Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cheese update

Firstly, see what's arrived in the back paddock!

I love lambs, they're so cute and have such sweet wee faces (not that you can see their faces here - too busy sucking Mum dry). It's just a pity they grow into stupid sheep! Mind you, at least I don't feel bad about eating them once they that big.

Today I made parmesan cheese, and, having read up all about the theory of cheese in my new book, devised a horizontal curd cutting tool so I could cut the curds nice and even and small. The tool consists of two steel knitting needles with some cheese-cutting wire tied to the handle ends so the ends are as far apart as the width of my cheese pot when the wire is held taut. I then just hold it at various depths in the pot and rotate the knitting needles around the edge of the pot.

It worked quite well, as you can see here:

Nice small curds.

The blue cheese is starting to go blue - you can see the bloom mostly because my fingerprints are in it! That means the P. roqueforti is still viable. Yay.

I made that little cradle today. It holds the cheese nicely on its side and I can give it its quarter turns without it rolling back again. It's just a couple of bits of board cut out and with holes drilled to hold three bits of dowel. I varnished the board because it's that composite stuff that will disintegrate after a while if it gets wet, but I left the dowel plain, because I don't want the cheese sitting on varnish.

The P. candidum is also alive and well - more so than I expected. I was generous in my dusting of it on the Neufchâtel, and there was quite a thick layer of mould in about half the time that it should have taken. The cheeses are therefore all wrapped up in their paper.

The cheddar is still sitting in its bandages. It hasn't gone mouldy, it hasn't gone rotten (that I can tell, anyway), so hopefully it is quite happily maturing.

Last week's gouda still looks the same as it did last week. It's still drying - seems to be taking a while, but the book did say it'd take two or three weeks before I could wax it.

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