My cheese! I’m so proud. Cheese is such a creative adventure. I’ve been enamored with it since the first time I watched milk transform into curds. It’s like magic.
The photo above is my cheddar, made by the traditional cheddar recipe from Home Cheese Making. I made rounds and rounds of cheddar back in late spring and early summer, before I dried Beulah Petunia off pre-calf. I’m just now breaking into those cheeses and tasting the reward. Today, I’m being profiled on the blog at New England Cheesemaking. I’m so excited. How did this happen? I don’t know. I’m a New England Cheesemaking fangirl all the way. New England Cheesemaking’s Ricki Carroll wrote the classic, Home Cheese Making, which I got my hands on right away after I got goats. The first cheese I made was ricotta.
Tie her up, tie her down, tie her sideways, then milk her.
If you missed that post, go see it. Of course, it’s easier to make ricotta without all the goat tying. You can make cheese with milk from the store. You can make cheese on a regular basis, or you can make cheese for special occasions to wow your family and friends. It’s fun and crafty.
I made my first soft cheeses with a cheesemaking kit from New England Cheesemaking. I researched and asked people and pondered, and New England Cheesemaking was the best around, hands down, for supplies, and they had the most comprehensive and easy-to-understand book of recipes. I worked my way through most of the soft cheese recipes in the Home Cheese Making book and finally dived into hard cheese after I got a homemade cheese press. I made the typical first-timer hard cheese, farmhouse cheddar–with milk from the store. But I was hooked, and it wasn’t long before I had a cow.
I had a veritable cheese factory going on here in June and July. I made cheddar after cheddar after cheddar. Not farmhouse cheddar (which is a short-cut cheddar), but real traditional cheddar that ages for three to twelve months. (I managed to wait almost four months before breaking in to the first one.)
Yet somehow I never got past cheddar. Hard cheese scared me for a long time. It’s just like anything new and unfamiliar. Can I really do it? Farmhouse cheddar was one thing, but making real cheddar was another, and once I did that, I kinda got stuck on it. Cheddar, cheddar, cheddar. Not that I don’t love cheddar….. And not that it was even that difficult. I just got stuck. I perused the Home Cheese Making book until I about wore the pages out yearning for the excitement of trying more cheese recipes, but still I was stuck. Stuck….and eager to unstick. I love a good adventure. (You know, once I get going.)
Then along came New England Cheesemaking. WHAT?! Like I said, I am such a fangirl. Along with profiling me today on their blog and in their Moosletter, they have invited me to a challenge. I will be writing for them as I unstick and dare myself to make one new hard cheese every month. I AM SO EXCITED.
Best of all, along the way, there will be some giveaways involved–FOR YOU!!!
Okay, who wants to make cheese with me? Don’t leave me hanging out here alone. (A goat or cow is not required. You can make homemade cheese with milk from the store. That’s how I did it for a long time between the first time I was milking Clover and when I got Beulah Petunia.)