'Ave a go, at making cheese.

I just couldn't help myself.

I've been making a bit of cheese lately, a batch every weekend, since the In Laws donated a old fridge that I could use for aging. Mostly soft brie like cheese, as the turnaround is fairly quick and I'd love to be able to start getting everyone in my Herdshare a bit of product.

Cheese making is one of those things I'm not really cut out for, requiring precise temperatures and timing. I'm a bit, well, a lot more slapdash. I've been good though, only ruining two out of the last three batches, one when I didn't watch the temperature of the water bath I was using. The second was when I left a cheese to dry and went out training. The book was probably meaning European room temperature, because when I came back my lovely soft cheese had collapsed in the heat.

Today I came home and took Laf up to the driveway to have a feed on the much greener and lusher grass there. I get a heap more milk the next morning. I've been tethering her there overnight, which only backfired slightly last weekend when she started bellowing to be milked at 3am. I milked out almost twice as much though. As I was leading her up I noticed she was very full in the udder. The calf hadn't had his afternoon drink. I couldn't tether her out in that condition, she'd bellow all night.

So I milked her out and went down to make some cheese. Trouble is, I'm running a bit low on supplies, I had no brie starter culture or white mould or liquid rennet. I did have my back up junket tablets and a bit of cheddar culture.

So after reading up a bit I decided to ignore all the recipes and try and make a semi hard cheese, with the culture of the milk dominating. The milk was just the right temperature so in went the junket tablets and a touch of culture. I've cut the curd and stirred and broken it all up. I'll drain it, salt it and lightly press it overnight. Then into the fridge to age, then, who knows?

If it doesn't work out, I've got plenty of raw product to work with!


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