Thursday, October 16, 2014

Move Along Folks... Nothing to See Here

You can't really see three of the four cheeses from Penny's fall freshening, but you can imagine the deliciousness underneath that red cheese wax. The hard cheeses are being born about a week apart it seems. There are two Farmhouse Cheddars, a Parmesan, and a Romano. I ended up feeding a Manchego to the pigs because I had messed up so much of its timing while it was being made that the curds just wouldn't stick together. That fiasco was a direct result of muscle relaxers. Normally cheese mess-ups work out fine, sometimes even to my advantage.

As you can see, each cheese gets a cat scan before its wax coating.

I use raw milk, so to be perfectly safe from bad microbes, we wait at least two months to eat any of the hard cheeses.

There's a particularly lopsided Parmesan this time. That happened because I put the cheese mold in a five-gallon bucket, a dinner plate on top, with weights to press it. The plate tipped overnight and this cheese will have a variety of tastes within the different edges when it's ripe.

Lopsided cheese will be a thing of the past, however, after I ordered my handy-dandy professional cheese press from New England Cheesemaking!
I also ordered black wax and pure beeswax so Penny's cheeses will have a little variety in their looks.

I wax all my hard cheeses whether the recipe calls for it or not. So far the Romano in this batch is the only one that isn't supposed to have a waxed rind, so I will be interested to taste the final result this winter.

Yes, I've hatched a plan that involves a few of those exceptionally hot peppers in the background being pressed into service to create some Habanero Jack and some Habanero Cheddar.


  1. I've had many lopsided cheeses in the past when I used dumbbells. I've also put dents in the floor. I now use a proper press but I think the lopsided ones look more homemade.

    1. I almost left a 10 pound dumbbell on the follower of that cheese who's still unwaxed on top of my glass top stove.
      I uncharacteristically played it safer by putting the dish with molded cheese with metal dumbbell on the floor.
      It fell.
      I can't wait for this press to come in the mail!
      Where'd you get yours, or did you make it?

  2. We would like to try some of the Habanero Cheddar and Jack!

  3. I bought my press on ebay. It was a pretty cheap one, just PVC with wooden follower, spring, etc. I've also made a bigger one out of an old stainless steel pot but I hardly ever use that one. It makes a giant wheel.

  4. Wow, these look fantastic!

  5. I'm hoping to try a Gouda soon- in honor of you!