Little Squirrel

Little Squirrel In A Jar: Semi-Lactic Cheese Experiment

I am constantly on the look out for new techniques to try with my cheesemaking, so when I heard of David Asher’s blog and his upcoming book, The Art Of Natural Cheesemaking, I just had to check things out.  He recently posted his version of a Mason Jar Marcellin, a true lactic cheese that used raw milk and natural Geotrichum to ripen the milk.  I don’t have access to raw milk but I figured that I might be able to make a version using store milk.  20150626_190448

Though it may not be true to the original vision or spirit of David Asher’s version, but I think I may be on track with my “Little Squirrel In A Jar” version. (more…)

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Twisted Squirrel = Twisted Mess!

It is often said that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the same could be said for cheese.  This is the case with my experimental “Twisted Squirrels“.

Slightly brainy, and fluffy it looks good....

Slightly brainy, and fluffy it looks good….

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Twisted Squirrel – Things Are Blooming!

You probably know that I decided to make another batch of Little Squirrels (Twisted Squirrels), but this time using PLA instead of Geo 17.  It is now day 10 and things, they are a blooming!

This was day 9 and the bloom was starting to move up from the sides.

This was day 9 and the bloom was starting to move up from the sides.

I was quite surprised to see that the bloom was an off white, almost yellow.  I was not expecting the linens to show up for a while. (more…)

Twisted Squirrel – Tweaking The Little Squirrel

All “Little Squirrels” I made last time are now gone, it was time to make some more.  The last time I mused about using PLA (a Geo/Yeast/B. Linens mix) as the mould for the cheese. It was time to get everything ready and make more of these little gems but this time, with a twist.

It was time to get my moulds ready and make some cheese.

It was time to get my moulds ready and make some cheese.

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Refreshing Canada Day Sparkling Wheymonade!

Happy Canada Day!  This is a day that in many Canadians, symbolizes the start of summer, time for BBQ/Grilling and refreshing drinks.  I have one that I just made and I thought it would be good to share.  Especially given the fact it is made with whey!  Yes you read that right, whey!

Cool, refreshing and made with whey!

Cool, refreshing and made with whey!

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Flowers Have Boomed And So Have The Little Squirrels!

Almost a month ago I started a new batch of “Little Squirrels“, by using 2% milk and adding heavy cream to bump up the creaminess.  In that time the cheeses have bloomed, wrapped and sampled several times.

Little Squirrels under wraps!

Little Squirrels under wraps!

I was pleased with the progress of this cheese, I am almost ready to share the recipe…but not yet. Well as they say pictures speak louder than words. (more…)

Return Of The Little Squirrels!

A while back I mentioned that I thought I had finally cracked the recipe for my Little Squirrels, a semi lactic bloomy rind made from cows milk.   It was time to try again, but being me, I wanted to tweak the formula.  I kept the basic formula, but this time I upped the fat content.  Last time I used 4 litres of skim milk and 500 millilitres of heavy cream, this time the cream stayed the same but I used 4 litres of 2% milk as the base.  I am not sure but I think this makes the cheese in the double cream range or at least 1.5.  At this point I was toying with the idea of using PLA instead of Geo 17 as the mould source.

Time To Choose

I had both PLA and Geo 17, but which one would I use?

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Tenth Time’s A Charm – Finally Cracked The Little Squirrels!

Anyone who has followed this site knows that I have worked on my “Little Squirrel” Semi-Lactic cheese, for almost two years now.  I think that after countless litres of milk, several ounces of cultures and molds, the tenth version has met the bill!  I think I have cracked it.  Am I sure? No, but I am confident and I have hope.  I am definitely happy with the results so far.  Am I ready to share the recipe?  Not on your life!  Not yet at least.  I want to have several successful makes before giving out this baby.  I will share some things with you though, but as they say pictures are worth a thousand words

Whole milk

It starts with my “HomeMaid” Whole milk

Little Squirrel Cultures

And a pinch of culture and a pinch of Geo 17

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Much To Do About Cheese on The Little Green Cheese Podcast

Yesterday I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking to Gavin Webber from Little Green Cheese and The Greening of Gavin, via Skype, for his Little Green Cheese Podcast.  I was honoured to be asked to be part of his wonderful podcast about home cheese making.  We talked about various topics including my amazing time working with Smoky Valley Artisan/Goat Cheese, The League of YEG Home Cheese Makers and much more.  Follow the link below and have a listen.  While you are there check out the other 17 Podcasts and the rest of his wonderful site.  You will see why he is one of my cheese making heroes. 

LGC Podcast Episode 18 – A Chat with Ian Treuer

Today I had the pleasure of talking to an experienced home cheesemaker, Ian Treuer.  He lives in Edmonton, Alberta Canada.

Ian has a successful cheese making blog called Much To Do About Cheese, and it what I really like about it is that he documents not only his excellent successes, but he also shows everyone what can and does go wrong.  Just brilliant.

During the podcast we mentioned at few links that I said I would list in the show notes;
Ian’s Little Squirrel cheese,
The link to the “Introduction to Artisan Cheesemaking” course that he is running in March 2014,
and the link to Gürkan Yeniçeri’s Camembert method and recipe.  You may remember Gürkan when he was a guest on Episode #4 of the podcast.
So on with the podcast….

Little Green Cheese: LGC Podcast Episode 18 – A Chat with Ian Treuer

It was a Dark and Cheesy Night – First Meeting Of The League of YEG Home Cheese Makers

On a frozen evening at the beginning of December the first meeting of the League of YEG Home Cheese Makers was hosted by our member Rick and his wife Lorrie.  We were gathering to share our first cheeses that we made and to talk of all things cheese.  It was about -25C and we had just come out of a snow storm that dropped almost 15 cm of snow over a few days and not all the starting group could attend, but it was fitting that it was a festival of Bloomy Rinds.  I will be honest that we spent more time eating cheese and talking than taking pictures of the cheeses.  It was a great evening, with good company and great cheese.

The bloomy rind festival matched the snow outside.

The bloomy rind festival matched the snow outside.

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