Following on from my earlier post, TB on his return home from the Hunter Valley has been making more cheese, courtesy of 14 litres of Snowy milk that came home with us in a very large esky. We are using a small refrigerator as our ‘cheese cave’ which has been set on a fairly warm setting (well for a fridge that is).
This time he made three small soft cheeses and another hard cheese which we hope in time, will transmogrify into something resembling a ‘blue’ cheese.
I’m picking up the story at the moulded curd stage so you can see the three small soft cheeses’ progress. These cheeses can be eaten with only a limited maturation time. Last Saturday we ate one of these soft cheeses as cheese on toast for lunch, along with our first tomato of the season which was actually from my sisters garden in the Hunter Valley, not our own. The taste of the cheese was mild but pleasant. The most disconcerting thing was that in texture there was a strong resemblance between what TB produced and a certain manufactured cheese that comes in a blue box and can survive unrefrigerated, we are guessing, for several years.
Having dried out some more TB has taken all the cheeses out to salt them. This helps in several ways. One it draws more moisture from the cheeses, two it helps the flavour and three it helps stop nasty ‘bugs’ growing on the outside surfaces.
The cheeses are placed on bamboo mats to allow any moisture to fall away from the cheese when it is back in the fridge.