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"

  • Something new I tried recently – pickled tomatillo wedges with jalapeΓ±o peppers – I hope they are good but it is too soon to tell!

  • I’ve tried a few things. The most successful was jam, which I make a few times a year. When I tried peppermint marshmallows, I added too much peppermint and they were inedible. It was fun though!

  • I recently made mud cake with gummy worms it turned out delicious, compared to my first attempt several years ago I don’t know what I was thinking but I stuck the gummy worms in with the batter and baked the cake was like a brick I couldn’t even get it out of the pan and had to trash it haha! I remembered to leave the gummy worms out this time.

  • My husband and I tried to make polenta with beets in it once and it ended up being a mushy pink mess that tasted surprisingly awful given the ingredients.

  • I am along time fan of Mexican cuisine and have made homemade flour tortilla’s for decades. I finally guilted myself into trying to make a healthy whole wheat version. They were so bad I could have used them as a frisbee.

  • I would love to try making cheese. I learned how to can foods this year . It would be fun to add cheese making to my can do list.

  • I have been listening to a podcast about rationed foods during WWII recently that inspired me to make a savory jello mold (chicken mousse) for Labor Day-half my family lived it and the other half wouldn’t try it because it looked weird…

  • The hubby and I tried making some peach wine recently. We just kinda flew by the seat of our pants using the internet as a guide. Our first batch turned into moonshine (or pure gasoline lol) and was pretty terrible. But we made a second attempt using different ratios of sugar and its pretty good. yay! Either way it was a fun way to spend some time together and now we have some bottles tucked away in the pantry.

  • In college tried to make all my gifts. My poor family. I tired bagels hard and ugly, I tried lotion smelly. I tried lots of thing not very well. Now I only give jams….thanks

  • I spent the better part of a winter trying to perfect whole wheat sandwich bread. By the end I came up with something that was really pretty great, but there were definitely some bricks along the way.

  • Way back before I became the official family bread baker, I decided I’d like to try to bake bread for the first time. I followed the instructions, put the dough in a “warm place to rise”, on the kitchen radiator. The bread barely rose at all with a hard crust surrounding it. It took another try, and someone else’s advice that I COVER it before my baking project became a success. No where in any of my bread recipes did an instruction say to cover the bread! Guess the writers assumed everyone knew that bit…

  • My husband and I have become obsessed with making homemade dough for our pizzas. Invested in a pizza steel (soooo much better than any stone I’ve used) but the dough recipes we’ve tried still just “aren’t quiet right”. It’s fun to cook together!

  • The first time I made sirnaya paskha, a traditional Easter dessert, I was surprised how easy it was and how well it turned out. It’s a dairy-egg mixture that is poured into a mold lined with cheesecloth and left to set in the refrigerator.

  • I’ve made paneer with milk and vinegar a handful of times but the first time, I really didn’t’ think it would work at all and it turned out great!

  • I have recently started playing around with sourdough! Still learning the bread basics, but it’s super fun. And tasty.

  • I just made a neapolitan cake for my daughter’s 10th birthday. It was fun and was a pretty surprise when we cut into it for her party. It was 3 layers – one chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, but you cut each into 3 circles and switch them so each layer has each flavor and reveals a checkered cake when you cut it!

  • This summer has been full of first time adventures. I’ve been canning (jams, salsas, pickles) for the first time – most of which turned out pretty great. I tried lacto fermenting dill pickles twice, both times were complete failures (but I’ll try again soon!). I have some sauerkraut fermenting away for the second time (my first time was a “learning experience”. And last weekend I cooked a meal using a tagine for the first time. Making cheese is definitely on my bucket list!

  • Look like a fun and usedul project to go along with the first lasagna and ravioli of the season. Would love to see how they taste with homemade mozzarella.

  • So many kitchen experiments over the years…most have been successes but there have definitely been some failures, the most repeated of which is poaching eggs.

  • Recently my husband and I tried to make wine w/ wild Mustang grapes. We didn’t really know what we were doing, so it was pretty hysterical. Hopefully the wine will be drinkable months later. I did learn a hard lesson to wear gloves when handling these grapes, my hands are still itching!

