So, the sad tale of the whey-filled cheddar. Victor and I decided one fine day in Los Angeles (but really, when is there anything but fine days in Los Angeles…I know, I know, it’s really hard to complain about good weather getting monotonous, but I’m here to tell you that it DOES. Those damn birds just will not stop chirping) to make cheddar cheese. Ambitious? Certainly. It is absolutely not recommended by any cheese maker anywhere to start your cheesy adventures with cheddar. In fact, they directly recommend against it, which of course, I blithely ignored.
Anyway, I also blithely ignored the mentions in the recipe of such DETAILS as a cheese press, which, as it turns out, is somewhat essential.
This is ours, bought from a nice company who advertises on Ebay. Shipping was prompt, cheese press is beautiful, and if you’re into that sort of thing, makes an interesting centerpiece for your mantle. Lots of clean lines and odd angles.
Anyway, I sadly do not have a picture of the towering stacks of books that we used in our first cheddaring attempt as a cheese press, but suffice to say that they were impressive. I used just about every book on my bookshelves, which is really saying something, as I am a bit of an Anatomy and Physiology textbook hoarder.
But to no avail…four long weeks later, our cheese was moldy (not necessarily cause for concern) and really, truly disgusting. Turns out, after some more research to match the way it looked to problems, we had not pressed nearly enough whey out of it, causing it to go bad, essentially! Like rotting milk! Yummmmm.
But if I am one thing, it is enthusiastic, and my boyfriend is even worse…he’s like a human chocolate labrador. So we decided to try again. With our newly purchased cheese press.
I used a recipe found in this book. I have found this book to be very welcoming and friendly, and also user friendly. I used the Stirred Curd method, and today, I will be trying REAL cheddaring. THE SKY IS THE LIMIT NOW.
Anyway, popped it in the cheese press, it came out looking suspiciously like cheese, allowed it to rind for five days, remembered to bathe it in white vinegar and water (crucial for mold abatement), waxed it (very carefully), and let it sit for four long weeks.
And this is what appeared last night. It is sharp. It is tangy. It is crumbly (like REAL cheddar). It is CHEESE. And it is DELIGHTFUL.
And I am proud like I just gave birth to the damn thing. I would carry it around in a stroller and make everyone look at it if I could while also not getting committed to a mental hospital.
Oh, and also, I apologize for my deeply inexcusable absence. I have not forgotten about the blogosphere, but merely started school again. And I’m like, “Hey, A&P, I’m just going to pop over here and do a little blogging right quick, is that okay?” And Anatomy and Physiology for the Healthcare Provider is like, “NO I OWN YOU.” And that’s really the end of that, tragically.
Know what else I want to make? JAM. And BUTTER.