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March, 2012     New England Cheesemaking Supply Co.      www.cheesemaking.com






  

The Cheese Queen rules in favor of an Organic Food Bill!

A note from Ricki:

As many of you know, I have been advocating against the use of pesticides and other chemicals in our food chain for many years. 

Fortunately, my husband (Jamie) grows much of our food in our large garden and we belong to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).

Here at NECS, we have always made a point of finding organic products for cheese making and we simply will not sell GMOs (genetically modified organisms).

But, the truth is that while you and I are struggling to buy organic food from our local farmers, our taxes are paying for subsidies to big agriculture. 

Shouldn't we be supporting the farmers who are growing healthy food?

An Organic Farm Bill, proposed by Food Democracy Now, would call for us to:

1)  Implement a plan to make sure that 75 percent of U.S. farms are U.S.D.A. organic certified by 2025.
   
2)  Feed organic food to all children enrolled in public school lunch programs by the year 2020.
   
3)  Pass a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Bill to place a million new farmers on the land by 2020.
   
4)  Link conservation compliance with government-subsidized insurance programs.  And more ...

For more information and to send a message to Congress - click here


 













 

Shannon Olson in Fargo, North Dakota

Shannon Olson is a "good cook."  These days, that label usually includes folks who make their own soft cheeses, butter, yogurt, etc.  And, why not?  It's easy, healthy and cost effective.

Shannon shares all her recipes at her lovely website - North Dakota Kitchen

So far, she has made butter, goat cheese with herbs, cheese curds, whey ricotta, 30 minute mozzarella, buttermilk cheese, butter, and ricotta salata.  We think that makes her an official "Master of the Soft Cheeses!"

She's working her way to making the aged cheeses as soon as she can convince her husband that she needs a press and that he needs to make it.  Can anyone relate to that?!

To see our blog article with Shannon's recipe for ricotta salata- click here













Cabra al Vino (Drunken Goat Cheese)

What to do if your goat is drunk ...

No, not really!  This is a wine soaked cheese made from the milk of sober goats. 

Jim Wallace makes his own beer and wine in addition to being our technical advisor for cheese making.  So, making Cabra al Vino is an opportunity for him to combine two passions into one fabulous, homemade wheel of cheese.


 
 Jim was inspired by a course he took this winter at The Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese on Spanish cheeses.  In fact, since then, he's been combing the hills of Western Massachusetts to find goat and sheep's milk for his new cheese projects.  (Fortunately, in late April when the kids are born, he will have all the goat's milk he can use.)

These are a few reasons why Jim recommends you try making Cabra al Vino:

1.  It is one of those rare firm curd goat's milk recipes

2.  It is easy to make

3.  It is low on equipment needs

4.  It requires little work in the aging room

5.  It is ripe in only 6-8 weeks (but can go longer)

To see Jim's recipe - click here

 













A cheese and jelly strainer in one little tripod!

I have been making Chevre from Ricki's book (Home Cheese Making) for a couple of months now.  I was having a hard time finding a place to tie up my cheese and let it drain. 

We just moved into a house on a farm that needs a lot of renovation. Let's just say that I can't use the sink spout until we get a new sink ...

 
 
  
I was in a farm store around Christmas and found a jelly strainer & bags.  It's just a little metal tripod with a hoop on one end to put in the straining bag.  It works great!!

I set the strainer inside of a pot to catch the whey.  I use a paper plate on top to keep dust and cats out of the top.  To wash the liners, I rinse them off in the sink.  Then I turn them inside out and put them into a delicate bag so they do not collect laundry lint.
 
I don't know if everyone else already knows this tip, but it has worked really well for me.
Kara W., Sweetwater, Tennessee

 


Something's wrong- it's too easy!

I recently made a batch of brie (my first attempt at making cheese) using the recipe from your book (Home Cheese Making) and was hoping for a little feedback. The only issue, if it is an issue at all, is that it was all too easy. 

The cheese, as far as I can tell, was ready in just two weeks of aging. I'm using raw and certified organic Jersey milk from Misty Brook Farm in Barre, MA. I didn't pay that much attention to the temperature guidelines, or the sterilization of the molds and mats (raw milk is reputed to have natural antibiotic properties).

I simply drained the curds in the cheese molds for 24-48 hours and then aged them in a temperature controlled wine cabinet, flipping the rounds once a day. After about two weeks, I noticed a slight ammonia smell, which dissipated when I set the round out to temper before eating.
Frank Culmone, Boston, MA



Her first attempt certainly went well!

I want to let you know that I finished my first batch of cheese.  Literally, finished.  I could not wait the 1-4 months for it to age, so we just finished eating it. 

