Monday, February 17, 2014

A weekend of cheese

Had a wonderful weekend down the coast at a cheese making workshop in narooma. 

A makeshift cheese press

Communities of like minded people keep you excited about living slightly outside of the norm and this was no exception. Cheese making - at least outside of a factory/needing to earn a living variety - is an activity that takes a lot of time and yet not much time at all. The cheese making process lends itself to conversation as you wait for the starter or the rennet or the draining process to do its thing! There was ample opportunity to discuss all manner of interesting topics, mostly centred around food and gardens, meals shared together and even some time for me to take a long walk on the beach before going out for dinner with new friends. 

checking the rennet has set

Over two days we made eight cheeses including feta, haloumi and Paneer, as well as yoghurt and ricotta. These are cheeses we eat very regularly, and are not cheap. I had bought a cheese making kit recently from our local amazing hardware store but had been hesitant to make some probably for fear of totally stuff it up and waste a whole lot of milk :)

It was reassuring to see how forgiving the process was, so long as everything is sterilized, you dont overheat the starter and you have good quality ingredients. 

Now looking forward to the advanced weekend later in the year when we learn to make cheddar, mozzarella and Camembert! 

A book that another course attendee had which was reccomended by our teacher Geoff Southam 

Anyone on the south coast interested in attending they have other dates for the same course at ecotel narooma - or find it on the website for small farms network

Now to eat all the samples I brought home and then decide which one to make first :)

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