Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Say Cheese!


There is not a food group on the planet that I enjoy more than dairy. Milk, ice cream, yogurt, cheese, the list goes on and on! And it's all so good! So this week in my quest to figure out what to do with all this prospective milk that I may have... I decided to make my own cheese.

A few months back I had the privilege to take a cheese making class at Keswick Creamery. It was awesome!!! I love the farmers and Cheese empress(es) that operate Keswick! The class covered 'simple' cheese making techniques. We made feta, yogurt, quark (yogurt cheese), chevre style, and a jack style. It was a two day event and I had such a fantastic time being covered head to foot (literally) in whey! On top of making cheese, I was able to stay on the farm and help with a few "Farm for dummies" chores like feeding calves. Except for the mud puddle that ate my flip flop, I had a super time!

So thus armed with my amazing cheese making notes, I was thus determined to make my own cheese last weekend. I went to the local Amish dairy and purchased three more gallons of milk than we usually buy. I came home and gathered my cultures, rennet, cheese cloth, and pots. I set to work. After several text messages (sorry!) to the cheese empress herself, I finally had my cheese set up correctly and it seemed as though all was well.

I started with a Chevre style cheese. It seems simple...
heat the milk, add the culture, stir, wait, add rennet, stir, wait for flocculation, wait some more, cut the curd, wait some more, drain the whey, drain overnight. simple right? well... not so much. my cheese was much more wet than it was supposed to be. While the curd did form, I think I did not wait long enough because my whey was still very milky in color (its supposed to be yellow clear). So I drained it in the fridge over night and the next day added the salt and herbs.

I made this super wonderful omelet with steak, onions, peppers, and my chevre cheese on fresh baked baguette bread. It was AWESOME! Four hours later however, I was communing with the toilet. I was so sick! My husband (and I) thought I was dying! I was so disappointed because it was so yummy... the first time.

But thus is the road of trial and error. Better luck next time!!

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