  • Something new made in the kitchen??? Joe’s Peppers canning recipe. Not a fan of hot peppers in a tomato and oil sauce once I tried it. But there were many people that enjoyed them on sandwiches!

  • As a young college student, I tried to make clam chowder in the slow cooker, but I used sweetened condensed milk instead of evaporated milk. I don’t recommend it. πŸ˜‰

  • I love yogurt in my smoothies. Did some research on the web and gave it a try! First time out not so good. Second time, success. Need to make some more now!

  • I made homemade ricotta once. Quite a while ago. It seemed kind of unrewarding due to the very bland flavor of the product. I would love to have a kit with specific instructions to guide me to a better result!

  • Just this summer I’ve tried making jam without using pectin. It was successful. I’m so excited! I want to do it again

  • Canning is my new thing this year, thanks to seeing your book at the library. I’m working my way through all the yummy recipes. It’s great fun and I get something I can enjoy for the dreary winter to come.

  • i like to try to challenge myself with new things to learn and to eat! I’ve been meaning to try my hand at making homemade bread, but I figure that’s better suited to when it’s not quite so hot out. Instead, I found a recipe for English muffins that are PERFECT with some homemade jam (strawberry vanilla is my fave)that have turned out wonderfully the few times I’ve made them.

  • I am always trying to make something new in the kitchen. This passed weekend I starting making Cranberry Cider, it is a quick ferment so I’ll see how it turned out in another week.

  • Last year I tried an elimination diet and ended up making a few new things, among them gluten-free scallion pancakes and allergen-free salad dressing (roasted shallots! yum!). It was an interesting experience. Making mozzarella has been on my list since I read about it in _Animal, Vegetable, Miracle_ by Barbara Kingsolver.

  • I love to try new things. Have not made cheese yet. Fresh mozzarella is delicious so homemade must be wonderful. I am dying to try it. Thank you, Shari

  • Once tried to make a yummy looking scalloped potato dish for the first time. Sliced my finger open with a mandoline. Haven’t made scalloped potatoes since. This was two years ago.

  • I would love to win this! The last new thing I tried in the kitchen was making kombucha. It was successful! I’ve been trying to figure out what I’d like to try next.

    Thanks for the drawing. I live in the US.

  • The first time I tried to make a chicken pot pie it was a failure. Everything was perfect until it had about 10 minutes left to cook I noticed the edge of the crust was getting to dark. So I went to covcer the edges with foil and when I pulled it out I dropped it in the floor.

  • Pickling was a big first for me last year and it turned out great. With a plethora of cukes from the garden I was able to make Bread & Butter Pickles, Sweet Relish, and Dill Pickles (whole, spears and coins). What fun!

  • I’ve tried making ricotta recently. It turned out well, but I realized after the fact that I could have salted it or added herbs. But it was very nice. A bit too firm, but next time it will be perfect. I buy a lot of mozzarella, especially in the summer to eat with the great tomatoes. So I would like to try my hand at making mozzarella myself!

  • These days, most everything I make is something new. My husband recently had a stroke and if you know anything about that health issue, diet is key to avoiding another one. I am a meatloaf and fried chicken type of cook and now I have to learn a COMPLETELY different way of cooking. I’m learning though πŸ™‚ I now cook a lot of fish of which I did not previously. All I can say is that I’m trying. lol I would love to learn to make my own mozzarella. Cooking is not much fun these days, so making my own cheese sounds like just the thing I need. Thank you so much for the giveaway!

  • Oddly enough I just made cheese for the first time a couple days ago. It was an easy ricotta. I am totally hooked. I am looking forward to expanding my cheese making skills

  • I’ve tried a sourdough starter several times but it always looks funky after a week and I end up throwing it out. I would love to try cheese as I just joined a raw milk CSA

  • I have tried several times now to make fermented pickles. . . I don’t really like pickles that much but I am curious and science-minded and enjoy the experimenting. Hopefully, I will eventually make a batch that are edible enough for my husband to eat.

