Happy Cheese Makers Since 1978

February, 2011     New England Cheesemaking Supply Co.      www.cheesemaking.com

Our Cheese Queen's Epic Trip to South Africa

Early in January, Ricki and Jamie embarked on the trip of a lifetime to spend 5 weeks in South Africa.  For much of the trip, they were singing at a Village Harmony Camp, practicing and then giving concerts at various locations around the country. 
The rest of the time they stayed at the Kruger National Park (in the mountains of the north) where they went on safaris to see the elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions, and even a large herd of water buffalo.

While they were singing in Haenertsburg, Ricki and a fellow singer had the opportunity to visit the Wegraakbosch Organic Dairy Farm.  (This new friend, Sophie Starr, who happened to be on the trip, is one of the partners at Cobb Hill Farm and Co-Housing in Vermont where they make award-winning cheese!)

At Wegraakbosch, they watched cheese being made in a room with a big copper kettle over an open fire. The draining table was carved from wood.  Ricki was impressed with the difference between regulations in South Africa and here in the US.  Their make room was cozy, charming and very clean.

As if that wasn't enough traveling, ten days from now, Ricki and Jamie will be headed to the Sonoma Valley Cheese Conference in California where Ricki and Sheana Davis will be the opening speakers. Needless to say, we'll be doing blog articles about these trips very soon!

Is Romano Too Easy!?

Suzanne has done it again!  In fact, she has become such a seasoned cheese maker that she says Romano is no challenge at all!  Well, that may be true but you'll notice in her story at Chickens in the Road, she named her cheese and she thinks she may be in love with it.  (Raise your hand if you think Suzanne has gone off the deep end!) 

To see Suzanne's post at our blog - click here

   Parma Style Cheese    Part 2

Last month in Part I, Jim gave you the beginner directions for making Parma with 2 gallons of store-bought milk.  This month, he gives the advanced recipe for making it with 5 & 1/2 gallons of raw milk.

As we mentioned last month, Jim has flown to Italy several times and he has observed master cheese makers in action.  For that reason, and because he loves this cheese, he has covered every aspect of making it in the most minute detail.  We doubt if you will find a more complete recipe anywhere for the home cheese maker.

To see Jim's recipe -  click here

For Draining Your Cheese

Check out this cheese tripod (at right) my husband made for me!!!  I think he should make them in bulk and SELL them!  What do you think?

Georgianna MacNeil

Regarding Cheese Curds

I put cheese curds in the frying pan with my scrambled eggs (towards the end). They turn out perfect every time! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for the cheese curd recipe! I am making cheese in WI, and my family keeps requesting them, I have a sister that lives in Boston, and she constantly has to tell friends what cheese curds are.

Christine Geissler
Note:  To see the cheese curds recipe at our blog, click here.

Making Yogurt in Africa

I love the idea of making yogurt in a crock pot.  I live in Africa and we do as much as we can without electricity.  I heat my fresh milk to about 125F on the stove then pour it into clean quart jars - leaving about 2 inches of head space.  I put 2 tablespoons of good yogurt (without fillers) in each jar giving them all a quick stir. 

I put those jars into a grass basket lined with towels and then cover with another towel.  I usually do 6 or 7 quarts at a time.  I leave it overnight - about 6 to 8 hours - and it is ready in the morning.  I strain it for my cream cheese, use it for yogurt and sour cream.  I usually heat another pot of milk to about the same temp and add lemon juice or vinegar until it curdles - for ricotta.  I will then drain that and wrap it up tight into cheesecloth to make paneer cheese - which is amazing to grill.  I am new on the cheese adventure - but looking to add many more varieties to our fridge!

