Friday, February 20, 2009

Say cheese.

No, this is not going to be a post about cameras. It will be about the gluttonous amount of cheese I ate over the weekend. But, I have an excuse. I really do.

We spent the last week & a half on a road trip to Texas. It was our first time to leave the house (save for my trip to the hospital for Abby's birth) for even an overnight since moving here. We left the farm and all the animals in the charge of our dear friends, the S family, and headed off. And, incidentally, the only problem while we were gone was that a 94-mph wind picked up our pig house and threw it over the fence. Gotta love these prairie breezes.

We left home on Saturday the 7th and made a few stops to visit friends from our past along the way, arriving at Homestead Heritage on Monday the 9th. Our excuse to come was to take a few classes on cheese-making on the 13th & 14th, but our early arrival allowed us to take advantage of the time by getting to better know the community and learning about their way of life. It was a fabulous time that definitely deserves a post of its own. So, for now, I'll just talk about the cheese.

Cheese. I have never eaten so much of it in 2 days in my life before. We made, and tasted, butter, cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt, labaneh, cottage cheese, feta, ricotta, mozzarella, creme fraiche, pepper jack, colby jack, cheddar, parmesan, gouda, and brie. Of course, anyone who knows anything about cheeses will realize that it would be impossible to both make and eat some of those in 2-days time. The cheeses that needed to age will be tasted by future classes, and we tasted cheese from a past class.

The wonderful part is that I feel confident that I can make any of those cheeses. And, my neighbor is thrilled to glean that information from me. She'll be the first of us with milk this spring, so she will host a little cheese workshop by providing the milk while I provide the know-how. Yes, I could've gotten the info off the internet for free. But, having someone standing there with you to tell you if the curds look right or if the mozzarella is ready to stretch is so worth the cost of the class.

After the first day, I took home the herbed cheese roll that I made and set it out for dinner. Meagan consumed about half of it, all the while raving and saying how I needed to make it again and again. I think I have my first cheese fan.


Mrs. Trixi said...

I would love to go and take a cheese class from them. I would also love to see their setup.f

Red Gate said...

Can you offer more info as to who offered this course?

Gina said...

It was Homestead Heritage, just outside of Waco, TX. They are a Christian community who practices things like soap-making and horse-farming. Though they do not entirely shun technology, they are careful about whether using technology is good in each instance. For example, they have cell phones and computers (for work and/or school only), but no T.V. They like to keep old crafts and skills alive and well. I'll go into more in a separate post, because there is certainly a lot to tell!

OurCrazyFarm said...

How Exciting! I can't wait to read more about your experience! My husband is a cheese maker by trade, and I am hoping to try my hand at making goats milk cheese this summer. The herbed cheese roll sounds wonderful! Please do share the recipe! What a great talent to master!