Not making cheese

I had plans for this weekend… Mr Snail is away with Sister-of-Snail, so it would be an ideal time to occupy the kitchen.

IMGP9013

All my own work

Last week, we finally got round to tasting the cheese I made in February. I’m delighted to report that it was cheesy (well, you never know) and had a good texture. We would have liked it to be a little more mature, but we were impatient to test it in order to know whether it was worth making some more, so the mildish flavour was not unexpected. We tried it both raw and as Welsh rarebit and in both cases it was most acceptable. Waxing the surface had made it much easier to care for than if I’d allowed it to develop a natural rind, and the wax has been saved for re-use, so it is not wasted. With this success, I decided to make some more, using milk from the same source – it is unpasteurised and from Jersey cows and it has to be ordered a day or two in advance for delivery to the door. I’ve got a couple of potential sources of more local milk, but with my lack of experience, I want to get comfortable with the process using a raw product that I know has worked before. I will diversify later.

 

IMGP9014

No new cheese available to show you… but here’s the original lot toasted in the form of Welsh Rarebit

So, the milk was ordered for delivery on Friday and cheese-making was planned for Saturday. However, part way through Friday morning, the telephone rang and I answered it to a very apologetic dairy farmer. Sadly, he said, the box with the milk in had been dropped at the depot so it couldn’t be delivered… would I like a refund? I assured him that I wasn’t genuinely desperate for 12 litres of milk and that I could make cheese next week, so delivery is now scheduled for next Tuesday. The lovely farmer was most grateful that I wasn’t cross (what would have been the point?) and was clearly delighted that I hadn’t cancelled the order.

 

My weekend has, therefore, consisted of potting up lots of plants, planting seeds, cutting down nettles to make liquid plant food, getting nettled (despite my best efforts not to) and writing letters. Yes, the plan to send out real letters is continuing… now I have decent paper and ink that is liquid (rather than a congealed blob in the bottom of the bottle), it’s not too difficult to get my fountain pen out of its box and do some real writing. If you asked for a letter, there may be one on its way to you; in fact there may be one on its way to you even if you didn’t ask for a letter! I’m always open to requests, so if you would like to receive a real, hand-written letter through the post, do let me know… it’s so much more fun than getting an e-mail after all.

And now, it’s probably time for a glass of wine and a spot of crochet… oh, the pressure!

Next Post
Leave a comment

18 Comments

  1. Cheers!

    Like

    Reply
  2. Ann

     /  June 5, 2016

    We got lots done too – though all on our list. Not that we got everything done on the list you understand…. 🙂

    Like

    Reply
  3. The cheese looks really tasty. Very impressed. You can’t beat a real letter, time I wrote some too! I have spent an exceptionally lazy afternoon sitting in the garden reading my book.Feeling very relaxed with my knitting.

    Like

    Reply
    • The letters do take a while, but I really like the idea of people receiving something tangible, especially since the post usually just contains bills and adverts!

      Like

      Reply
  4. nettyg

     /  June 5, 2016

    I’m impressed with your cheesemaking, I do like the idea, but don’t eat enough to bother, and can get locally made cheese if I’m desperate for a bit. 12 litres is a lot of milk, how much cheese will that make?

    Like

    Reply
    • That will make about 2kg of cheese, but I will freeze some of it so that I can make the cheese in batches to mature at different times. The grand plan is to have a sort of rolling programme of cheese-making!

      Like

      Reply
  5. Glad to see that you enjoyed your home-made cheese – I hope you take plenty of pics when you make it again? 🙂
    As for your letter-writing, I was pleased to read that you’re using a fountain pen. I’ve always loved writing with them, and I’m sure letters always look more elegant for it 🙂

    Like

    Reply
  6. If I didn’t already put up my hand for a letter, can I do so now? Home made cheese is wonderful, always a surprise because of the slight variations caused by being hand made in the home rather than a factory.

    Like

    Reply
  7. Awesome looking cheese, well done! That must have taken some patience to wait for it to be ready.

    Like

    Reply
    • The problem is that you don’t know whether it’s worked for so long! I was trying out this raw Jersey milk for the first time. It’s expensive, so if it didn’t make good cheese, I didn’t want to waste money buying more. Anyway, now I am confident that the cheese is good, I can start making batches to mature at different times.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  8. The cheese looks so delicious! !! I love homemaking… but I’m living in an appartment in a big city… so not everything I would like to try is possible.

    Like

    Reply
    • The most inconvenient thing about the cheese is finding a suitable place for it to mature, with the right temperature and humidity… modern homes are just not set up for such things!

      Like

      Reply
  9. Oh, your cheese looks amazing! Does it belong to pre-existing cheese family, or is it a Snail original? And if you do need to name it, might I recommend “Wensleysnail”? I love that you’re keeping the art of letter-writing alive too… I have a box of letters dating back to my student days that I just can’t part with! Hope your cheese-making plans come together for you this week, enjoy 😀

    Like

    Reply

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: