Final Cheese Making Class of May 2013

A smiling Debra and David

A smiling Debra and David

Today we had the pleasure of Debra and David’s company.  Debra is a teacher and David is a headmaster who has already dabbled in

Debra's little 20 litre vat, settling after cutting

Debra’s little 20 litre vat, settling after cutting

cheese making.  It was a nice, smiley, laid back sort of day and great fun having you both with us today, we enjoyed your company and your enthusiasm was contagious; it was nice to be able to discuss previous cheese making issues as this gave rise to some very purposeful questions.

We ripened as usual at 30 oC and as it wasn’t massively warm in our little dairy today, we ripened for an hour and a quarter.  We added the rennet and David and Debra took a walk up into Hawes which in Tuesdays is market days so always something to mooch around and look at.

Stu was making a small vat of our new cow’s milk into Wensleydale whilst we made two twenty litre vats and Andrew washed the pots and vac packed last week’s original Goat make.

After having exlained the science behind cheese making, we spoke about the things that can go wrong when cheese making and what to look out for.  I tried to show Debra and David how to make cheese (in the absence of them having an aciditymeter at home) through the feel of the curd.  It helped that Debra’s little vat was working at a faster rate than David’s, so we could

David stirring his curd

David stirring his curd

continually compare both small vats with Stu’s larger vat which is always interesting to have the contrast of different stages of acidity.

David exhibiting slight competitive tendencies with his perfectly shaped block!

David exhibiting slight competitive tendencies with his perfectly shaped block!

Debra was about fifteen minutes or so ahead of David, so we took the whey off her vat first, initially by jugging the curd out and then lifting the crate up and pouring it through a sieve, returning the curd and sending the whey up to the whey tank from a bucket.

Blocking and turning took about forty minutes, then we cubed the curd, tumbled it around and salted.  David asked when we were going to mill the curd, the answer to which was, after we have salted it.

It was an absolute pleasure to have the company of Debra and David although there were more than a few inadvertently innuendo laden moments, like me saying, ‘David have a feel of Debra’s’ or ‘may I have a feel?’ and possibly worst of all, when the chaps went to set off for Hawes, I suggested they took their kit off.  What I meant was the sexy blue hair nets and white coats.  Oh dear, and this was interspersed with David’s very bad jokes, the

Debra's pot of Wensleydale

Debra’s beautiful pot of Wensleydale

worst of which was:

Q: can you make cheese without using milk?

A: no whey

On that note….look forward to seeing you both again on Friday to pick up your cheeses and catching up on your next cheese making exploits;

Debra ably assisting David's potting up

Debra ably assisting David’s potting up

hope you have a great stay in the Dales.


1 Comment

Filed under Ribblesdale Cheese

One response to “Final Cheese Making Class of May 2013

  1. Debra & David

    Having discovered that it is possible to make cheese at home and having dabbled the next obvious stage is to seek out the experts to show how its really done. Oh so different! David and I had a great day with a steep learning curve on the art of cheese making under the tutorship of Iona and Stu.They, and I include Andrew (3rd member of the team) in this, gave us a lovely day with a huge insight into the work that goes into producing some delicious cheeses.The day that started early (we were on holiday) was full with lots of listening,questions, innuendo’s and watching the magical process of turning milk into cheese.The “team” made us very welcome and we would recommend this experience to anyone. Our cheeses are maturing at home and being lovingly turned and smoothed regularly.
    To be eaten at the end of August.

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