As is usual this time of year, posts have been sparse right when there’s the most cool stuff to blog about – 36 hour days would be just about right for August and September.
We do have one milestone to report – with a borrowed cheese press and a copy of the excellent Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll, we have created our first hard cheese, a farmhouse cheddar that should be edible in just a month or two.
But who can wait a month or two? The cheese has been sitting out for a week to form a rind (really should have been a few days), and today we waxed it for storage, but one end was uneven enough that we worried about the wax being able to form a good seal…so we cut it off and ate it, and after only a week it’s already….CHEESE!
Here’s the cheese before waxing:
Here’s beeswax in a can, on top of some canning lids in a small cooking pot to make a double boiler. The brush is a “chip” brush – they cost almost nothing at a hardware store, and their natural hair bristles won’t melt in the wax.
…and here’s the finished product, an inexpertly made and waxed yet already tasty cheese from our good little mini-Oberhasli goats:
What? The cheese wasn’t the stinky part? No, it smelled quite nice. My tobacco, on the other hand…it’s coming out barely tolerable when dried over the course of a few weeks…probably intolerable to any non-smokers in the area. To make it really smooth requires a year or more of careful aging, actually a fermentation process.
Here it is in various stages of the first slow drying (greenish ones are just picked, some in the upper left have been drying for 2-3 weeks already)