I’ve been making cheddar cheese for almost a year. We have a happy little corner of the store room which I call the “cheese cave,” and it’s filled with happy little red wax packages.
Yesterday I decided to attempt another of our favorites – blue cheese. It was a reasonably quick “cook,” if you can call 90º “cooking,” and then an interesting “gravity only press” in the mold. Now for the fun part.
The first step is to finish the drying/draining at 60º with 85% humidity. Oh yeah, and don’t put it in the same place as your other cheeses, because the molds will interfere with the cheddar. Fine. I closed the vent in the main bathroom so it wouldn’t overheat or lower the humidity. You know, the big porcelain humidity generator.
Three days from now I need to move it into an environment which is colder than the cheese cave and nowhere near the cheese cave. I’m going to repurpose the bottom 2 shelves of the wine cooler. Wine and cheese. A great pairing.
I sit back, scratch my head and wonder when all this cheese madness will end. Will I have to buy a nice piece of property somewhere with several caves in the hillside? I could put a cow on the property for milk and call myself Heidi. Pardon me while I go braid my hair around my head.
My sister gave me a recipe for making ricotta from the whey generated by cheese making. I tried it and it was a hashtaggable event #fail. I don’t think it was a bad recipe – I just didn’t know what exactly I was looking for and I opted for premature removal. From the heat. What were you thinking??
After this week’s blue cheese cooking, I poured off the whey and used the recipe for Ricotta from Heaven from my favorite cheese making book Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses. Scary to let the whey go unstirred to 200º, but pouring it off, I had some of the mellowest, softest, oh so good ricotta cheese imaginable.
OK, Heidi with braids and a plateful of manicotti. Southern Austria/northern Italy. It could work. Cows wander, right?