One of the reasons I started this blog was to show people that you can do/achieve anything, no matter your income or social standing. My “DONE” series features Bucket List items I’ve done/achieved. They may vary in size and importance but the message I always want readers to leave with is that they too can achieve their dreams.
We did it! It nearly took all weekend but The Boof and I made cheese. After realizing that mascarpone would spoil within a couple of days, we decided to forgo the tangy, sweet cheese and focus on making cheddar curds with jalepeno, gruyere, and creme fraiche. Let me tell you, it takes some patience. Okay, not some, a whole lot! Oh, and mucho leche!
|Ingredients for gruyere and creme fraiche|
|Beginning stage of creme fraiche|
There is something about making cheese from scratch that is satisfying but honestly, I would rather have the 18 hours it took to make the cheddar curds for something else. Yes, they are freaking good as hell but worth the time? No.
I will say that the creme fraiche has proven to be the best investment. Not only was the heavy cream priced right, we have used the creme fraiche for a number of recipes. We made hollandaise sauce with it, mixed it into spaghetti sauce and drizzled it over strawberries, salmon and enchiladas. Extremely delicious, just not anything that someone should consume all the time.
|Cheddar curds with jalepeno|
The gruyere, on the other hand, is proving to be more of a time investment. The cheese has to age for at least two months. I already have some great plans for it. First thing is first, by the time the gruyere comes of age, it will be post baby and I can consume wine again! Yes, I’m fancy. Wine and cheese are two of my favorite things.
If you are planning on making your own cheese, there are a few things I would suggest.
1. Set aside an entire weekend. It will definitely take more than one day if you are making more than one type of cheese.
2. If aging the cheese and in need of creating a “cheese box,” try creating the environment necessary in the crisper of your refrigerator and use a wet sponge to bring the humidity level up.
3. Research how long each of the cheeses will last once made. If you don’t think you will eat it all within that time, decide to give some away or forgo making the cheese until you will be able to consume it all.
4. Don’t let anything go to waste. At some stage in the cheese making process, the curds and whey will separate. Save as much whey as you can, it is a great byproduct. Just a few whey uses include making smoothies, using it instead of water when making bread, and even as a hair conditioner. It may sound hippy, but if you are into saving money like I am, you will want to use everything.
5. Remember that cheese making is a skill that people have perfected over generations, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t come out right the first time.
Learning to make cheese may not sound that significant to you but that is the idea behind items on a life list. Sure, even in my eyes, it doesn’t quite match the satisfaction of buying a house but it is something I’ve been wanting to do without ever realizing just how much I wanted it. So don’t be afraid to put smaller items on your list, it will feel good crossing them off too.