Giveaway: Cheese Making Kit from Hobby Hill Farm

September 7, 2015

Hobby Hill Farm cheese making kit

This week’s giveaway comes to us from brand new sponsor Hobby Hill Farm. Based in Powhatan, Virginia, Hobby Hill Farm offers locally made jams and preserves, homemade pretzels, candies, and cheese making kits. What’s more, if you’re in the area, owner Sharon regularly teaches cheese making classes around central Virginia (she tells me she has 3-4 a week on the books straight through to November).

inside cheese kit

It’s those cheese making kits that I’m here to talk about today. The kit that Hobby Hill Farm sells retails for $26.95 and is designed to get you making your own mozzarella or ricotta cheese in just 30 minutes (they also sell an array of more advanced cheese making supplies). The kit contains cheese salt, citric acid, rennet, butter muslin, and easy-to-follow instructions. All you have to add is a gallon of milk and you’re ready to go.

I’ve completed many a DIY food project over the years, but until this kit arrived, I was always a little wary of trying my hand at cheese. However, I’ve made a batches of both mozzarella and ricotta so far and am loving how easy and satisfying a project it is. I’ll be back tomorrow with some pictures from my own experimentation.

cheese making ingredients

Thanks to the kind folks at Hobby Hill Farm, I have one cheese making kit to give away this week. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me about a time when you tried to make something new in the kitchen.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, September 12, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, September13, 2015.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents only (and is void where prohibited).
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

If you can’t wait, know that Hobby Hill Farm is currently offering all my readers 10% off their purchase. Use the code “FIJ” at checkout to get the deal.

Disclosure: Hobby Hill Farm is a Food in Jars sponsor. Additionally, they provided the kit you see here, as well as the one up for giveaway (along with a sack of the most delicious pretzels ever). 

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410 thoughts on "Giveaway: Cheese Making Kit from Hobby Hill Farm"

  • Today was my first attempt at canning. Inspired by your blog and your aptitude to work with what you have on hand, I made white tomato, carmelized vidalia onion, preserved lemon jam. I kept aside a small amount and it is delicious. I made your tomato jam and green tomato chutney recipes as a practice run but kept them as a refrigerator jam to eat immediately. They are a big hit in my house.

  • I haven’t made it yet but I plan on trying my hand at pear butter in a week or two. Last week however I did make your plum cardamom jam and it is delicious!!!!

  • Just a couple weeks ago, I made shrubs for the first time! I now have peach and peach-basil in my fridge. They’re fantastic and I’m really enjoying them in a cocktail with bourbon and a little club soda!

  • I have just started canning for the first time this year and I am afraid my poor family will be eating jam for the rest of their lives …I have enjoyed it so much! Seems to me like making cheese is just the next step for me πŸ™‚

  • I recently bottled my first batch of nocino. I put out a call on a neighborhood Facebook page, found someone with a walnut tree who let us pick the green walnuts, and made up the batch this summer. It’s finally ready to drink – and I think we’ve made a new friend with a walnut tree!

  • I’ve just dipped my toe into cheesemaking with a small batch of ricotta. Going to try mozzarella soon. This kit looks fantastic!! My most spectacular fail at trying something new was a pork/plum/thyme recipe that was inedible. Most of the time I have much better luck – almost alway up for something new.

  • The first time I made yogurt I used your recipe using small coolers. I worked perfectly, & now I know why I hung onto those two small coolers all these years!

  • Something I want to try: salt cured salmon. Something I have tried: gluten free baking. Like most things, the gluten free baking was mixed. The brownies were not worth repeating and the banana coconut flour muffins were worth saving.

  • Before I turned 30 I made a list of things (mostly food related) I wanted to do. One of the items was making croissants from scratch. I consulted Julia, and had a couple false starts, but ended up with some flakey resembles-croissants that my friends and I enjoyed. I also realized the croissant is one of those items I’ll let other stick to-makes me appreciate bakers so much more!

  • This is my first summer of canning, and I can’t get enough! I’ve made easily 20 recipes. A few duds, but I’ve loved every minute!

  • Healing salve, which went great. I have tried to can dill pickles and they did not come out well at all. I made refrigerator garlic dill pickles and they were wonderful!

  • First time trying to use a pressure canner! Yikes! Then I took a class, now I am happy to teach others some ins and outs of pressure canning and hot water bath canning.

