The City Girl Farmer


Started the Reblochon!
May 12, 2011, 4:13 pm
Filed under: Cheese & Other Dairy Products | Tags: , , ,

More improvising

One of my neighbors kindly built me a cheese press since that is what was really holding me up from making more hard cheeses. The followers are too tall, so I ended up substituting some canned food and a book.   I made a Gouda a couple of days ago which is happily aging for a week before it gets waxed and off to age some more.

Today, I finally found a recipe for Reblochon, which is a cheese I had in France and found absolutely fabulous.  Recipes for making Reblochon are surprisingly hard to come by.  Both the American and French search engines return results on how to use Reblochon in a recipe, not a recipe for the cheese.  Anyway, I found a cheese forum, filled with cheese experts and intimidating information, on which there was a recipe.  I can tell I lack sophistication, so I just thought I’d print the recipe and give it a go.  I don’t have the tools to test the pH at different times during the process.  If it doesn’t end up tasting like Reblochon, I’ll just rename it and maybe start something new. 🙂



Cheeeeese!!
February 18, 2011, 5:08 pm
Filed under: Cows | Tags: , ,

I have made soft, easy cheeses with success but for some reason I found hard cheeses more intimidating.  Reading a cheese recipe is like reading a recipe for soap or beer or wine.  It dawns on you that some really complex chemical interactions (magic for an unscientific person like me) are required for your cheese (beer or wine) to come out right.  You have to pay attention to things like acidity! *shudders as science angst grips her stomach*

I decided that I had to face the giant and all that I really had to lose was a couple of gallons of milk, some rennet and some culture (pun intended).  It had been a long time since we had chicken enchiladas and I decided to make some queso fresco for them instead of buying the cheese at the store.

A conventional cheese press and an improvised cheese press

After completing the first magic step of turning milk into queso fresco-flavored curds, it was time to press the cheese.  I used to think that pressing cheese was necessary just to turn it into that nice cylindrical shape that made it easier to store.  I learned that it, too, is another magical process.  Cheese needs to be pressed so that it chemically “knits” together.  Who knew?  I had too many curds for my press capacity, so thanks to my neighbors at Victory Ranch, I was able to improvise a press with a mold, a souffle dish and some heavy books.  I recommend the standard press.

Finished queso fresco

I discovered you don’t really need to understand how everything works in order to make cheese.  Just follow the instructions of a good recipe and all the chemistry will take care of itself.

How did it taste?  Like queso fresco, only as with all the other things that are home grown, it was somehow richer.  Like the difference between home-made brownies and brownies out of the box.  Raw milk aficionados will understand what I’m talking about.

This, my friends, is why a person would keep a dairy cow.