Remember our friend Little Cheese #2?

Cheese #2

Cheese #2

Sure you do! She looked just like this, about 5 days ago.

Well, today was her waxing day, and she turned out very nice.

Little Cheese #2 on waxing day

Little Cheese #2 on waxing day

I still find that the prescribed directions for curing leave the cheese out too long. Again, deep cracks formed in the wrinkles from the cloth in my ghetto tin can mold, and anywhere I had to shave it to make smooth edges. This tells me two things. 1. A smooth molded and pressed edge is essential, and for me to ever be happy with the look of them, I am going to have to acquire some proper molds. 2. It tells me that I need to not wait for the “yellowish gold crust” to form, but to perhaps leave it to cure until it stops seeping damp, or maybe one day longer. No more.

The most crucial thing to me, aside from edibility, is to learn from each attempt. To see what works and what doesn’t. Since I am essentially teaching myself to make cheese as I go, this seems to me to be the best way to learn.

In order to gain proficiency in cheesemaking, one must be willing to spend a lot of time, develop the patience of Job and release any guilt or chafing at the idea of “wasting” milk. I have tried 4 times, using 4 gallons of milk, and have 2 little cheese prototypes to show for it.

Still, seeing those little golden circles aging in my fridge gives me a deep sense of satisfaction. It connects me to my Irish ancestors, whose cheeses are of the Cheese of Legends.  It gives me a sense of pride in a job (well done or not) and shows me that my dependence on Tillamoook medium cheddar could potentially wane over time, which is my primary goal.

Voila! I present, Little Cheese #2. *Note, I have dated this cheese because it is necessary, anytime I have more than one thing to remember, for example, the unveiling dates of more than one round of cheese. I didn’t need to date Little Cheese #1 because it’s Finish Date is engraved, indelibly, on my very soul…the countdown to fresh cheese continues…22 days and counting…

ready for aging...

ready for aging…

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