  • My latest protect was to make elderflower champagne. It turned out absolutely delicious. I can’t wait for next year so I can harvest more flowers!

  • Oddly enough, I’ve tried my hand at cheese once before! I dove in with the idea that I could make a hard cheese and had no idea what I was doing. Ended up with a hockey puck in the fridge that was a reminder that I should probably read a bit before I just dive into things.

  • I tried to make mozzarella cheese a couple of months ago from a kit and it was an epic fail! I bought organic whole milk because the directions said to not use the ultra pasteurized milk. Well apparently organic milk is. Next time I’m going to just use regular milk and see what happens.

  • I”ve already tried once to make mozzarella and failed. I’d love to try again and this would be just the thing to help!

  • I recent years I have been canning quite a bite and like to try new things. This year I made your fig in whiskey and can’t wait to open it later. I also made your Italian plums (we have a tree) with star anise and loved it. It is always fun to try new things to preserve and sometimes I go a little canning crazy.

  • I am learning new things I made herbal ointment a tincture herbal infused oil and infused vinegar. Now I want to try cheese making. I have studied up and now I am ready to give it a try πŸ™‚

  • I’ve been making homemade fruit rolls with my new dehydrator. I’ve been able to get my daughter, who won’t touch fruits or veggies with a ten foot pole, to gobble them down!

  • A few weeks back I tried my had at making dill pickles for the first time. I still haven’t tried them, so I don’t know if they turned out

  • I’m a good baker, but have been afraid if yeast breads for some reason. I’m conquering that fear, slowly! I’ve made pizza dough and one loaf of bread.

  • I made candied ginger! Delicious, messy, & SO much better than store bought!
    Captured a swarm of bees in my yard 3 days ago, so the latest project is a long term one – honey!!

  • I’ve been on a moon pie kick. I’ve been wanting to make graham crackers for a long time and moon pies gave me the opportunity.

  • A few weeks ago, I went peach picking & decided to can some jam. What was new is I used my slow cooker to do it! Was super easy & a good method for that type of fruit. πŸ™‚

  • This past week I have made a spiced raspberry jam with jalapenos from my garden and fresh raspberries. When we had friends over for a labor day barbeque i brought in out and suggested it for the burgers, my husband who loved the jam was not worried because he thought it would be safe. Who would actually put it on a burger? Well the jam disappeared and I got requests to make more, so that’s what I’m doing today! Would love to try making the cheese too! What a great accompaniment for all my jams!
    Antoinette

  • I recently tried my hand at curing meat (well, salmon) for the first time. It turned out to be really easy and delicious!

  • I tried to make fresh ravioli once…did not turn out too well.
    Now I just use won-ton wrappers…works for me!

  • I was feeling overwhelmed with all the grape and cherry tomatoes my garden is producing this year! Tried your recipes for the tomato bisque and the spicy minty sauce, absolute delish! My 12 year old daughter will not eat that canned condensed tomato soup stuff, but loves this she keeps asking me to make more and that’s 3 times this week already!

  • This weekend was the first time I made homemade potstickers. Loved them, they were so much more tasty then the frozen ones that you buy.

  • I have tried several times to make yogurt. I am not successful all the time.
    I have been eyeing cheese making kits for a while now, and would love to win this and see if this would make a good gift.

  • Lately, I’ve been into trying various pantry staples like pickle relish, crushed tomatoes, and salsa!! So far, so good!

  • While I’ve not been brave enough to try actual canning yet, I have been learning how to make pickles for the refrigerator. My best experiment has been a spicy sweet cucumber and onion blend!

  • The first time I made cucumber pickles, I was very ambitious and came home from the farmer’s market with too many, not realizing how long it would take to process them. Lesson learned, start small with pickling!

  • I was inspired by an Armenian friend and started making yogurt a few years ago. I used her starter to begin with, but then I had some failures and (sadly) lost that starter. I am reasonably confident that each new batch will turn out now, but every so often I have another failure. It’s so worth it, though, to have homemade yogurt! Thanks for the giveaway.

  • We lived in a very old farmhouse with a range that was even older (not really but it was horribly ancient). I had the great idea to try making sourdough bread. I fussed over the starter, brought it to life and after the week or two it took to make the starter ~ took my first attempt at bread making. Oh boy. The fossil of an oven had more cold spots that Alaska! I ended up with “bread” flatter than a quarter. It was hilarious and my wonderful hubby announced that I made sourdough pita bread. That was a couple years ago and after honing my canning skills (successfully) I am ready to tackle bread again now that we no longer live in that great house with the over the hill range.

