Apologies for the lack of blogging over the last 6 weeks or so. I would like to say I was suffering the effects of a serious night-life, too much alcohol, dancing and general up to no-goodness, but I would be lying. The truth is more that I have been without telephone and internet at home for most of the last 6 weeks, combined with being pretty darn busy at work and feeling a little bit below par, resulting in multiple visits to the brute for blood letting.
But all is well, we have won some great cheesey awards recently and life is good and I am back on line at home and even have a working phone. Honest to goodness, I have lived in third world countries with better infrastructure than around the Ribblehead, where I live. Anyway, apology and gripe over with, here is what we did today. I thought it may amuse some of you.
We have a row of Tasty Yorkshire in the press which will come out tomorrow as it is still dripping its orangey coloured whey: it is a
hybrid sort of cheese, a cross between a Double Gloucester and a cheddar, nicely acidic with a firm texture and a lovely long creamy after taste. We made this specifically for one customer.
First thing, after Stu tightened the press, we set about putting our new mystery cheese into pots for our main customer pick up, only he arrived at 8.45am and we were counting on him coming at around 11am. Ooops! I hate keeping delivery drivers waiting, it seems so rude as I am sure they have a really tight schedule of pick ups and each delay must ricochet making a long day. Anyway, we despatched the new mystery (gold award winning!) cheese to the driver within 15 minutes and set about preparing 18 Original Goat and 18 Superior Goat for the smoker. We need to grab coolish days while we can because it is not possible to smoke cheese when it is hot. We know this from experience: melted, dripping cheese is not easy to clean up from the bottom of the smoker.
Whilst Stu was tightening the press, I checked on e-mails and found that Lisa from Tractor Creative, our designer lady had sent over the final version of the label for the new mystery cheese – excellent and very exciting! Tomorrow, I should have time to start investigating printing costs and maybe even unveil the new mystery (gold award winning!) cheese, which one of our readers likened to a Scooby Doo adventure. Absolutely!
So, mystery cheese out of the door, smoker on, we then set to a whole load of waxing. We have waxed two tables of Superior Goat and two tables of original Goat and we have a table of sheep cheese to follow and then the smoked cheese, after it has rested and cooled down in the cold room for an hour or so.
In between, we made a pumpkin cheese. A what, you may ask? A cheese shaped like a pumpkin, by special request from a customer. We had experimented with the shape before but as we had been nudged about it, we put the orange wax in and had a go at our very first pumpkin cheese, which Stu has named Simon.
Then our goat milk arrived. A quick cup of coffee and a chat with the driver who was really nice – all of our goat milk drivers are. Then it was back to waxing. Roger our new cow milk man popped his head around the door, returning some boxes, we said hello and he disappeared again.
We finally finished waxing at 4.30pm when I washed up and Stu cleaned out the wash tank in preparation of tomorrow’s goat make. Tomorrow we will be making Superior Goat Gouda. Favourite track today was anything tamla/motown but then I let myself down and turned up Gangnam Style loud, swiftly followed by Jack White and Alicia Keyes Another Way to Die (which Stu hated). Stu likes ELO Don’t Bring Me Down but the ipod, spurred on by the jumping boxes kept jumping over it, so we weren’t going to get more than about the first few lines, which is a shame as it is a good bouncy song which was kind of today, really: a good bouncy day, lots done.