Farmhouse Cheddar Cheese
On a warm summer weekend, what could be better than some fresh baked whole grain crackers, paired with a nice bottle of homemade wine, and cutting into a block of farmhouse cheddar cheese?
The cheese was waxed yesterday, so the aging process has commenced. Farmhouse cheddar is usually ready to savor after aging for four weeks. Since I tend to enjoy a rather sharp cheddar, we'll wait for seven or eight weeks before serving. For now, I watch and wait!
This was the latest project, in my Kelso kitchen, with my dear friend Judy. We have so much fun in the kitchen together! The recipe requires raw milk that is available on-line or maybe at your local health food store. Perhaps you're in a rural area and have a neighbor with dairy cattle? Lucky for you!
In recent years, we've experimented with several types of soft and hard cheeses, and found that it's much easier to make cheese than we thought! You really should consider trying it!
In the photo, you'll see the waxed cheese on a wooden block, the book by Ricki Carroll a/k/a The Cheese Queen, and the pattern for the cheese press. You'll need all three of these items to launch cheddar cheese making in your kitchen. The block and cheese press were made by Greg Boyd, when I challenged him a few years ago with this project. The pattern was $4.95, or the press was available to purchase for $200 or more. Greg reaps the benefits of his labor by being our resident cheese taster/tester, and we have a custom-made cheese press!
The Cheese Queen's book, from start to finish, is a great tutorial and provides instructions, recipes, and advice for many different types of cheese. The web site offers the ingredients you'll need to get started with your cheese making adventure! There's a wealth of information, including videos, kits, and a newsletter sign-up. I store the rennet, and other starters/ingredients, in the freezer since it's not something I make too often. That would change, if only I had an easy source for raw milk. As you'll see, in the book and web site, many recipes use store bought whole milk. http://www.cheesemaking.com/
Cheese making is a perfect summer project, and everyone will love the results! Just let me know if you have any questions...