I only make pepperjack, and I only became interested in making it because you can not find good pepperjack cheese in southern Mississippi, sans 1 general store that is too far away to be considered a viable option (but the Desert Fire cheese they carry WAS awesome). 

I used your organic rennet and mesophilic culture, but I left out the calcium chloride, as I come from Michigan, and I couldn't see putting de-icer in my cheese (I do know the difference, but I would rather not use it).  It came out GREAT, seeing how I could only use store bought milk, had no thermometer and a MacGyver cheese press, made from a stainless strainer, and a tower of unconventional weight.  It also doesn't melt well, because of the store bought milk, but it was excellent just the same. 

Thank you so much for your site, and getting me interested.  Enclosed is a pic of my pepperjack, the next one will have a touch of Sriracha sauce (Thai hot sauce) to make it more interesting.
Annie McLeod, Columbia, Mississippi

P.S.  I am hoping to find a place where I can get fresher milk than the store bought.  If I do, hopefully we can add it to your list of suppliers in Mississippi.

 

 

Singing and Cheese Making Internship

What could be better than learning to make cheese while singing traditional Georgian songs?

Josh Karp and Maria Schumann of Cate Hill Orchard met through their love of singing.  As you may remember from our Special Wedding Moosletter, Ricki and Jamie (the Cheese Queen and King) met the same way.

So, we were happy to receive this note from Maria:

I wrote you once before last summer, asking if you had a Suluguni Georgian cheese recipe.  I found one-- from a Georgian cheese maker in New Zealand!  (We asked Maria for the recipe and, happily, we are  posting it March 20th at our blog.)

My husband and I are putting on a "Sing and Farm" internship this late spring at our farm in Vermont-- it will involve lots of Georgian singing, and milking sheep and making cheese (on a homestead scale).
Maria Schumann, Craftsbury Common, Vermont

 
(The deadline for contacting Josh and Maria is March 23.  For the full description of their internship and pictures of their farm, check our blog article.)
 

Send your news & responses to Jeri at Moosletter@cheesemaking.com

(Note: Questions about making cheese go to info@cheesemaking.com)















Don't you just love a beautiful magazine?

This is one of those gorgeous magazines where you save every issue and use it as a reference.  The pictures are amazing and the articles are simply the best in the biz.

One of our favorite features is a "CAN DO" section for home cheese makers with recipes and articles about the cheese making process.  For example, the current edition has an article about making Creme Fraiche and creating your own smoker.

Everybody deserves a treat in the winter to help them make it through and this could be yours!  In fact, a subscription would be a welcome surprise for any cheese lover in your life.

When you order (4 issues), the year starts with the next issue after you subscribe.   

For more info - click here













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.

For more info - click here


Cheesemaking 201

Advanced Workshops with Jim Wallace

Jim Wallace has been our technical resource for a number of years now, teaching and answering our technical questions. He is an expert photographer, a great teacher and he has a wealth of knowledge. You will be delighted with his classes. They are more technical in scope than Ricki's introductory class, but are fine for the cheese maker who wants to learn more details of the process.

For more info - click here














8th Annual Oregon Cheese Festival

Central Point, Oregon

March 17

http://oregoncheeseguild.org


Cheese & Wine Festival

London, England

April 27 - 29

http://www.cheesewinefestival.com/

South Africa Cheese Festival

Stellenbosch, South Africa

April 27 - 30

http://www.sa-venues.com/

10th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational

Los Angeles, California

April 28

http://grilledcheeseinvitational.com/

8th Annual Seattle Cheese Festival

Seattle, Washington

May 19 - 20

http://www.seattlecheesefestival.com/

Great Canadian Cheese Festival

Picton, Ontario, Canada

June 1 - 3


Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival

Little Chute, Wisconsin

June 1 - 3


Cheese-Rolling at Cooper's Hill

Gloucestershire, UK

June 4

http://www.cheese-rolling.co.uk

Victoriaville Fine Cheese Festival & Selection Caseus

Victoriaville, Quebec

 June 14 - 17th

http://www.tourismecentreduquebec.com/

Vermont Cheesemakers Festival

Shelburne, Vermont

July 22

http://www.vtcheesefest.com/

The Big Cheese Festival

Caerphilly, Wales

July 27 - 29

http://www.visitcaerphilly.com

American Cheese Society Annual Conference

Raleigh, North Carolina

August 1 - 4

The Great British Cheese Festival

Cardiff, Wales

September 22 - 23

The Wedge

Portland, Oregon

October 6

http://oregoncheeseguild.org


































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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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