Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Little Cheese with Your Catch-Up

Sounds kind of gross, doesn't it? Cheese and ketchup? Unless you plan to stick it on a bun with some juicy beef, maybe. But you probably noticed I typed "catch-up" instead of "ketchup," right?

What it means is just that I thought I'd give you a little update on stuff in general and cheese in particular. Tonight three out of our four-person group gathered to "kit" the first block of the Autumn House applique quilt. Here's what the quilt will look like someday--or something close to it, anyway:

The first block is the one at the top left. I'll show you when I get mine done.

We met at Imelda's home and her husband fixed dinner for us--homemade chicken tacos and Spanish rice. Delicious! I've always thought Imelda had just about the perfect relationship, because her husband travels out of town for work every couple of days, which gives her a little bit of "me" time for sewing or whatever else she wants to do. Now that I know he's such a good cook too, I'm REALLY jealous!

Just before the Wild Child left for the airport last night, one of our cheeses, the goat cheese (chevre) was ready to taste. We had just been out to dinner and I wasn't hungry, but she said it was excellent! (I would have tried it tonight, but you know--after those tacos, I didn't need to eat another thing.) So, to recap a bit, although the mozzarella didn't turn out right (and looks even odder now that it's been in the refrigerator), the goat cheese is excellent. I'm still working on the feta, turning the chunks, pouring off the whey, and "feeding" them a little salt twice a day. I think tomorrow they'll be ready to put into a brine solution and refrigerated for a couple weeks. So far, so good! I have to say, though, that the smell of the ripening cheese is a bit overpowering in a not all that pleasant way. At least I've been out of the house a lot for work and friends, and Hubby's cold makes it a little harder for him to smell it!

A couple of you asked about the cheese making book Robert recommended to us. Mine arrived today and I had a chance to look through it. The recipes aren't exactly the same as what Robert gave us, but the process of cheese making is the same and the book looks like it covers just about everything a person needs to know to get started.

If you're interested in classes and expect to be in the Sacramento area, email me and I'll put you in touch with Robert. He told us about one couple who traveled from Humboldt, about a five or six hour drive, to take the class and carted their cheeses all the way home, stopping now and then during the drive to pour off the whey, so keep the class in mind even if you're just traveling through for a few days.

It's time for me to start getting ready for bed. Tomorrow's another full day of work and then our Thimbleberries Club meeting right afterward. Goodnight!


Josie McRazie said...

I think the Hubby being gone if you don't have young kids is great! Honeyman is a Fireman and works 24 on 48 off! So I do get time away, but with three kids that makes me a single Mom every third day! I think once the kids (16, 11, 10) are out of it ummmm how nice would it be to be single every third day! LOL

Janet said...

I own that book and it is very good. I tried making cheese from it after I ordered it and the salts ect.... The lady who wrote that book has a web site.

My poor kids came home from school and asked what I was making. When I told them they were grossed out, but after trying the mozza served with bread, balsamic and basil the kids were impressed.

I tried making the mozza the first time with regular milk that our local chain carries and it did not turn out. I went and bought organic milk and it turned out very good .

Anna said...

I'm weird I know...I hate ketchup but I love cheese. The new project is going to be absolutely adorable!

Amy said...

Your cheese making adventure reminds me of passages from Barbara Kingsolver's book, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle." She wrote it with her husband and daughter, chronicling their year of living in the season, buying local, etc. It's an excellent read, and the cheesemaking portion almost convinced me to give it a try.

Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

Love reading about your cheese making, but I don't think it is something I will try. ;-) Love the quilt pattern! Have a great day!

Beverley said...

What do you do with the whey?

Rosa said...

I love these houses.Have fun!

Cheese Making Supplies said...

I truly like to reading your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information.