Adventures in Cheese-Making

There’s a whole world to explore.

I started making homemade cheese in September 2013 and have been blogging about it periodically. If you’re interested in reading the other posts in this series, follow the Adventures in Cheese-Making tag. Keep in mind that the most recent posts always appear first on this blog.

I love cheese. I mean, who doesn’t?

I love just about any kind of cheese, but I especially love the soft mellow kind like bries. I like cheese that has a secret flavor you can taste only when you let it rise to room temperature before eating and eat it either alone or with a plain cracker. The hint of nuts or earthiness that lingers on your tongue after the cheese has been swallowed.

CheesemongerThere’s an excellent cheese shop not far from where I live: The Cheesemonger in Leavenworth. It — and the smoked meat house called Cured — is the only reason I go to that tourist town. I go early in the day, before the crowds arrive. I prefer taking my motorcycle, since there’s always motorcycle parking right outside Cured. I descend into the basement shop, make my way past the milling tourists nibbling on samples of cheddar and swiss, and find one of the many helpful counter people. Then I place my order, rattling off the names of the cheeses I like best: triple cream brie, morbier, butter cheese, and whatever blue-veined cheese behind the glass catches my eye. I whisper the secret password to get my local discount on checkout, leave a tip, and climb back out into the sunlight while the same milling tourists stand uncertain on how to proceed. In and out in a flash.

If you’re in the area and like cheese — again, who doesn’t? — I highly recommend a visit to this shop.

Anyway, my love of cheese got me interested in making cheese. This interest was fed by my attendance at a cheese-making class I took in early August. Yes, special ingredients and equipment was needed, but it wasn’t difficult to do. And it might be interesting. And heck — the end product was cheese.

It’s not as if this was brand new to me, either. Last autumn, I made yogurt. I’d had a great deal of success with that — so much, in fact, that I made all my own yogurt while I was living in my Arizona house. cheese-making was similar and certainly should be within my capabilities.

Yesterday, I made my first batch of “basic cheese.” Although I won’t be able to taste it for about a month, I also made ricotta cheese from the whey and got to taste that right away.

I realized that my cheese-making adventures were blog-worthy — certainly enough to document for future reference. So if you’re interested at all in making cheese, follow along with me as I take you though my learning process. I’ll write posts in this series as I find time and would certainly love to get comments from other folks exploring home cheese-making.

2 thoughts on “Adventures in Cheese-Making

  1. What a fun adventure after my own heart. I’d love to learn to make my own cheese like this. I’ll have to look into a local class.

    BTW, Just last week I splurged and ordered amazing cheese from the Farmstead Cheese Company and had it overnight shipped to me. I’m going out of my mind with 3 types of their incredible cheese – Toma, white cheddar, and blue cheese. Of course they have their own cows (I think goats and sheep, too) that they lovingly feed and then make their own cheeses.

    I especially look forward to your cheese making adventures. Wow. Have fun! (I know you will!).

    • I have a sneaking suspicion that it’ll be a lot more trouble than it’s worth. But I’ll give it a good try. I think that if I start getting really good results, I’ll stick to it. But if the results are so-so, I’ll likely be making a lot more visits to the Cheesemonger.

What do you think?