Country Living Series

Monday, March 30, 2009

Whoo-hoo! SUCCESS!!!!

As some of you may know, I've been making cheese since getting our Jersey cow, Matilda, last November. Actually I've been making it a bit longer, since I was the "relief milker" for our neighbor's cow for many months, but since getting Matilda I've had to ramp up my cheese-making efforts simply to handle the daily milk load.

Cheddar has been my Achilles' Heel. Cheddar is a hard cheese and it has to be pressed and then aged before eating. What this means, of course, is you have to wait three months to know if you screwed up. I've tried a whole bunch of different recipes and a whole bunch of aging methods and gotten some pretty bad results.

So lately I've been following a new recipe and using proper cheese wax. Last night my husband got curious about this new cheese, and even though the earliest round was still about a month shy of the "medium cheddar" status we were trying to achieve, he cut into it.

Delicious! Honest to God, it was delicious! Between the four of us, we ate nearly half the loaf and almost spoiled our appetite for dinner, it was that good! It's still a bit "mild" in taste, but hey, it's also a month too early. I was so damned tickled I actually called a neighbor to brag.

I'm going to throw away all the other cheeses aging in the pantry and stick to the current recipe.

Whoo-hoo! One more step toward self-sufficiency!


These are three stages of cheese ripening. On the left is green cheese that came out of the press a few days ago. It has dried and formed a rind and is ready to be waxed. In the center is waxed cheese, about half-way through its aging. On the right is the loaf we cut into last night and devoured. You can see bits of wax still clinging to it. By the way, the wax can be peeled off and re-used.

6 comments:

  1. And is that one of your hand-made wooden mugs I see peeking out at the top of the photo? And if you want to send me some cheddar for being so observant, I'll send you my address! LOL!

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  2. Congrats. Where did you get the recipe? Please?

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  3. Could you post the recipe please!? :) I am a new reader and am loving your blog. Do you have any suggestions for someone like me who has never made cheese? We have raw milk and make butter, ice cream, sour cream & buttermilk but that is about the extent of it!. Thanks!

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  4. I third the motion for a recipe post. I'd also be interested in the recipes for sour cream and buttermilk.

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  5. Yes, could you please post the recipe for success? Thank you!

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  6. Take a look at this post:

    http://www.rural-revolution.com/2010/04/homesteading-question-4-making-cheddar.html

    Be sure to click on the highlighted links, as well as read the comments at the end.

    Hope this helps!

    - Patrice

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