White, Moldy, and Delicious

It’s been awhile, friends. Awhile. Life went a little crazy. Kids were kids. The house needed fixing and then we fixed it by moving. Work got busy, adults got tired and cranky (as we do).

But the creative bug is biting these days and it’s time to share. I opened 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes and it presented Chaource to me. It’s a moldy cheese that is relatively easy to make and ages to completion in two weeks. SOLD.

I fudged the recipe a bit to accommodate the cultures and cheese forms I had on hand. I added 1/2 drop of rennet too much (this makes a difference, for real), so the curd firmed up earlier than expected. img_4020-2

The curds drained, were salted, and went into the wine fridge at 50 degrees in its ripening container a little bit crumbly, but just fine.

In the meanwhile, we went to Montreal! Salut!

img_4041-1

Our dear neighbor, Daniel, came by to flip the cheeses daily and he even sent a progress pic.

img_4094-2

I wrapped these cheeses a day later than I would have if I were home, so the mold rind is a bit thicker than I like. But with a 2 week cheese, skin slip wasn’t an issue.

img_4120-2

We enjoyed this with my cousin and her hubby on Saturday. It was delicious! Salty, creamy, and delightful. My cheese flipping neighbor got one, too.

Inspired by dairy, my cousin’s husband remarked that he had always wanted to make ricotta. So we made it on Saturday. You get a cheese! You get a cheese! Everybody gets cheese!!!!

img_4121-2 Continue reading

Advertisements

Mini Projects: back in the swing of things

After a forced hiatus of crafty activities, I’m back at it. This week I produced my first cheese in months. This was a simple fresh cheese, something like goat cheese, but made from cows milk.

20121013-141627.jpg
To finish, I served one round coated with salt and chopped fresh herbs. The second was bathed in honey and dotted with raspberries. We shared them with two new moms and in my hurry to feed sweet Keziah’s parents, I forgot to snap a picture. Use your imaginations, people.

Additionally, I’ve been on a galet kick. Apple, raspberries, and blackberries – Delish!!

20121013-142025.jpg These two were just about to bake.

And finally, dear readers, our cherry tomato plants pooped themselves out at the end of the season leaving us with a glut of multi colored beauties. Any ideas of what to make out of this pile of goodness?

20121013-142204.jpg

A popover offering to the insomnia gods

Waking up at 3:44a apparently yields popovers in our little haven.

I’ve never had great luck with popovers which I conveniently blamed on the pan or the oven. I turned to Bakers Illustrated and had far better results – apologies to the perfectly good kitchen items upon which I misplaced blame.

20120920-061703.jpg

20120920-061757.jpg
Voila, perfect popovers. If you’re up and reading this, come on over. Bring a latte for the weary baker.

20120920-061832.jpg

English Muffins

Today we tried English muffins out. They are pretty easy and were only made difficult by the fact that we didn’t have 3″ metal rings. I fashioned rings out of newspaper and aluminum foil. Fresh English muffins are far tangier and moist than their store bought cousins. Well worth the hour of time that went in to them!

20120512-094836.jpg

20120512-094907.jpg
So, of course we made these:
20120512-095127.jpg
But the best eats: grilled and buttered.

20120512-095308.jpg

Drunken Goat

New cheeses are under way here. This weekend’s creation was a pressed goat cheese soaked in red wine.

Most cheeses are made in shockingly similar ways with the same ingredients. Minor variations in time and temperature make a world of difference.

To start off, heat the milk and add cultures, any additives, and rennet.

20120508-210820.jpg
Once the curds begin to firm up, cut and stir them to separate curd from whey.

20120508-211002.jpg
Drain off the whey leaving only the curd, add salt.

20120508-211039.jpg
Press the cheese (usually overnight), then remove.

20120508-211201.jpg
Now the goat gets drunk in a bottle of red wine.

20120508-211251.jpg
The cheese will now age for six weeks. Cross your fingers and plan to visit!

20120508-211336.jpg

In other news, I will be heading up to Vermont for a three day advanced cheese making course. Updates to follow!

Quick Cheese

My first foray into cheese making was mozzarella. I follow Ricki Carroll’s 30 minute mozzarella recipe;┬áthe only difference being that I fold in 1 teaspoon of kosher salt in the last round of kneading. My daughter, Aliza, helped me with the final stages. She watched me knead, stretch, shape, cut and taste it. She refused to try a bite. And then she asked for a cheese stick. Sigh.

Image

Post script
Then we made these:

20120422-183913.jpg

Good Morning Ginger Snaps

My mom sent me this recipe and a jar of ginger in syrup (found at Asian markets and sometimes Whole Foods). It’s one of our new favorites.

20120407-100906.jpg