  • I keep trying to re-create my late grandmothers cheese cake. I don’t have her recipe.
    It was a cooked New York style with cottage cheese and cream cheese and lemon.

  • I think every time I cook or bake anything in the kitchen it is something new! I enjoy the process even when the food doesn’t quite turn out exactly how I thought it might.

  • My first try at fruit leather. The puree went in the solar dryer this morning. Grapes from our yard, pears from our favorite farm stand, and apples we picked on the side of the road.

  • The first time I tried to bake a cake from scratch was a total flop. I was probably 13 or 14 years old and it came out more like a brick than cake.

  • this summer I made sushi with my kids. Lots of learniNo opportunities in that project! The first several rolls were wonky at best but tasty. But they were looking pretty good by the time we ran out of rice! Fermented veggies in a mason jar for the first time this summer too. Much easier and a much more satisfying first result – grated carrots and ginger. Yum!

  • So every year, around August or September, I spend one month not buying any food and just living on what I have in my larder and what I can barter for. I was out of cheese and desperate for some so I found a recipe that claimed to produce mozzarella from powdered milk and vinegar. It was my first and only cheesemaking attempt, as the resulting stuff was rubbery balls that tasted exactly like powdered milk and vinegar. I fed it to the dogs and have been mildly resentful of the recipe ever since. I would love to start afresh with proper ingredients. πŸ™‚

  • My son has an egg allergy. My first egg free cake was his first birthday. It was pretty awful! We’ve found a good recipe since, but stick to sundaes on his birthday.

  • My most recent “new thing” to try has been making sauerkraut! I have gotten air locks from the beer and wine making store so I’m going to try it again!

  • This summer I took on canning projects…I made
    Peach jam, marinara sauce, jarred tomatoes , salsa, red beets.
    It was fun. My jam came out very runny so now it is an ice cream topper.
    I made mozzarella over 30 years ago and want to learn to make it again

  • Five years ago, I found a recipe for Rosemary Peach Jam in a Southern Living cookbook. It was entirely too sweet for my taste but it started me on a hobby that has taken over my cookbook shelves and pantry!,

  • I I have just made salsa for the first time. I have been a canner over the years but never did anything but whole tomatoes. So I started with your roasted corn salsa and have gotten rave reviews. That being said, I am now on to pickles and chutney. I would love to try making cheese but have absolutely no idea where to start.

  • I have a bad habit of making something new when guests are coming over. Usually it goes fine but then there was the veggie kofta curry that I made with a spice mix too spicy for myself or my guests to eat….

  • I’ve made ricotta, but never tried mozzarella-this kit makes it look much easier than some of the recipes I’ve read. I want to try making hot sauce this year – there should be peppers for a few more weeks at the farmers market.

  • I’ve tried making mozzarella before! It came out a bit rubbery so I’d love to try another batch. The kit looks great!

  • The first time I made pepper jelly, I followed the instructions that said to bring it to a boil that cannot be stirred down…unfortunately I used too small of a pot. The pepper jelly rose up to the top of the pan and I spent 3 very long minutes desparately stirring to keep it from boiling over (never thought to just turn down the heat..duh!!) I wrote “use BIG pot” on the recipe as a reminder for the next time.

  • This sounds like such a great idea! I would love to try my hand at homemade cheese, and a kit might just make me brave enough to do it for the first time.

  • Praying to win this cheese making kit. It’s close to a complete homeschooling science curriculum covering everything from nutrition, animal science to microbiology. Just kidding, but hoping to win so my kids can learn how to make some awesome cheeses!

    1. Oops, I didn’t listen and follow directions, lol. I hope I’m editin my post and not cheating with a second entry. I love making sourdough bread from scratch as well as sauerkraut.amazingly my kids love eating kraut on toast. Now all I need is a cheese making kit to turn our favorite kitchen creation into a complete meal!

  • I recently tried making water radish kimchi. I wish I could say it was good. But no. I make fresh cheese and ricotta. It would be fun to try mozzarella.

  • My girls 9&13 wanted a trampoline so I told them to get a job – they decided to grow a garden and start a farm stand. We learned to jam this summer and are completely addicted! And they are well on their way to earning their trampoline!