Month: December 2012

Cheese Genesis – Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese Trip – 27 December 2012

It was a balmy -24C when I met Rick(from Explorations with Sailor Rick and part of Cheesepalooza) at the Tim Horton’s Parking at 5:30 AM on December 27.  We were meeting to head out to Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese (our partner in Cheesepalooza) to help Alex and Leslie make a new cheese for their burgeoning cow milk cheese line.  Originally it was to be a take on a Gouda, but it was decided we would head into the mountain regions for our inspiration for the day’s make.  After loading up on a double-double and some muffins we were off into the dark and certain fun.  We arrived in good time and despite the somewhat slippery highway conditions (sometimes it is a good thing to be stuck behind a semi truck), and after the usual coffee and catching up, we got to work. (more…)


Past present future- Much To Do About Cheese Holiday Update

So as the year winds down I have not had too much time to write anything let alone make as much cheese as I would like to.  That being said I have some quick updates on Tomme(y) and a few other cheeses that I will have to talk about later.

This was my chèvre fail, it was so dry I pressed the curd.It came out like a "Farmer's Cheese" and was good fried.

This was my chèvre fail, it was so dry, so I pressed the curd.
It came out like a “Farmer’s Cheese” and was good fried. My next batch turned out great.

Here is the latest picture of Tomme(y) after two weeks of ARN washing

Here is the latest picture of Tomme(y) after two weeks of ARN washing

Here is a sneak peak at the "Reader's Choice Gouda"  I will post more on this later.

Here is a sneak peek at the “Reader’s Choice Gouda” I will post more on this later.

I still have a trip out to Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese this week and I plan to make another cheese before the New Year.  I do tend to post pictures on my Facebook page more regularly than here, but they do lack some of the detailed commentary that I have here.

May your Holiday Season be Joyous, Safe and full of Cheese!

Drum Roll Please….Much To Do About This Cheese-As Decided By The Readers

Well my little experiment was a success in my books,people actually voted.  I had asked you, the readers, to decide which cheese I would make next.  You had to choose from various washed curd cheeses and the poll closed last night.  The tally was easy thanks to the poll itself and here are the results.


1st - Gouda2nd - Fontina Style3rd - Havarti

1st – Gouda
2nd – Fontina Style
3rd – Havarti

20 Votes total and I am quite happy with that result.  I will be making this cheese on my Christmas break, along with a few others.  I will be trying a new way of pressing this cheese using a Stilton Knot.  Thank you to all who voted and thank you to all who humoured me on this.  Once I the cheese is made I will randomly contact one of my “followers” here and on Facebook and they will be able to name this cheese.

Lets make cheese.

Cheesepalooza Mozzarella Challenge Favourites – Traditional Mayhem

Once again it is time to announce our favourite posts for this past challenge.  It is getting harder and harder to pick our favourite posts as everyone is rising to the challenge of cheese making.  I am really impressed with the level of success that people have had with this challenge.  A big pat on the back goes out to everyone, now on to the posts (click on the picture to see the post) (more…)

Tomme(y) comes marching home Hurrah!

Last weekend Addie and I made the trek out to Smoky Valley Goat/Artisan Cheese to help out with a Cheese Making Session. Leslie and Alex run sessions where you get to learn how to make cheese and help with the day’s make.  There is a fee go to contact me and send me a message if you are interested in going to one and I will get you the information.

We were going to help out with a few projects and help tweak the Redwater to make it better and more unique when compared to it’s fraternal cheese twin, Callingwood.  We were lucky to be joined by Tino and his daughter Amanda, the session was a birthday gift to her father, and l think we hooked them on cheese making.  A few weeks before Alex and Leslie made a Monatasio style cheese and we helped to rub the rinds with various herbs and even honey. (more…)

Getting my Asiago On!

I have made hard cheese before, Parmesan and my Ewe’s milk basket cheese ended up being a great hard cheese for grating, but I like Asiago and I thought I would try  the recipe in Mary Karlin’s book gives you two options for the cheese and produces two small wheels. One that would be aged for seven to eight months or the d’allevo type and another that could be aged to the Pressato stage for 4 weeks.  The ones that I made are not  true Asiago, not only because of the PDO status of the cheese, but also of the milk used and obviously the environmental conditions of my little slice of life here in Edmonton.

