Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cheese Making List

Thanks to everyone who has been using my Amazon store or the Amazon search box for their shopping! I really appreciate the support and I hope that my recommendations have been helpful. So far its going great. There's still a few more shopping days left before the holiday - so how about another list? Is cheese making in your future? Or maybe you just need to stock up?

My absolute favorite book, 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes: From Cheddar and Brie to Butter and Yogurt. I love this book especially if you have goats. It has a ton of recipes just for goat milk, does a great job of explaining the difference in goat vs cow cheese making, and gives exact instructions. If you only get one cheese making book this is it.
Of course there are some other great books out there. I started with Ricki Carrol's Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses. Its a good start and is great for folks who want to try cheese making and may not have access to a fresh, unpasteurized milk. On my wishlist tho, is the stunningly beautiful Artisan Cheese Making at Home: Techniques & Recipes for Mastering World-Class Cheeses. Isn't it a vision?

Some folks are hesitant to make cheese at home thinking its overly complicated. Nope. If you can follow any cooking recipe then you can make cheese. You just need a few things not normally found in your kitchen and a little confidence. I was absolutely thrilled to see that my favorite cheese making supplier,  Leeners has a store on Amazon. I love these guys. They have superfast delivery, excellent products, and exceptional customer service. You can also order directly from their website http://www.leeners.com and if you are lucky enough you can go and visit their shop.

If you are just starting out, there is a Deluxe Hard Cheese Kit with Red Cheese Wax with absolutely everything you could ever need. Or you can purchase the bits and bobs as you go along. I have everything that I use listed on my Cheese Making store page here.

One thing you need (that most folks don't already have) is the biggest stainless steel stock pot you can find. A 20 quart is probably the minimum. I would probably pass out with joy if I ever got one of the Prime Pacific Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Stock Pot with Lid, 35-Quart. That's 35 quarts! Oh man...the cheese I could make with that... The most important thing to remember is that it must be stainless, NOT aluminum.

A couple "bits and bobs" include really good quality cheese cloth, not from the grocery, but something like Cheesecloth Commercial Grade 3 SqYrd 27 SqFt which is a bargain here on Amazon.

I mostly use mesophilic starter for my cheeses:


And I prefer the rennet tablets such as Tablet Vegetable Rennet - 10 ct. They have a liquid version also.

If you are going to make aged cheeses you'll need somewhere to age it. A cool cellar is just the ticket but our basement is finished so that doesn't work for us. If you are skilled you could convert an old fridge so that it holds a temperature of about 50* or below.... or you can do what we did. Get a wine fridge with temperature controls, such as this Koldfront 28 Bottle Ultra Capacity Thermoelectric Wine Cooler - Platinum. This was absolutely our best idea. And it worked like a dream!

The important thing to remember about cheese making is not to be hesitant. There are some new words you'll need to learn, like mesophilic culture, and you might have some cheese fails - but so what? Even if your cheese doesn't turn out perfectly its still cheese. If it's a total fail then you can just give it to your chickens. Or pigs. Plus, what a fun skill to learn!

I have a good friend in the city who called me up after she had a gathering with her friends. Someone brought a goat cheese appetizer that costs something like $15 or $20. We both cracked up laughing because I could make the same thing for a cost of goods of less than $1 plus milk from my goats.

I used to stand in front of the cheese counter at an expensive grocery store and pine away for all that amazing cheese. Now I just go home and make it myself. And so can you! Stop waiting! Now is the time for you to get up some confidence and make some cheese!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Editor's Notes.... I've added a new "search" features to my Amazon store. But it seems to be limited to certain categories. If you ever get lost in my store, just click on the "Powered by Amazon" badge and you'll go right to the normal Amazon store. Or you can just use the black search box on the right of this page. If you are doing some shopping anyway, why not start here? You'll be supporting this blog and it won't cost you a thing!  And... um.. I might have made a bet that I'll have to make good on here soon. It involves a bra. And me. Oh golly. 


freemotion said...

That is my favorite cheese book! I have a few others, but they sit collecting dust on the shelf. That 200 recipes book is the BEST!

Chai Chai said...

I can't believe you forgot to include one of the most important utensils of the whole Cheese at home process - A good knife!

I know you know what it is for.....

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