Saturday, February 04, 2006

As a hobby, I make cheese. Living in semi-rural PA we have several dairys nearby and can get "farm-fresh" milk. We even have a couple of options for raw milk (non pasteurized, non homogenized) which makes the best cheese. I'm not sure what made me think of making cheese, it was probably a trip to Vancouver Island, Canada a few years ago. I've had good success with mozzarella but my cheddar was nasty. We think we solved the problem with the cheddar by buying a "cheese fridge" and getting a cheese fridge thermostat so we can age cheeses at the correct temperatures. I am now making something called "Guido's Cheese" from the book Home Cheese Making by Rikki Carroll. My first batch was ok. My co-workers and friends liked it. I thought it wasn't quite there. I bought new cultures and rennet and tried again. Last night I couldn't stand it anymore so I (lacking a cheese trier) dug a chunk out with a sharp knife and tried a piece (you reseal it by sticking the remainder of the chunk back in the hole and smearing a bit of butter on top to seal it.) I think this round may be pretty good. We aren't going to cut it until we come back from London on the 12th as we can't eat a 2 lb cheese in 3 days. I'm also trying to make Provolone for my Dad. So far no luck. My first batch was a complete disaster. That was the impetus to buy the new stuff and to ask for some additional things as gifts. Now I just need a cheese press. I have weights but when I am initially pressing the cheese they slide off and the resulting crash scares the pets. The Wife is going to build me a cheese press but she hasn't had time lately.

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