Sunday, February 20, 2011

Jurrassic Cheese: Making cheese in the digital age

We are cuddled up watching Jurassic Park.  We're watching it because it is one of many movies filmed on Kauai.  I had forgotten how scary it is!

Recently, I have been working two freelance jobs and feeling quite busy.  Josh, however, has found time to make his first batch of cheese! 

It began with him saying to me that he was going to make cheese.  As you know, I've been trying to avoid animal foods and so I didn't say anything.  He said it a few more times but didn't do anything.  While at the library a few weeks ago I noticed a book on Making Cheese so I brought it home for Josh and he did some reading.  After a few days he was done, and I returned it.

Fast forward to last weekend  when Josh made Neuchatel cream cheese from some organic Straus farm milk, rennet and cultures he bought at the Cellar Homebrew store on Greenwood.  There was a steep learning curve as he navigated important questions such as "is butter muslin of similar guage to a mesh nutmilk straining bag?" and "how clear is whey?" and "how do you keep your milk at 72 degrees for 12 hours without burning up the home heating?"

Wren watches the whey drip

The curds drip from the butter muslin bag
After much mess and many transitions, a fridge reorganization and more dairy products than a self-avowed "almost vegan" could be seen alive with, the cheese was ready.  It was delicious.

We bought bagels one morning just to have bagels and cream cheese.

Last night we made a dip of cream cheese, chives, vegan mayo and a bit of soy milk with seasoning, diced cucumber and served it with chips.  It was all eaten up.  Mum, I styled it after that cream cheese dip you made throughout the 70s and even put a bit of sugar in it to make it taste right. 

Josh swears that he will be working on a cinnamon cheddar marbled with Liz's cider.  I am not sure about the cinnamon.  I hope he makes me some with caraway, instead.

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