“Am I looking cheesy enough?’ I grinned as my partner in cheese, Karen, took my photo. More giggling ensued.
Let’s be perfectly clear on this point, cheese making is fun.
I mean, there’s a lot of slow stirring the milk – and I mean a LOT of it – but that just leaves more time for chuckling about cheeses called Chabichou and Quark, and trying to make your French accent sound less Mexican.
The first thing we noticed when we rocked up to the the Amamoor Hall at an unweekend-like 8am in the morning was we weren’t dressed right for cheese making, meaning I missed a lot of what Graham, our master cheesemaker, said in the first hour because I couldn’t hear him over the sounds of my teeth chattering.
It was so friggin’ cold in that hall! We made ourselves cups of tea and then tried not to drink them too fast because they were keeping our hands warm. The second day I was far better prepared – four layers including two jackets. Plus gloves.
But my cheesy partner, Karen, trumped me.
“I’ve got a hot water bottle under my jacket,” she told me.
“You have not,” I challenged.
But the none cheesy highlight of the course was when I realized one of the guys doing it with us sold coffee from a trailer on weekends and he’d brought it with him. YES! I spent much of the next two days suggesting we adjourn for a cuppa whenever there was a lull in activities.
…which wasn’t often. The weekend was full on. I’ve decided I’m not fit enough to be a full time cheese maker. Although things did improve at around 3pm on the second day when I realized I didn’t need to stand up to stir the milk.
And have I mentioned there is a LOT of stirring involved in cheese making?
We got very good at it.
“You’re nothing but a curd,” Karen and I would hiss at the milk, “and your mother was a cow. So what ya gonna do about it, ha?”
By the end of our second day, with a little guidance from Graham, we’d happily made Mozzarella, Chabichou (chuckle), Greek Feta, Cheddar, Milk Ricotta, Quark (snicker) and Brie.
Now Tracey and I have the enviable task of eating our way through it all, although I suspect my wife will be requesting a table for one shortly because my dinner conversation consists mainly how explaining how very, very clever I am.
In all, it was a funtastic weekend (the course is two full days) and I’m already looking forward to when Graham comes back this way in a couple of months and we get to learn how to make Parmesan and Blue, and a few others.
Given my simple needs, with this cheese making course and my recent beer brewing efforts, I figure I am now a water cracker recipe off being able to retire happy.
Putting sexy back into milk churning – the slow-mode almost earned this video an R rating.
Here’s a link to Graham’s site – Cheesemaking. He goes all over Australia, so check out when he’s in your area or organize a group of like-minded enthusiasts and I’m sure he’ll fit you into his schedule.
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this is not a sponsored post, I just like being cheesy