  • I just made dilly beans and maple pickled beets for the first time last week! I don’t yet know how they turned out, as I’m trying hard to be patient. But they look GORGEOUS. And beets can never be bad.

  • I made a chocolate cake from scratch and have never used a box mix again! Making cheese is on my culinary bucket list so I would love to win this prize package!

  • I try to make something new in the kitchen regularly. My most recent “new” was a batch of Lemon Yogurt Scones with Cranberries. Totally delish, especially since I used my homemade yogurt!

  • It’s not exactly cooking, but I started making my own face scrub from sugar, grapeseed oil and a little essential oil. It makes my skin feel amazing and I’ll never buy face scrub again!

  • I don’t do a whole lot of cooking, but I made deviled eggs from scratch a couple months ago (after never having even hard boiled an egg). They turned out as a great surprise for my girlfriend (and I) to enjoy when she got home from work!

  • I bottled some peach chutney for the first time! It turned out great ! We ate some with some cheese and crackers. So yummy!

  • I made chocolate pots de crime, which was an ordeal in itself, & I ran out of jars so I put the leftovers in a small casserole, which took longer to cook. So then I forgot about it & went to bed. Luckily I didn’t burn down the house or even burn the last pots de creme. It just turned out kind of like a flourless chocolate cake instead.

  • I’m constantly making new things in the kitchen. Just this weekend, I brewed my first batch of beer! One time in high school, I tried to make a vegan pecan pie, and I’m not sure where it went wrong, but it just refused to set up. My mom finally put it in the fridge, and it hardened into basically brittle. Oh well!

  • I’ve tried a million new things but the most memorable was when I had friends come over so I could teach them how to make jam. They want to make raspberry jam. Which I’ve never done before but figured how different could be. Well it never set up. So I guess they didn’t learn that much after all

  • Last year I made jalapeΓ±o jam and it turn out awesome. I am new to canning and preserving food so it was a real confidence builder.

  • Last year I tried my hand at making pawpaw butter to give away as Christmas gifts. Our little half acre has 3 pawpaw trees. As much as I wanted to like pawpaws, in their original form they have an unusual texture I just can’t get past.

    So over a weekend I peeled, seeded and pureed the fruit. Cooked it, following a recipe I found on line. It was similar to all the others so I just chose it at random.

    By the end of the weekend I had 2 dozen jelly jars and 1 dozen half-pint jars cooling and sealing. I didn’t have the courage to give them away – they’re still all down in the cellar. And the pawpaws are ripening as we speak…

  • Made tomato jam a few weeks ago- yummo! Would love this kit- and it’s local to us, so we may check out the classes πŸ™‚

  • A couple of years ago a friend had some canned items in her pantry. Together she showed me how to make tomato jam. I was hooked. So much so that last year prior to every snow storm I made sure I had supplies to make something new. Tomato basil jam, blood orange marmalade, apple butter, meyer lemon syrup, meyer lemon curd, dehydrated meyer lemons (there were a lot of snow days last year). This year I got a bit more organized and have preserved peaches, nectarines, spicy smokey tomato jam and then last night (drum roll please) I canned tomato sauce. I’d love to try cheese but even if I’m not chosen, I’m thankful for my new passion (in large measure thanks to your blog).

  • I recently tried to make crackers for the first time. I went for a super easy recipe that called essentially for just a grain and salt. I made it out of millet, and I have to say, FAILURE. The crackers were not at all crisp, and were instead kind of chewy. I’ll try again with a different recipe if I get this cheese kit πŸ™‚

  • A couple of years ago I made lettuce soup. I had an abundance of fresh lettuce that I didn’t want to let go to waste and found a recipe for the soup. It turned out great, tasting much like spinach or watercress soup.

  • I recently made an aperitif concoction with red wine, vodka, sugar and cherry leaves. It tastes a little like cough syrup but I’d try it again with peach leaves.

  • I canned for the first time this year. Watching Marisa’s YouTube videos gave me the confidence that I could do this. I have made marionberry, blueberry and vanilla cinnamon peach jam. I also made blueberry chutney and tomato jam (YUM) for the first time this year. Canning is so easy. Would love to make mozzarella and ricotta to try with my savory jams!

