It turns out that success in the water-bath cooking portion of cheese making is crucial in getting the curds to hold together. After 24 hours of pressing--that's 12 hours on one side, flip and 12 hours on the other--when we removed the curds from the mold and attempted to peel away the cheesecloth, the curds crumbled to bits.
So we're back to square one. Buy two more gallons of whole milk and begin again. But that's okay. This is how you learn. Sad to say, but usually your own mistakes will teach you more than the mistakes of others. That's not so bad when you're talking about mistakes in the kitchen, but devastating if you're talking about something like, say, war!
The good news is, that mass of pressed curd tastes yummy. In a scant 24 hours, it has already gained the sharpness of a good cheddar. So we'll enjoy it, crumbled into omelettes and over frittatas. And right off the board, eaten with our fingers.
How many of life's mistakes are this good?