I Tried... Making Cheese!

For a long time, I've had this fascination with cheesemaking. Not sure where it came from, but I decided to surrender to it and give it a go....

Last weekend, my friend Karen and I finally attended our long-awaited cheesemaking class through our local adult learning centre. Toting various cooking paraphernalia we were asked to bring (an esky, saucepan, slotted spoon etc), we rocked up almost (but not quite) dead last in the whole class. So as far as I'm concerned, since we were still more punctual than one other chick, we weren't officially late. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

We also brought along a couple of litres of non-homogenised milk (ie with the cream still floating in it). The teacher helped us add rennet and starter culture and heat the mixture to the correct temperature. Mine failed to thicken and set as it should and another lady had the same problem. Luckily, with a little extra TLC, I managed to work mine back into becoming cheese and after a couple of hours, Karen and I had our very own chunks of feta cheese. I was thrilled!

In between the different steps, we heard about the origins of the teacher's chesemaking business and sampled various types of cheese, from camembert to blue vein (EWWWWWWW!!!). After we finished, we were given printed instructions about how to turn our feta into camembert at home. I've decided to quite while I'm ahead, but I am planning to preserve my feta with dried herbs and olive oil. : )

So, I've now ticked number 10 off my bucket list and I'm so glad I tried it. I might even give it another go in future by myself... and even if I take only one thing out of it, I've developed a taste for full-cream non-homogenised milk. It's so much more natural and flavoursome than the homogenised version. Definitely try it!

Are you with me on this cheese fascination, or does the cheese stand alone? ; ) Have you tried a new skill recently?

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