Growing up in Canada in the 70’s and 80’s one of the mainstays on the CBC TV (Canadian Broadcast Television owned by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation) or just the CBC, was “The Beachcombers” and one of my favourite shows. It was about Log Salvagers on the West Coast of Canada, and the main character was Nick Adonidas (played by the great Bruno Gerussi) who battled another log salvager named Relic. It was part of my childhood and young adulthood as well. What does this have to do with cheese? Well this past weekend I had to salvage a cheese I was making or at least trying to make. Humbling yes, deterred no! Oh and here is some classic Canadiana to get you started, after all this is how I started my Sunday nights for almost 20 years.
I am obsessed with perfecting a semi-lactic cheese that I have nicknamed “Little Squirrel”, this one if successful would be version 6 and possibly the last version. I was using a slightly different recipe this time, it called for 8 litres of milk not my usual 4 litres. It had a 12 hour ripening/coagulation time (less than usual) and used the same amount of rennet that I would use with 4 litres. These should have been my warning signs, but I was determined to use this recipe and get things underway no later than 9 AM so I could have them in the moulds before bed that night.
By 9 PM the curd still had not fully formed, I was worried that I would have wasted time and money on this cheese. I had a decision to make.
I salted the sides, and let them sit to let the salt dissolve into the cheese before putting them into safe harbour for ageing.
Yes I think I have saved/salvaged this cheese, I have learned some valuable things too. First being that I should have checked multiple sources for this cheese, which by the way was a Charouce recipe, the second was to have patience and not to fiddle with things; even if it is to take pictures. Lastly I have to check to see if the CBC has the Beachcombers on DVD.
As always I will have more pictures up on the Facebook page in the next few days. I will post more once they bloom and definitely when it is time to sample them.