Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I'm making cheese! Why? Because, why not? I can bake bread and make butter, so let's add cheese making skills to the list. A basic skill that was once known by every farmer and housewife in the not so very distant past.

So I went online and found a website that teaches you how to make cheese. The author is a professor of Biology and Chemistry. This is the recipe for basic 1 pound of cheese from 1 gallon of milk. I went to the health food store and got fresh goat and cow milk for my experiment. The point was to try to make it as natural as possible.

First, we must warm and inoculate the milk. Which is funny, because we are adding sour milk(buttermilk) to do this. Then we add rennet. I used the vegetarian instead of the stuff from a sheep's intestinal track, simply because, ewe! (hee hee)

We separate out the curds and whey. This is whey.

Then the cheese must be pressed and formed into a round or a cylinder for shaping into wheels. Since this is a small batch, I am using a quart size yogurt container with the bottom cut out.
Then we have cheese. This is fresh farm cheese here. It will then be refrigerated to 2 weeks while the rind forms. Then dipped into wax to be aged more for a sharper cheese, or used for a mild cheese.

When I was in the Netherlands, in the grocery there are 3 types of cheeses essentially. New, regular, and aged. I was told that regardless of the type of cheese, it all had to be labeled with how long it had been aged, by law (or so I was told). New cheese is aged under one month. Regular cheese is aged around 3 months. To be considered aged and the expensive stuff it had to be aged more than 6 months, but usually more than a year. This was how they were graded.

So how long should I age the cheese? I realize that people have been making cheese for thousands of years with out the benefit of refrigeration, exact chemical formulas, or anything closely resembling a sterile environment and man kind has survived. Still, I think it would be safer to divide the cheese in half, use one as new cheese, and age the second half.

I also think that I will be eating samples of both cheeses before serving it to anyone else. If anyone is going to be poisoned in this endeavor, I'd rather I go down than have all of my friends cursing my name as they hang over toilets!


  1. Ha ha, you made me laugh! Never knew you'd been the the Netherlands. Thanks for this post, I'm going to try this summer, but the way the kids eat cheese, I might have to buy a goat!

  2. If you like curry, paneer (soft Indian cheese) is easy to make at home. Jennifer

  3. I was thinking of trying paneer next. With spinach, it's one of my favorite dishes!

  4. Ooo ... cheese! I'm hearing polka music in the backround as I read this post! LOL

    What recipes do you use for butter? If you have a good Honey Butter recipe, could you pass it along? Thanks!