Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rain leads to cheese...

Seemed like everyone else was getting rain except for CO. 

Well... now we have rain. 

Lots of it.  Mini lakes and mud to your knees all over.  I think I saw a school of fish in the goat pen last night.   Since it is cool, muddy and gross outside, I don't really want to be outdoors.  I'm thumbing through my cheese books for recipes.

I'm making a batch of feta right now... remembering when I overheated the milk accidentally but being too cheap and stubborn to dump the milk, I tried the recipe anyway.  The feta turned out really creamy and delicious vs. chunky like you think of feta being.

Today I purposefully heated the milk to 170 vs. 160 while pasteurizing it.  I think the day I discovered this phenomena, I had forgotten the milk on the stove and it hit 180 or 190... I'm playing around with the temperature a little.... seeing what it's gonna do to the cheese.  What will 170 bring? 

Want to try some other cheeses... will do a St. Maure again.  The first time I tried it, it wasn't humid enough for form a rind and I over salted it.   It became inedible as it aged from the salt.  Yuck.

I have some new ideas about aging cheese using humidity.  It's been my biggest to get humidity?  *lightbulb goes off*  I'm gonna try clear plastic storage bins... put some water in the bottom, place a rack in the bin,  cheese goes on the rack ... cover it up and voila, humid cheese cave in a very dry clime. 

Added bonus?   Automatic dog protection!  Out of the 7 St. Maure cheeses that were aging at room temperature, we had one disappear without a trace.  We think Sammy, our counter surfer dog,  had a taste....  guess he thought it was too salty too because he never stole another. 

Wanna try a farmhouse cheddar that takes 4 weeks vs. 6 months to age and while I expect failure before I get the hang of it... would love to figure out a Camembert.  I'll keep you posted to my cheesing adventures....

See?   The pastures aren't the only thing benefiting from the rain!


DebH said...

Ok...thanks for that post. It's just what I needed to get motivated. I have two girls I need to start milking and once ....well you stopping. I was lazy and left the babies on them and just couldn't fit in a start date. But your talking of cheese gets me pretty excited. I am extremely impatient and can't learn to wait on aged cheese. Boy do I love it though! Someday when I settle down, perhaps I will try it. Good Luck! YOU also motivated me on casting some grass seed with your talk of seeding the pasture. Since we've had a daily rainfall around here I am really hoping some seed stuck. Also, if you catch The Fabulous Beekman Boys on the green channel. You should see what they get for a round of Blaak Cheese. Crazy why we don't collaborate and get into the whole goat promo like they do. Now if only we had our own reality show! Boy could we show folks a thing or two!!

Shanster said...

I haven't seen those guys but I've heard of them... need to find them. I sure hope things settle down for you and you don't wash away!!!! I tried to make some chevre using buttermilk and rennet... uh. It is some sort of mystery cheese. I haven't tried it yet but it's sittin in the fridge and I'm hoping some age and chill will do something for it... it's definately ODD texture wise...