  • The first and only time I tried to brew my own beer was a monumental disaster. The yeast reacted too aggressively, and it literally exploded all over my apartment. What a waste, as well as a mess!

  • The first time I tried making a recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I was inspired by the movie Julie & Julia, so of course I tried Bouef Bourguignon first. It was the most difficult meal/recipe I had ever made, and it took me almost 8 hours from start to finish! But I really loved every minute of it, and I couldn’t believe I had made something so delicious. Ever since then I’ve been hooked on Julia Child. πŸ™‚

  • I wanted to make an Indian curry and naan. I lived in a tiny apartment with a miniscule kitchen. I didn’t realize that naan was made in a tandoori oven. I had to get creative, but it turned out well.

  • I tried some no-bake cookies earlier this summer that I overcooked on the stovetop. It was ruined as cookies, but I saved it by stirring it all into plain yogurt, which I let sit overnight. I had great oaty, chocolate yogurt the next day!

  • My family really liked the chunky spicy green tomato sauce I made last year. We use it as a sauce on enchilada’s. I will be making it again this year. Now I just need to learn how to make the cheese too!

  • Back in the groovy 1970’s, my mom tried making cottage cheese. I remember the kitchen counter being covered with cake pans of milk that were going to set-up ‘any minute now’. Never happened. We teased her about it for years. Now that I’ve had my share of epic fails in the kitchen, I regret giving her such a hard time. At least she tried!

  • I am trying old recipes to bake new things in canning jars. I love the look of desserts in 1/2 pint jars with cute colored lids on them.

  • I recently brewed my first batch of kombucha, and I’m going to try making the next batch into kombucha wine. The first batch turned out a little bit on the vinegary side, but I still enjoy it. I’ve had the book “One Hour Cheese” by Claudia Lucero on my shelf for a long time, but I haven’t gotten around to getting the necessary supplies to get started on cheese making.

  • I’ve been dying to try cheese making. My first attempt at making dilly beans I tried using purple beans but was disappointed to learn that the color dissolved as soon as the hot brine hit them.

  • I have been experimenting with making bar BQ sauce in the slow cooker and canning it. So far the first 2 batches have been keepers.
    Also canned salsa verde for the first time this year.

  • I tried a new scone recipe that included quinoa. All seemed fine until we tasted the finished scones — bitter and inedible. I wracked my brain trying to figure out what went wrong. Ultimately, I’m pretty sure I dusted the dough with self-rising flour instead of all-purpose. The leavening in the flour gave the scones an awful taste. I can’t decide whether to try this recipe again.
    I would love to win one of the cheese making kits.

  • I tried to make currant wine once and corked it too soon and it exploded ALL OVER my pantry. While I was gone. In my rental apartment. I actually had to repaint. Oof dah.

  • I’m new to canning and am excited to try it out! I am more of a baker, but I’ve had a couple fails in it. Once I tried making toffee and it never got crunchy & another time I let my son help me make a lemon meringue pie and the the filling never set up and the meringue fell. It still tasted good, but it was lemon soup! πŸ™‚ It’s now probably the best pie I make.

  • I was probably when I tried to make my own pie crust in stead of buying it… Let me tell you my pie looked like a five year old made it!

  • The most memorable thing I can remember is attempting to make tablet. It’s a type of super sweet Scottish candy. Despite never having had it before, I decided to try making it for my stepfather’s birthday shortly after he immigrated to the states from Glasgow. There was a lot of me wondering if it was supposed to look like that, trying to see exactly how hot boiling sugar lava could get, and staring between my knife and this tray of sticky toffee colored goop as if that would cause it to magically release from the baking sheet. The stuff was an absolute trainwreck, but my stepfather was a great sport and ate every last bit of it with a smile.

  • You mean that time I tried to make macarons for my daughter’s 13th birthday? Watched a bunch of YouTube videos and checked a book out of the library and everything? Complete failure in any case. They lived up to their “difficult” reputation. We all lived and had lemon bars, I think. Thanks for the giveaway! Cheesemaking sounds fun!

  • Not technically in the kitchen (fire hazard!), but we’ve been getting more adventurous with using our little charcoal smoker on nice days.

  • Once I tried to render lard and it was a complete flop – I have had many successes but I would like to try cheese again!

  • Today I made jam for the first time (blueberry-ginger)! Fully intending on eating it with vanilla ice cream later πŸ™‚