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.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cheese Making This Summer

This is going to be an epic year for cheese making. I'm already thinking about it. For a lot of reasons I didn't make a lot of cheeses last year. Sure I made a heap of fresh cheeses but none of the aged ones that I worked on two summers ago.

My found cheese from the still life the other day. It was just lovely. And delicious!

But this summer is going to be a glorious cheese making season. Deep in the way back of my storage fridge I found a cheese from two summers ago. It was one of the goudas. It took some courage... but I figured it was well aged and well waxed so I busted it open. It was amazing.

The weird thing about cheese making - especially the aged varieties - is that you never know if your hard work is going to pay off. But it did. And it worked.

My newest cheese making book - I'm excited to try it out.

My big purchase this year needs to be a cheese fridge for aging the cheeses. Altho my hubby might have a break down if I plug in one more electrical appliance (do you know we have three chest freezers?) I think it will be worth it.

One of the problems with this house is that not only is it a split level... the basement is finished. We don't have a real cellar or I'd just age the cheeses downstairs. You want to have the cheese age at about 50*.  A regular fridge is too cold - altho there are gadgets to override a regular refrigerator cooling system.  So an aging fridge is the way to go. We used a wine fridge last time and it worked really well. Until the fridge died. So I need to work on getting a new wine fridge.

In the meantime I'll also be working on my supplies. My favorite book for cheese making is 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes: From Cheddar and Brie to Butter and Yogurt. I like this book the best because the instructions are clear, she provides a lot of tips and additional information in the margins, and she gives so many goat cheese recipes.

I started with Ricki Carroll's bookand while I liked it... her instructions always seemed a bit loosey-goosey to me. Getting started with cheese making seems intimidating and I never felt like I was doing it "right" with her instructions.

But what I eventually learned is that even if you don't do it "right" you generally end up with cheese. And if it fails you just throw the whole mess out to the chickens and try again.

Aside from having the right tools, cheese making isn't that hard. It requires a a huge stainless steel pot and lot of stirring sometimes.... but you just follow a recipe step by step. Think of the most complicated meal you've ever made. Cheese making is easier than that. Just follow the instructions and make sure you have enough time to complete the steps and the right tools to handle the job.

Happy Thursday everyone! Are you getting your cheese making supplies in order?

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1 comment:

Vera said...

2013 was my first year of cheese making, and while I was moderately successful with 'young' cheeses, I did have probs with trying to leave the cheese to ripen, and mostly ended up with mould. Our cow will shortly be given a rest from milking for two or three months, so that will give me a rest from cheese and butter making, and I have said to Hubs that I need to have a proper place for cheese storage if I am to start making cheese again in autumn. I was going to try a wine cooler but they are expensive here in France, then I was going to try a fridge, but it would mean buying a new one, so am waiting for inspiration as to what to do. You are right, a cheese mixture will always make some sort of cheese, even if it is not the type you started off making!

Three freezers here too!

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