First and foremost, I want to apologize for the lack of content this past month or so. In order to work with Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese, I had to make a tough decision about my other employment. So after 20 years as a Reserve Officer with the Canadian Forces (working with the Canadian Cadet Organization) I decided to “retire”. It is not as simple as just deciding to quit and never show up again. It has been quite time-consuming as I had commitments that I had to fulfil. I have one more day in uniform and then things will even out. Thank you to those that have still been coming by and checking out the site. I am starting to get back on track so the whey will flow.
The Rebel Reblochon
I love Reblochon, I love the gooey paste, I love the rind, I love the smell, the taste. But what is a Reblochon (more…)
This past weekend I took my first steps on my journey as a “Professional” Cheese Maker, and spent two days making cheese an hour outside of Edmonton at Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese. Saturday was a semi-firm cheese day and Sunday was a Brie day (thankfully I was not the lead on that make). All my pictures are from the make on Saturday and a few from Sunday, unfortunately I did not get any pictures from the Brie make as I was the student and I was more focused on learning the Smoky Valley way of making the Brie. Here is how my weekend went: (more…)
Do you want to learn how to make cheese at home? Are you having problems trying to pick a book to use as your beginner book? Well keep calm and get the eBook by Gavin Webber from Littlegreencheese.com and Greeningofgavin.com, called “Keep Calm and Make Cheese: The Beginners Guide to Making Cheese at Home” (more…)
I love cheese, I love all kinds of cheese, I have issue with blues, but I generally love all kinds of cheese. I have a special place in my heart for washed-rind/smear-ripened cheeses. I love the stink, I love the flavour, I love the effort in looking after the cheese with the washing regiments. I can understand why Trappist Monks often used washing cheese as part of their prayer/work cycle, it is relaxing and a great time for reflection too. So when I recommended washed rind cheeses for the 10th Challenge for Cheesepalooza I did it with the hopes that everyone would enjoy them the way I do. Addie did a nice write-up on Valerie’s Acanadianfoodie.com and it can be found here. But what are Washed-rind/Smear-ripened Cheeses? (more…)
Some times you come across something that can humble you, for years it has been Mozzarella for me. Now I have another and it is Camembert. I have posted about my earlier failure to make a Camembert for my Mother’s visit this past weekend. I tried again, and I thought things went well. The make was better, I used better milk. The draining and flipping regiment was better still. I had a decent cheese at salting. (more…)
I am constantly trying to improve my website, as you can probably tell by the new menu items on the left side of the page. I have hopefully fixed the Calendar page for events and things happening with Much To Do About Cheese, Cheesepalooza Tastings and Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese Classes, Market Days and Cheese Making Days. You can reach the Calendar page here.
I have also added a page where you can ask information on our Cheese Making Classes at Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese. All you have to do is fill out the form and check whether you want to register for a class or that you want information about future classes. You can reach the Cheese Making Classes page here.
Is there something you think I should include? Do you have a suggestion for the site? Please let me know and I will see if it is possible
Yesterday I experienced the euphoria of being a vendor at a local market here in Edmonton. I felt the nervousness I haven’t felt since the first day of school, the rush of excitement explaining the types of cheeses that we produce. Just interacting with potential customers was amazing, talking about cheese and cheese making with people who share a love of cheese, good cheese.
The learning curve was not that steep, the people were quite nice. I was tutored by Leslie and Alex , the owners and seasoned market veterans. I feel confidant that I will be able to handle myself in mid May when I take over the downtown market stall. I loved the atmosphere and the people are great. Te next couple of weekends I will not be at the market for the next few weeks, time off before the storm, and I have to start making cheese so we can have it ready for market. I am excited. If you are in Edmonton on a weekend, stop by and say hi.
Our class on May 19th, is almost full, we will announce more classes in the coming weeks.
It is official, I have started a new chapter of my life, I am now a real boy…sorry, I am now a “real” Cheese Maker. After helping out at Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese, for the past 6 months, I have accepted a place with them in Production and Marketing. I know those are fancy titles, but what does it mean? I means that I will be making cheese for Smoky Valley, and I will be selling cheese at a Farmers Market in Edmonton (more details will follow on the markets).
I work two jobs and help out at Smoky Valley making cheese, in order to do this I am leaving one of the jobs that I have been with for 20 years. Am I nervous? Yes I don’t want to screw this up. Am I happy? Over the moon.
I want to thank Leslie and Alex from Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese for giving me this opportunity and especially my family for supporting me through this transition, I officially have the best wife and kids in the world.
Go make some cheese and see you this summer at the market.
Is there that special Artisan Cheese Producer that you love, and you can only buy their cheese a local Farmer’s Market? Have you ever wondered how much work goes into getting ready for the market? Addie from The Big Cheese Project and I went out to help get Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese ready for the Saturday Market. We started by helping out moving some equipment and tidying the cheese room and then we got to the business washing the rinds of the cheeses. Please check out the slide show below.
Unfortunately we were only able to stay until 3 pm, we were only able to get 1/4 of the cheese wrapped and ready for market. This gave Leslie and Alex a head start and with their new vacuum sealer it would not take long to get the rest done. It was an eye opener as to pricing and prepping. Determining fair prices, which cheeses to be used for samples, which cheeses to bring; it is more involved than you think. So next time you got to that Artisan Cheese Maker you like’s stand please consider the effort in making the cheese and the efforts they put into getting ready. It is worth the price they put on the package for their quality cheese.