I got interested in cheese making recently, and of course, had to try it. This looks like this will be fun. I started my first hard cheese Friday night, a Farmhouse Cheddar. My instructor is Ricki Carroll and her book 'Home Cheese Making'. No stinkin' wonder cheese is so expensive; it takes a LOT of milk and forever to let it age. This cheese should age for a minimum of 60 to 90 days, but I know I am going to cheat and at least try it at 30 days.
I started a batch Friday, Saturday and today (in between church services) and they are air drying on my counter for 2-4 days to develop a rind. Then I will be coating them in wax and letting them age. I am thinking that if I start one batch per week that will keep me in cheese heaven. The problem is, it will take me 60-90 days to see if I totally botched them up and destroyed them. Early cheese makers probably went through the same trials.
I wish I could take more photos of the process, because if you know me personally I take pictures of everything. However, after 11,000 pictures my digital camera (Minolta Dimage 5) the shutter button on my camera is stuck, and I'm not sure what I can do about it.
So recently I have cured my own ham from a 3 lb. pork loin and smoked it, started cheese, made some buttermilk, sour cream, butter, made 5 lbs of breakfast sausage, and started 5 liters of red-wine vinegar. Not bad for a wanna-be do-it-yourselfer!
More to come on the upcoming cheese, and hopefully pictures too. Soon to come - homemade bratwurst.
PS: check out the pictures of Cowgirl's smoked prime rib on her blog (http://cowgirlscountry.blogspot.com/) Oh my goodness gracious, I have to do this now!