On learning to cheese

(Yeah, “cheese” is a verb now; why do you ask?)

In late November, I made my first goat cheddar.

Pressing my cheddar cheese

It looked awesome, but it had several mishaps. First, the dog got into it while it was sitting curing on the counter (in a place where I didn’t think he could reach it, obviously). I washed and trimmed it and then left it so the bits I had trimmed could continue to cure and get the crust called for in the recipe. Then it got a moldy bit, and so I trimmed that, and waited; then there was another moldy bit — repeat, etc. Eventually it had been over two weeks, and I took it down in preparation for waxing it, and faintly saw a vein of mold running just under the skin. Trying to trim it away would have meant losing most of the cheese. That, plus the prevalence of the mold in general, and the fact that by now it had been air-drying for too long, probably, and had lost too much internal moisture, meant that the whole cheese was pretty much not in great shape.

So we hucked that one, and started a new one!

I started this cheddar on Dec. 4. It also had some mold issues, so I ended up trimming it completely just before waxing. This may have been a huge mistake; we’ll find out in two months.

Second cheddar, waxed 12/17

  4 comments for “On learning to cheese

  1. emily
    January 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Can I just tell you that the cheese-making chapter in Little House in the Big Woods is one of my very favorite parts? I think your cheese looks beautiful!

  2. January 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I have been thinking I should reread all of those now that they are much more relevant to my daily life.

    I am pretty pleased with how the second cheddar turned out (so far) — another month before we can open it though.

  3. emily
    January 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Whenever I don’t have something I need here in Denver, I ask myself “What would Ma do?” And that’s why I now make coffee in a recycled spaghetti sauce jar. Glad the cheese looks good!

  4. emily
    March 13, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Cheese update, please.

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