“Asiago is an Italian cow’s milk cheese that can assume different textures, according to its aging, from smooth for the fresh Asiago (Asiago Pressato) to a crumbly texture for the aged cheese (Asiago d’allevo) of which the flavor is reminiscent of Parmesan. The aged cheese is often grated in salads, soups, pastas, and sauces while the fresh Asiago is sliced to prepare Panini or sandwiches; it can also be melted on a variety of dishes and cantaloupe.

As Asiago has a protected designation of origin (Denominazione di Origine Protetta or DOP), the only “official” Asiago is produced in the alpine area of the town of Asiagoprovince of Vicenza, in the Veneto region. Asiago cheese is one of the most typical products of the Veneto region.” Wikepedia (more…)

Do you want to help choose the next cheese I make? – Voting is done

I am trying to get ahead on a few projects, so I was thinking that I would ask for help choosing the next cheese I make as I am stumped.  I have chosen a few “Washed Curd” Cheese and from that list you could help decide what is made.  I know this is a bit “cheesy” (pun intended) but I am stumped.

The Poll is now closed.

Alas there is no prize, but my appreciation and I will randomly pick one of my followers and ask you to name what ever cheese is made.  This poll will stay open until December 15, 2012.



Quick Improvised Mini-Cave

I often speak of ripening boxes or mini-caves.  I thought I would share a little photo essay on how to make a quick, cheap, but temporary fix until you can get a container that fits your cheese better.  Again this is just my opinion and it works for me.

All you need is a bike pump or a straw, plastic draining mat & zip-lock bag

All you need is a bike pump or a straw,
plastic draining mat & zip-lock bag


Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking By Gianaclis Caldwell: Perfection in Paperback

I collect information.  Yes I said it I collect information.  I am not a person who collects information to crush my enemies; wait I do try to crush the evil Mozzarella Monkey, but that is another story.  I try to collect information about things that really interest me, nothing quite peaks my interest like the knowing that there is a new Cheese Making book on the shelves of my local library or bookstore.  I usually borrow them, read them, and then decide on whether they are a “buy” or make notes and return.  There have been many in the return group and only a few in the buy.  I have come across my very first “Must Have” and I wanted to share it with you.  The book is called “Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking:  The Ultimate Guide for Home-Scale and Market Producers” by Gianaclis Caldwell ( published by Chelsea Green PublishingMastering Artisan Cheese Making cover


Cheesepalooza Challenge #5 or These are the Caerphilly of our lives

We have all reached the point in Cheesepalooza where we have entered the land of making Aged Cheeses. Some of them will take several months to age before you will get a decent cheese, but others will be ready in a matter of weeks.  One of those cheeses that I like to make that is ready sooner than later is the Caerphilly.

“Caerphilly is a hard, white cheese that originates in the area around the town of Caerphilly in Wales, although it is now also made in England, particularly in the South West and on the English border with Wales. It was not originally made in Caerphilly, but was sold at the market there, hence taking the town’s name.

Caerphilly is a light-coloured (almost white), crumbly cheese made from cow’s milk, and generally has a fat content of around 48%. It has a mild taste, with its most noticeable feature being a not unpleasant slightly sour tang.”      – Source:

Now I have made several Caerphilly over the past 3 years, I was integral in the development of a new cheese coming from Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese called Callingwood that is a Caerphilly style cheese that I help to create with Leslie and Alex this past Thanksgiving, it was done with raw milk so it should be ready in December 2012 for sale.  They are doing another version of the cheese called Redwater that they are using ARN (Surface ripening blend that includes B. Linens)wash on the rind and it should be ready in December as well.

There are several ways to make Caerphilly, ones that include cheddaring (stacking the curd in slabs) others that don’t.  I have tried several of them and I have written about them too.  So in a similar stage of Valerie’s Round-ups for the cheeses here is my round up for my Caerphilly makes, well the ones I wrote about any way.

Caerphilly #1  – This was the first Caerphilly I had made; I was using the recipe from Gavin Webber of Little Green Cheese, it was done with 3.25% Homogenized milk and was my first time Cheddaring.  I described the make briefly in Teacher’s Convention Project.  This is a cheese that can be eaten at 3 weeks so I did open it up at 3 weeks to see how things went, they were glorious and delicious.  The results were done in Caerphilly of my Dreams.

My First Caerphilly, I made this one with my Son