Oct 8, 2010

Blessed Are the Cheesemakers

--For they shall be the very first to buy rennet at their local health food store, and hence be followed to the cash register by the manager, who pondereth the reason in his heart.

--For they shall dirty many more pans and bowls than they thought possible.

--For they shall run out into the yard like madwomen, wash bricks, and bring them inside to press the cheese, because the book says so. All the while, the flashing neon "Thou shouldst get a job, girl!" sign doth flash in their minds.

--For after hours of heating, temperature-taking, separating, and draining, they shall see how small, nay, how very dinky, said cheese will actually be.

Lo, the cheesemakers hath removed the bricks, lifted the cheese gently out of the strainer, and gazed upon this small white disc wrapped in muslin. They hath named it "Blanche," of the tribe of Gouda. Anything that taketh so long, and shall not be mature for, yea, many months, must be worth naming.

And--hark, the time of feta was not yet. 'Tis actually now going to be next Wednesday, because one of the cheesemaker's daughters forgot her hockey uniform and needed it right away. But the health food store manager, truly a righteous man of cheese, had kindly brought out the freshest goat milk, so the time of expiration is not yet nigh, glory be.

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Are you ready for me to stop talking like this? Me too. Let's just say there is a reason those little cheeses at the farmers markets cost so much. But my friend Roxane and I had a great time catching up with each other, and it's really kind of fun in an I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing kind of way. We did have Home Cheesemaking by Ricki Carroll as our guidebook. She'a apparently the doyenne, the maven, the master of cheesemaking in the U.S. I even made ricotta with the leftover whey and it was delicious on penne mixed with a little garlic, salt, and fresh grated Pecorino.

Lo, on Wednesday, there shall be feta . . . .

5 comments:

RuthWells said...

Rock on with your bad cheese-making selves -- love it!

MemeGRL said...

Can I crash the feta making too???

liz said...

Woot!!! I am eagerly awaiting your review of the feta and (in a few months) the gouda.

Lauren D. McKinney said...

Why, certainly, Oonie!

Kim Hosey said...

What about the cheeseeaters?

You're like a wizard to me. I can barely make a cheese sandwich.