After reading Kingsolver, I went ahead and ordered Ricki Carroll's 30-minute mozzarella and ricotta kit, and it turns out that things are much more difficult than ol' Barb lets on when it comes to cheesemaking. Either that, or I'm just a shitty cheesemaker (insert "but I'm good at cutting the cheese" joke here). Here are a few spots where I think I went wrong, just in case your cheesemaking curiosity has led you down the same path:
1. Patience (something I lack after 6 beers at 9pm on a Friday) is requisite. The whey will separate eventually. I don't think I gave it enough time.
2. After you slice the curd and go into the reheat process, be careful with the stirring. I did more harm than good by doing so.
3. Unless you're one of those people that can walk on hot coals, get a pair of gloves for the pulling process. The curd-cum-cheese is literally too hot to handle.
My end result wound up looking more like cottage cheese. The curds just wouldn't come together, so I trashed the whole batch. But I am not disheartened. A future post will document my imminent success. Until then, I'll have to be content as a schmo.