Don't get me wrong, I love to throw myself into a project. I like to have all of the fancy supplies and gadgets. I try to not cut corners... mostly. :P I want to make an earnest effort and work hard to achieve the best result possible. All of that said, I had spent a few pennies purchasing the rennets and cultures and cloths required for the Cheesepalooza project but wasn't quite ready to purchase cheese moulds. Storage is at a premium in my small kitchen and I also wanted to be sure that, when I did purchase moulds, they would be moulds for cheeses that I would make again and again and again. Why buy a mould for a cheese that I didn't end up making or maybe didn't end up even liking?
So, I decided to DIY. Ian at Much Ado About Cheese has DIYed many of his cheesemaking supplies, so have Valerie, Addie, and Deb. I am reasonably handy... I can change light bulbs, assemble some Ikea furniture, and own a power drill. Ok, I'm not that handy and certainly a far cry from being a DIY Network star but I can get by. It was worth a few bucks and an attempt anyway...
I went off to the dollar store and found myself a few plastic BPA-free, food safe containers that I thought could function as reasonable moulds for my cheeses.
Food safe plastic containers in a variety of shapes (small but tall rounds could sub as crottin moulds, larger but shallow rounds as tomme moulds, squares could function as taleggio moulds, and so on)
Power drill with drill bits
(Here's the funny one) Nail or cuticle clippers... clean and freshly purchased from the dollar store as well
Drill holes in the food safe containers...
Make sure you have sufficient and well placed drainage holes. Add as required.
Feel free to laugh but these cuticle clippers worked way better than sandpaper at removing any plastic threads, which just scratched the plastic! Clip any plastic schrapnel that remains after your drilling. Run your fingers along the surface to make sure that you haven't missed removing any plastic bits.
Wash and sterilize your moulds, then use them!
Put the money you saved on moulds towards purchasing more milk!