way to eat it is layered with fresh basil and tomatoes from the garden, drizzled liberally with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and topped with a sprinkle of salt. This picture is also from last summer, and I sit here waiting on the basil and tomatoes...
I don't want to put forth the effort to give a proper tutorial here when it's not something I made up on my own (but, really, if I had just invented making mozzarella, you can bet my gush would be incrementally more annoying, and I'd shout it from the rooftops), so here's the link to the youtube video I kind of followed to make it the first couple of times. His method streamlines the process more than traditional mozzarella-making, which takes half the day, so following this method was an easy choice for me.
Note: When I needed to heat the cheese a bit more during the stretching process, I just plopped it back in the hot water for a few seconds before resuming the stretching.