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Mooos Letter ... Spring 2006

What's new at cheesemaking.com
One of Ricki's great fans is Barbara Kingsolver and she has written an article for the June issue of 'Food and Wine' magazine on Ricki's cheese making workshop which she attended recently.
Oh yes ... She is one of our favorite writers too! Look for this issue coming out in mid-May.

"To convince us that an hour or two spent rendering up cheese in our own kitchens could be worth the trouble and what would that take? A motivational speaker, an artist, a devotee, a pal who builds your confidence? A Cheese Queen, maybe?

The answer is yes, all of the above, and she exists. Her name is Ricki Carroll. Since 1978, when she started New England Cheesemaking Supply Company and began holding workshops in her western Massachusetts kitchen, she has taught some 7,500 people how to make cheese."


For a long time now, folks have been asking for a reasonably priced cream separator ... So ... Ricki has come up with not one but two options that should do the trick


These simple Cream Separators will hold 2 gallons which makes them perfect for domestic or small farm use. The milk tank, separation bowl and disks are made of stainless steel. The cream spouts are made of food grade Poly.
These Separators will process 15 gallons per hour and come in both hand cranked and electric.




Ricki has also updated her starter special to include the DVD version of her video



Meet the Cheesemakers

for this newsletter we have gone to the edge
... One man making cheese from his jail cell ..
And a Hindu Monk making cheese for his Monastery in Hawaii

Rev. Yoginatha Swami makes cheese
for The Monks of Kauai's Hindu Monastery
Since we are always looking for new and exciting twists to cheese making, we were excited to hear from Yoginatha Swami as he explored the possibilities of making cheese from the monasteries 2 cows. Over a period of several months we answered his question and helped him develop the cheeses that the monks now enjoy

Cheese from
within a Jail Cell

The following letter is one that Ricki received a while back after sending a book to this person in Jail. It entails his adaptation to the process of making cheese ... One in which he had to re-invent most of it with VERY limited resources (no starter or rennet). Much of his process throws back to the traditional way in which cheese making must have evolved and in the way our ancestors must have worked with the milk.



Cheese Tips for Ewe

Cheese was crumbly and dry
Waxing Temps

Using Sheep Milk for Cheese

I made some farm house cheddar last year. After aging, my cheese was crumbly and dry. I followed the exact recipe in your hard cheese making kit, including using a mixture of milk and heavy cream. Do you have any idea what would have caused my cheese to be dry and crumbly?

Chris ... What has happened here is that the acidity of the cheese developed too much
.. As the acid increased it caused the calcium balance to change (less Ca in the cheese) .. This caused a weaker bond for the curd and hence a less elastic more brittle cheese... the excess acidity also caused the curds to shrink and to force out more moisture over time and hence the dry chalky curd .. This is commonly known as 'acid cut'
... The cause of this can be one or a combo of 2 points
1- too much culture or too long a ripening time which creates more acid
2- not a long enough stir after heating to drive off excess lactose. This lactose will carry over into the later stages and provide the fuel to continue to produce acid.

Next time add less culture (20-50%) AND/OR stir a little longer in the pot until the curd seems a bit drier.
.. A combo of these 2 should get you back on track.


How critical are temperatures of melted wax for sealing cheeses? We have waxed several cheeses that now have some mold growing under the wax.. how can we resolve this?

Leslie ... I am aware that Ricki says in her book to melt the wax in a double boiler but in effect there is a problem with that... the wax will not be hot enough to destroy the mold on it's surface so enough air can get through for this mold to grow under the wax.. I think she was most concerned w/ the safety of her customers.
... To be successful at preventing mold the wax needs to reach a temp of 225-240F and cheese dipped for at least 6 seconds the BIG PROBLEM here is that you really need to control that temp because if the wax gets hotter it might reach it's flash point and catch on fire... what I do is use a heavy pot with a candy thermometer and control the wax temps carefully ... Others simply get an old electric fry pan .. get the wax up to this temp .. and tape the temp control dial in place.


I Have a friend with sheep. Can you use these kits to make sheep cheese? Are there recipes?

Laurie.... Yes most of the recipes can be made with sheep milk but due to the high protein levels the rennet should be decreased by 25-50% ... Over time you will find that certain milks work better for some cheeses...

experiment a bit and have fun .. It's part of home cheese making



Upcoming Classes

Cheesemaking 101
June 10, 2006
Ricki's Fun for all ages introductory class.. A full day of Hands-On Beginners Cheesemaking. Farmhouse Cheddar, Fromage Blanc, Creme Fraiche, Queso Blanco, Mascarpone, Whole Milk & Whey Ricottas and a Quick Mozzarella.

You will learn the basic principles of cheese making and the use and care of equipment all while making new friends who share similar interests. These classes fill up quickly so sign up early.




Cheesemaking 201 'The Mountain Cheeses'
( 2 Day) June 24-25, 2006

This will be another of Jim Wallace's 2 day classes where we have tons of fun while we explorer the magic of cheese making.

This one will be devoted to a range of Mountain cheeses From Eastern France and Northern Italy... with an emphasis on traditional techniques ... We will explore such cheeses as:
...Gruyere, Tomme de Savoie, Fontina, Tallegio, and perhaps others
.. Which ones we make will depend on the class interest level .. So sign up early to have your say in this!


For more of what to expect in Jim's workshop Click Here (this is a great site set up by Jamie Forrest one of Jim's recent workshop attendees).
And Jim's follow up to
This .


Cheese Recipe

Gorgonzola Classic
a traditional Gorgonzola
in the style of the 'Grand Fathers'

This blue is made in a very traditional style using 2 curds made on separate days and molded together on the second day. It is drier and sharper than the 'Dolce' Gorgonzola and will ripen over 4 to 6 months.

Preparing a Cave
How do we do it? [Part 2]
Setting up a separate room for aging your cheese.
What do you need and how do you do it
.

Some Letters and Photos
from our customers

Now it is really working .. We are getting lots of feedback from our customers ... letters ... photos ... stories .. and a lot more

... From as far away as New Zealand and the Seychelle Islands (out in the Indian Ocean) ...

Check out the skunk story... its a gas (so to speak!)


Send us Your Photos

We are very excited about this new online Newsletter format and really would like to get some input from our readers. Like everything else in the world today, things are only as good as what goes into them. So, if you are really excited about your cheese making and would like to share a part of it with us, please send your text along with any pictures you might have to either Ricki or me (Jim).

If you can think of anything you would like to see in future editions,
please feel free to let us know.
We are always looking for old time ethnic recipes to share with others online.


 4/06

What are people saying about us? Check it out here.



The Cheese Queen is in Food and Wine and Barbara Kingsolver's
book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle!

Thanks for joining our cheese making family, keep those stories & photos coming. We love to hear from you!

In Peace,
Ricki, the cheese queen

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