Linda Gandy

Handkase (Hand Cheese)

I have a recipe for Hand Cheese from a book published by the U.S. Dept of Agriculture in 1969, called "Cheeses of the World."  It lists Mainzer Handkase as one of the relatives to Hand Cheese and sounds like what Etta describes.  (Note:  Etta requested this recipe last month.)  The directions are very limited but here is what it says:

Buttermilk or lactic starter is added to skim milk, which is then coagulated at room temperature.  The curd is broken up or cut, stirred, and heated slowly to a temperature of 120F.  It is held at this temperature for about 3 hours, and stirred for the first hour.  At the end of the heating period, the curd is put in cloths or in forms, while the whey drains - with or without pressure.  Then the curd is either mixed thoroughly or ground in a curd mill, and salted.  Sometimes caraway seed is added.  The cheeses are then molded by hand into the desired shape.  They are dried in a warm room, then placed on shelves in a cool, moist cellar to cure.  They are kept clean while curing.  When surface ripening has begun, they are wrapped and packed in boxes.  They are cured for 6 to 8 weeks at temperatures no higher than 50F.  At higher temperatures they cure too rapidly.

Karen Marnach

I found this online...I ve not made this!  (www.helium.com)

Beth Mueleir

Amish Butter

Vee Laura asks for a recipe for making butter. I often make butter and have posted the recipe on my blog, www.the-cooks-corner-blog.com.  I not only give the recipe, I also answer a lot of questions about making your own butter.  If your reader wants butter like the Amish make, she should probably use the Cultured Butter variation, and add salt. Try the plain version first, though, because cultured butter is an acquired taste.

Gina Bisaillon

Send your news to Jeri at Moosletter@cheesemaking.com
(Note:  Questions about cheesemaking still go to info@cheesemaking.com)

"The Cheeses & Wines of  England & France"  (B22)  is back!

John Ehle is the award winning author of many fine books, including "The Winter People" and "The Journey of August King."  He is also the husband of the actress, Rosemary Harris.  He gathered the research for this book when he was spending time in England while his wife acted in a play there.

We are honored to be the new publishers of this remarkable book which has been out of print for many years.  In it, Ehle describes in detail the traditional way to make at least 50 cheeses (as well as cider, mead, champagne, ale and several wines).  We consider this book a "must have" for any serious cheese maker.

Reculturable Kefir (C46)

Kefir is very simple to make (using our Yogotherm) and it is loaded with probiotics!

: lactose, lactic cultures, yeast, ascorbic acid
YIELD: One packet will culture 1/2 gallon of milk.
STORAGE: Keep packages in the freezer, they will last up to 4 years.
DISCOUNTS: If you really love these you can buy 12 or more packs and you will receive our price break of $3 for each pack.

Best Practices for Cheesemaking

w/ Neville McNaughton & Brian Civitello of CheezSorce

March 1 & 2

Vermont Technical College, Randolph, VT

For info, click on pdf above or brenda.cheezsorce@gmail.com

Cheesemaking 101

Workshops with Ricki Carroll

A full day of hands-on cheese making with Ricki in her beautiful house in the foothills of the Berkshires. You will learn to make Farmhouse Cheddar, Queso Blanco, Whole Milk and Whey Ricotta,  30 Minute Mozzarella, Fromage Blanc, Creme Fraiche and Mascarpone.

April 9  (WK4911)

April 16 (WK41611)

May 15 (WK51511)

Cheesemaking 201

Advanced Workshops with Jim Wallace

April 9 - 10

Your Next Big Step in Cheese Making (Item # WKJ040911)


April 30 - May 1

Semi Soft and Early Ripening Cheeses (Item # WKJ043011)


May 21 - 22

French Cheese Making  (Item # WKJ052111)


June 11 - 12

Your Next Big Step in Cheese Making  (Item # WKJ061111)

8th Annual Sonoma Valley Cheese Conference

Sonoma, CA

February 27 - March 2


1st International Festival of Artisan Cheese

Miami, FL

March 18 - 20


Oregon Cheese Festival

Central Point, OR

March 19


California's 5th Annual Artisan Cheese Festival

Petaluma, CA

March 25 - 28


South African Cheese Festival

Sandringham, Stellenbosch

April 29 - May 2


  Seattle Cheese Festival

Seattle, WA

May 14 - 15


2011 American Cheese Society Conference & Competition

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

August 3 - 6